By TASHA MORRIS - Basement Press
The Brooklyn Museum was the home of the first of many Panorama competitions. This is the first year WIADCA and USSA combined forces for one Panorama competition.
The parking lot provided enough space for vendors selling T-shirts, exotic drinks, and West Indian food. The sweet melodies called steel pan lovers to the end of the parking lot where the stage was placed.
The audience had the pleasure of viewing 15 of New York City's best steelbands. The contestants were Caribbean Youth Panoramics, CASYM, Dem Stars, Crossfire, D’Radoes, ADLIB, Pan Phonic, Pan Sonatas, Pantonic, Women in Steel, Harmony, Moods, Sesame Flyers and Marsicans.
The selection of songs varied from CYP’s African-inspired song including a 'Hello Africa' chant, to the energetic Iron Band performed by Sesame Flyers. The music was anything but traditional. Harmony chose Ding Dong by Funny. This playfully explicit song encouraged the players to chant “My Ding Dong”. This mainly young group played while wearing bright green t-shirts. Their kiddy-like set included spray-painted designs on their pans.
Bad In Yuh Yard performed by ADLIB was spiced up with the Sean Paul hit 'Get Busy' beat, which aroused many tired audience members. Out-of-town guest, Alima Polley thinks, “That Sean Paul beat is just what I needed. I am tired of the Music in Me Blood song.” More than three bands performed a rendition of Music In We Blood. The judges voted CASYM as the best band to perform the song. They came in second place.
This was not the only popular song of the night. Heated competitors, Despers USA and D’Radoes (formerly collectively known as Despers USA), both performed Passion by Militant. Despers USA did not come out on top. The battle between the two bands will continue until they realize they are better as one band [again] united.
The audience became restless and made good use of the Heineken hut, and hot corn soup to keep warm. The cool winds blowing through the parking lot did not stop the action on stage but frustrated a few banner-holding ladies.
August 31 was Trinidad and Tobago's Independence Day. Pantonic performed the popular Trini To The Bone vocalized by Carl Jacobs and David Rudder. Arranger Clive Bradley was on stage to conduct the 100-member steel orchestra. Bradley also arranged for third place winners D' Radoes.
The winners were announced around 4:30 am. The cold temperature and time drove most of the audience home. However, there were enough people to echo a shocked "Ohhh!" when Sesame Flyers were announced in last place. First place winners Pantonic ran on stage singing Trini To The Bone, the selection that won them the competition.
This year's Panorama competition was dedicated to the life of, tuner Mikey Enoch who passed away last September. A plaque was presented to his wife for the contributions he made to steel pan.
The competition was broadcast live to Trinidad & Tobago on Radio 100 FM, as well as to New York on AM radio station WLIB 1190 and FM radio station WWRL 1600.