Coca Cola Bacchanal J’ouvert, staged at the Mas Camp Village, Oxford Road last Friday had a deceptive theme.
Branded a ‘Nitemare’, the party was the exact opposite, with unrelenting vibes and energy that has no precedence when one look back at this season of revelry.
Earlier in the Bacchanal season Allison Hinds was great and Destra Garcia even better, however it was as if the patrons had saved up all their energy and unleashed it last Friday inside ‘Bacchanal City.’
Shurwayne Winchester and the Traffik Band out of Trinidad had the patrons, who occupied every nook and cranny of the venue, dancing up a storm. They were not the best act that the patrons were treated to this year, however they did pack enough energy to rock the zealous fans.
When Shurwayne Winchester and company were introduced to the stage at approximately 12:18 a.m. the interest of the patrons quickly turned from the ‘fire breathers’ who had commanded their attention for several minutes. The Clarendon Tassa Band, who were also present and added a sense of vibrancy to the proceedings, also lost favour with the patrons. It was time to get on bad!
The pulsating beat from the band immediately triggered a dancing, shouting, waving and whistling mood around the venue. The first sound uttered by Shurwayne was met with a thunderous roar from the patrons. When he declared that he was a Party Animal, the patrons responded in such a manner that it was clear that they also shared similar sentiments.
The ‘pressure’ was building as the patrons behaved ‘bad’. Most of the men who were pressuring the ladies bumpers have some declaring Wi Breathless, while others cried out Accident. When Shurwayne sang “soca in my vein, soca in my blood” the respond was overwhelming. He proceeded to teach the patrons the Shuffle Dance, and had them moving all over the venue as he ordered them to switch positions.
The normal Caribbean role call still stood strong and earned a booming respond from the Jamaican dominated audience. The mas was in full swing when the bass went dead, dampening the vibes of the proceedings.
This technical glitch still did not manage to permanently dent the vibes of the patrons. When the band returned to the stage after an unintentional ten minutes intermission, they took up where they left off. Shouts of “Let’s get crazy!” from Shurwayne seem to almost push the patrons over the ‘edge’. The introduction of the Jumbie Dance did the trick to get the revelry right back on track.
The partying took on another dimension when water was encouraged to be thrown skyward; gravity did the rest. The shout of “Open di gate, Free Up!” summoned the inevitable. It was time to let loose the real reason behind j’ouvert. There was paint, paint and more paint as the patrons took to the streets of Kingston.