Pantonic's show goes on-
By NICOLE VANDERBROOK - Basement Press
Not much was missing from the Pantonicís pan yard on Friday, August 22nd. There were drinks, energy, people, and music. However there was something not present, or rather someone. That someone was Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Despite the absence of honored guest Mayor Bloomberg, who was scheduled to appear, the Pantonic steel band played on. The music flowed out of the coverage of the blue tent. Unable to be contained by the tarps, or surrounding colorful flags, the loud Caribbean tune surely seeping into the adjacent buildings and beyond the quiet Brooklyn block.
The environment was warm, more like the feeling of a family reunion than a pan concert. Children circled the maze of pans, darting around a lone man, who center stage, began dancing, hoping to incite others.
Several pans lay unused throughout the song, yet more kept being erected. Stray members jumping into the song, without missing a beat, as the music progressed. The band itself filled about 3/4 of the space, spilling off into every direction.
Although Mayor Bloomberg did not arrive, the transportation thought to be carrying him did. The coach bus rolled down the narrow street, looking entirely out of place, as did those exiting. The members of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) stepped off the bus, drinks in hand, quickly filling the space in front of the band. Their heads nodded as if in a sign of agreement to what the band was playing. Accompanying them, the bright lights of media. Camera flashes and close-ups bombarded the Pantonic players.
Yet despite their perceptible enjoyment the WIADCA members stay was brief. About 20 minutes into their visit they began to file out, preoccupied by another attraction down the street. The sounds from within the pan yard no doubt following them.
The guests exited, as if the music was over, but Pantonic had different plans. They played on. The atmosphere became intimate again. Once again the lone man dancing center stage could be seen.