'Parade of The Bands' Part 1
Date: Sunday 5th July 2009
Location: Tom Bass Park Arts Pavillion. Houston, TX
Promotions: Houston Caribfest
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Almost, but not quite fully recuperated from the Fay-ann Lyons show the night prior, we're caught in a hustle as the shuttles are already at the door ready to provide full escort service to the Tom Bass Park.
A carnival isn't a carnival without a parade of the bands and Houston being ranked amongst the top North American carnival's is bound to deliver the full festivities. A week that composed of all the elements; Camouflage, Glow, Breakfast, J'Ouvert, All Inclusive and a Concert is only right to have a jump up on de road! And yes, you don't have to ask ... it all ends with the official carnival after party "Insomnia"!
By 3 pm each of the 8 bands were assembled at the starting point. A two mile road thru the Tom Bass Park would eventually lead to the entrance of the park and main stage. But before we get there, we'd have to enjoy each step of the 2 miles. Despite 100 degree temperatures, there were full mas costumes; feathers, beads ... the works! The parade organizers did an excellent job and ensuring water and medical services to the masses. Music trucks sprayed, poured and squirted water onto following masqueraders and they in turn jumped all the more and definitely let everyone know how much of a great time they were having by their display of revelry.
My personal favorite was the construction band, Konstruction Fusion, who were kind enough to lend us a level to ensure that all bumpers on the scene were well calibrated and of course level. It was excellent! Drinks everywhere and the parade route was definitely enjoyable. We even bounce up some folks from the night before what were fully engaged in some tail gating. Thanks for the beers!
Following the Parade of the Bands, masqueraders cooled down for a few in the park, while patrons satisfied their appetites. And judging from all the West Indian cuisine we saw selling, we're sure everyone left the park with a smile on their face ... we sure did! It wasn't too long before all the bands got another opportunity to display their costumes on the main stage, this time for the judges, as onlookers enjoyed the pretty costumes with a side of 'bacchanal & revelry'. Peoplez Choice with their 2009 presentation "African Safari" won their 4th Band of the Year title. Yes guys, you did call it! Congrats to all the winners.
The concert was hosted by MC Fire Kyle & MC Fatta Carey, who managed to keep the same high intensity they had from Day 1 of this year's Caribfest events. Rhythm International, DJ Stephen, Mikie Faith Sound, DJ Supa Slice, Spoil Brats, DJ Marshal alongside Selecta 62 supplied the musical vibes that kept the crowd on their feet, including a group of soca lovers that didn't move from in front the stage. Security were kept busy all evening as they continually had to ask folks to get off the stage (after stopping the obsessive wining of course).
Besides a local reggae band (all white with one rasta) from Houston, it was pretty much the same artist line up we saw at Soca Xtreme the night before. EXCEPT, the energy level was a lot higher as both crowd and bands fed off of one another. Today, Orlando based boy band Crossovah was able to close strong, singing their 2k9 track "Test Di Foundation" on the popular Coconut Tree Riddim. And just when we thought Dominica's Hunter had mash up de place, on came the Request Band to stick a folk in it! It was rags and flags and powder! Minutes after 10pm, the crowd was still begging the DJ to play one more song, but Houston's finest give the signal and it was a wrap for Houston Caribfest 2009!
Who say Insomnia?
route to the airport, leaving Daddy Juice to hold things down in the Lone Star