>> View Carnival Glow 2013 Gallery>> View Berlin Carnival 2013 CoverageIt’s a big weekend in Berlin and much of the TJJ foundation crew is making our inaugural appearance at the carnival festivities.
Every year in early summer the Carnival of Cultures celebrates the diversity of Berlin. The highlight and finale is the big street parade that takes place every Pentecost Sunday in the Kreuzberg district. The Berlin Carnival street parade has grown from fifty thousand people in 1996 to well over a half million a million in 2012. Carnival Glow happens on the Saturday night before the road and the energy in the air is palpable.
Kees from Kes The Band, one of Trinidad’s premier soca artistes, headlined Carnival Glow at the Astra Kulturhaus.
I had been to the venue earlier in the day for the Soca Family BBQ Lime
on the outside of the club, so I was already over my initial shock about the venue and the location. Let’s just say it is very nondescript :-). Entry to the fete was quick and well organized. The fete was split into two rooms, a smaller room with Reggae and RnB, and Soca in the main room.
In the main room, the DJs were off to the side of the fete on a smaller platform while only the performers used the main stage. This would not have been an issue had it not been for the fact that the system for the DJ’s did not seem to be hooked up to the main system, so the sound was definitely not the same as the sound from the main stage.
In spite of the sound quality, the crowd was hyped and almost in a frenzy for every song that played. The crowd comprised of a very strong West Indian contingent but with equally as many locals. Tropical Storm featuring Scrappy & Konata, Ms Desire and others, took the stage before Kes and had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands.
However, the 3 hour long undercard proved to be a bit too much for some folks and quite a few people took the opportunity to see what was going on in the other room. Those that stayed in the main room remained at a fever pitch though. The end of the set included a rendition of Super Blue’s Fantastic Friday. It was the single most off –key performance of the big track, that I have heard in the history of the song. You would not know it from the crowd response though, they were in a Frenzy! It was not until 4am that Kes finally hit the stage and launched into his arsenal of selections.
Big tune after big tune, from ‘Tuesday on the Rocks’ to his latest post-carnival offering ‘Can’t Wait’, a track that is burning up the airwaves in the Caribbean now. Dance mash down! Kes definitely represented the culture to the max. I was very happy to see soca music get the kind of love that I saw in Berlin. Soca to the world!
Big thanks to the Carnival Fever Entertainment crew for having us. We will definitely be seeing you again for this one next year.
-Wade aka The Party Appraiser Did we forget anything? Add your 2 cents below... >> View Carnival Glow 2013 Gallery>> View Berlin Carnival 2013 Coverage