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Pan Alive @ Lamport Stadium

Discussion in 'Event Reviews' started by mmm, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. mmm

    mmm TRIBE Member

    Based on the Panorama steel pan competition held during Carnival in Trinidad, Toronto’s version is the best and most slept-on event during Caribana. It cost $25, lasted four hours, and was just great music from beginning to end. There were 13 bands competing, two of which were youth bands with kids as young as 8, and each one was just incredible. Each band played one song that was around 6 minutes long, and just seemed like a marathon. Every participant moved to their music, and a few of the bands wore uniforms or costumes, or funny wigs—something to make their performance even more visually appealing because they’re judged on creativity as well as musical performance. Watching the bands perform was like watching an awesome party that you wanted to be a part of. I’d been on crutches up until a couple of days before that, but it was so hard not to move to the music. Most of the bands had their own little stage that they would set their drums on, and then wheel the set to the centre of the floor for their performance. Because the pan players moved and danced so much while playing, the stage would roll back and forth. It was awesome to watch.

    As a special addition to the night, they brought in a band called PCS Silver Stars, the band that won the Panorama competition this past year in Trinidad, and they were just spectacular. The age range of the musicians in that band were about 11-65, and they were just so full of incredible energy and exuded so much fun. One of the three songs they played was a cover of Black Eyed Peas’ “I got a feeling,” and they actually made it sound good. As much as I can’t stand that song, the steel pan version was pretty dope.

    Compared to pretty much anything else going on for Caribana, this definitely was the most authentic in terms of the crowd, and in terms of being a Toronto-type party. Police presence and security was virtually nonexistent, and not even really necessary. The crowd was so calm, courteous and well-behaved. Most of the spectators were older, or were groups of families. It was pretty much just the Trinidadian community, and they are total sweethearts who love their music and their culture. It really was just about the music and about having a good time. General admission seating was supposed to be in the stands, but we were allowed to freely walk around on the field level where the bands were, and so we stayed down there the whole time and had a amazing view of each performance.

    I know this isn’t the usual type of gig that would go in the event reviews section, but I wanted to let everyone know about it. It’s not really advertised outside of the Trinidadian community, and everyone I talked to at the show said that it was the best part of Caribana because it was so different. No thugs, nobody going there just get drunk and belligerent, no Americans, good vibes, and consistently great year after year.

    This is going on my yearly to-do list, alongside Nuit Blance, Halloween, and my birthday. It happens on the Friday of Caribana weekend every year. If you love music, you need to see this next year, and then every year for the rest of your life.
  2. erika

    erika TRIBE Member

    This sounds very cool! Thanks for the info :)
  3. mmm

    mmm TRIBE Member

    My pleasure :)
  4. Psyrel

    Psyrel TRIBE Member

    Fantastic review! I dithered on Friday night and didn't end up going.

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