Just to put it out there, this is the first blog post using the Mac. We all welcome Lady Di to the fold. *crowd goes wild*
Also a warning: I is a Trini writing like a Trini, so read at your own risk of understanding.
Ok, Back to Bom.
On Wednesday, March 24, I saw a link on a friend's FB page to the NY Times about Machel Montano playing at the Garden on Friday, March 26. I didn't even stop to think. I immediately set the ticket-buying process in motion and called the husband to make sure we didn't have plans for Friday night or he didn't have plans of his own. I tell you, if he did, I was going to pull every feminine wile I had and beg, borrow and steal the rest to convince him to change HIS plans. His dream of a threesome was thisclose to coming true!
But, he didn't, I pressed buy! Gots me a front circle seat. A couple of years ago, I saw Machel at the same place and bought a cheap seat in the back. This time, I wanted him to sweat on mih!
I got to the Garden just minutes before 8, the scheduled start time, so I was glad not to have to wait for the to start. Mistake.
First up was Treveni, or some such band, I really couldn't tell you, and two Indian boys from the Bamboo calling the people place Madison Square GardenSZ. Fellas, if all you too stupid to pronounce the name of the biggest venue you will ever play, go back home and play at the Nagar. Dem boys was too happy to tell we that it was the first time Chutney ever make it to the Garden, and I coulda dead from shame. First of all, Machel did bring Drupati Ramgoonai when he was here the last time and, yes, she sing "Roll up de Tassa", the chutniest of all chutney soca next to "Lotay La", and wine up she waist all how. Dese two mooks couldn't wine for nothing. It really ent have no second of all.
Then they was finally done and I began to breathe once more. You getting the feeling I against chutney? Well, yes. I against chutney. Chutney soca, maybe, since its aim is actually a fusion of the two styles. But singing lawa music and calling it chutney isn't my cup of tea. It is divisive and promotes a hypocrisy I cannot stand. These same coolie people does let they daughter go to chutney shows and wine they ass down to the ground and love it, but wouldn't let the same girl children go to a tent or play mas because they might rub up on a black man. Kiss my ass, yes.
Ok. Back to Bom.
I got happy too soon, because the 2 boys announce Rikki Jai: "I say Rikki, you say Jai!". I sit down. Wait, I was already sitting down. No matter. I pull out my phone. Thank God I charged it before I left home. Rikki went on about how he didn't mind coming 2nd last year because he save the good stuff for the $2m pot this year. I hear so much about that $2m that I was ready to vomit. More about that to come.
Then Rikki Jai reminded us that we been fans for 20 years. And he bus out "Hold de Lata Mangeskar, gimme soca", and I realize I knew all the words and remember Rikki Jai in he two-tone shirts and shiny pants. He still favoring the shiny-ness, as per his suit, but all a we old now.
He sing something else and I can't tell what it is because I never hear it before and I was deep in "It" on my Android Kindle.
Then some announcer come on and try to tell some rather racist jokes and I steups up and started to play Solitaire. Like they feel we needed an intermission after half an hour of Chutney. I ready to cuss.
It was 9 o'clock before Mr. Man decide to grace the stage. Keep in mind MSG does kick he out at 11, so why he wasting my time with a shit DJ, I just didn't know.
Well, I have very few complaints after that. I jump. I wine left. I wine right. I wine down and I wine back up. It was just bes'. I seriously coulda get charge! (Btw, that is a kick-ass song! I like it more than "Advantageous" and not just cuz I in law school and de song name "Illegal"!)
Oh, and there was a tiger. Yes, a tiger. I am not sure what the hell that was about. Machel come on stage, get in a cage, and presto, zappo, there was a tiger in the cage. They wheel the cage off and Machel rise up from below the stage. Huh. I did try not to study it, but it really was just weird.
He could still wine and I had forgotten how charming his smile was. He wore what look a pair of pants made from vinyl. He even say, "Mih pants cyah take too much, eh!" He looked a little paunchy, but he was as dutty as ever.
After he kill we with the 2011 songs, he start to go back in times. He sang a couple songs by people who have died, Wayne Rodriguez and $hel $hok, and he bus out nearly all the Xtatic big tunes. Farmer was there, and Peter Lewis. And since I know Machel since he small and was "Too Young to Soca", that was my favorite part of the night.
Nah, I lie. He start the cannibal roar from "Congo Man" and I nearly die dead. Then Sparrow come out and I scream so hard, I had to take a drink of water. Sparrow looked so frail, his pigeon-toe chip look like a old man shuffle now. He was old when I was small, but his voice was still so powerful. "Congo Man" is my all-time favorite Sparrow calypso and I still remember when I was old enough to understand what the lyrics meant. Shock and awe! Especially when he drop the "You lie!" on you. Genius!
Then you can't have a King without a Queen, so Rose come out. I've never been a Rose fan. Not because I didn't like she, but she wasn't really on my radar. I knew "Fire in you Wire" and "Tempo" (which I love because my mother from San Fernando!). She was out of my picture when I was growing up.
She sing the two songs (really, the only ones I know!) and Machel call back out Sparrow and presented them with plaques and saluted them blah blah. All a dat was nice, but you can't have Trini without commess. I don't know what Rose story was, but it didn't look like she cared to share the stage with Sparrow and when she get she plaque, she ramble on and on about Australia and New Zealand and flying the flag dere and how Machel is she son and he go fly the flag blah blah. Every time we think she done (and poor Sparrow think she done too because he keep raising his mike to thank Machel) she have something more to say. Or repeat. She just said the same thing about 6 or 8 times.
Finally, she shut up. Sparrow bus out some Midnight Robber lines for the boy and the crowd went wild. Even Machel look stunned. Then, he turn around and shuffle off. But Rose look like she vex she get upstaged and open she mouth again. I pull out meh phone. She say Machel go bring home a Grammy and she left. Fina-fucking-ly.
Machel also brought Benjai and Patrice. I didn't know who she was, either, but I wine anyway. Speaking of wine, Machel's winer girls (sorry, HD dancers) was just boss. And Miss Brittney. I hope he paying that girl well because she might not have children later on in life. She have one sweet ass, though. Every time the winer girls (sorry, HD dancers) come on stage, I was mesmerized!
So, the fete start to wrap up and Machel start he spiel about the government and the $2m and I didn't really want to hear any Kamla ass-kissing. He say how people asking him how he going to spend the money and he say he give $100K to a children's charity. I pick up my coat and start walking out. That is not how I want to see Machel stroking he self.
Then he call Kernal Roberts out from behind the drums. He is Lord Kitchener's son and is the musical director for Machel's band (in whatever incarnation it is). Machel announced when he get he money from the government, he is giving one million dollars to Kernel ("Kernel, boy, you is not a thousand-aire, you is a millionaire). I didn't see Kernal's face when Machel made the actual announcement, but I turned around right after and saw the shy boy watching the ground. I really didn't know what to make of that. A search on the Guardian's website got me some more info about the man and it look like he was a force to be reckoned with from long time.
But, I was already at the door, having made the long trek from the first circle, through the sold out Theater. I was hot, sweaty, hungry and wired. This concert wasn't as good as the last one, which was the best show I've ever seen, anywhere, by anybody, but it was still a slice of home. I had a real good time. Ask my broken body. It'll tell ya!