The show on Sunday evening at Chandni Grand Banquet Hall got off to a rousing start with the sweet sounds of pan. Playing to a capacity crowd of about a thousand were local pannists Mark Mosca and Earl La Pierre. Then came Toronto’s calypso monarch, Connector, who made a dashing appearance onstage in his gold and black outfit. He got his fans in the right soca mood with five songs, including a hot chutney number that brought them to their feet.
By this time the fans were ready for the Gold – yes, as in Soca Gold. Sugar Aloes did not disappoint. He started off with some of his big hits like Nobody Loves Nobody and Signs of the Times and was wildly applauded as he ended his performance with an old favourite, I Love Being Me (” I doh sound like de Baron”) As if to emphasize the point that they do not sound alike, Baron then joined Sugar Aloes on stage. But surprise! surprise! Baron’s lips moved but no sound came from the audio system.
A change of mike and the show was back on track. Baron then serenaded his fans with Melosian Rhapsody. The crowd was enjoying the music but half way through the song there were more mike problems.
Somebody finally succeeded in getting the sound system to behave itself and Baron was in full flight singing Pom Pom Shorts, Feeling it and Say Say but when in his melodious voice he delivered Sweet Soca Man, the soca fans, mainly over 50, who were waiting for the moment, were once more on their feet. One section of the band- the horns- came to the front to kneel and salute Baron. By then full house was jumping. Baron closed off the set with It’s Christmas and Spanish Woman. Classic Baron all the way.
Overall, I give the promoter ten out of ten for putting Sugar Aloes and Baron on the same show and the soundman only a five for not changing the batteries in the mikes for the second half of the show, leading to what was a difficult evening for him and Baron.
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