I had the honoured pleasure of attending Panfest 2017 at the Phillip Sherlock centre for the performing arts on the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus on Friday, March 24 and it was a pleasure indeed to be a part of their 40th anniversary dubbed, “The Journey”.
The two-hour event was overlaid with musical treats, with injections of small skits from the time travels, multimedia assistance and dancing to help with humour and transition, which played off well with the audience.
This was my first time at a Steel Pan event so naturally I was clueless as to what to expect but I think that aided in the excitement of it all. The show started off on a high note getting the audience pumped up from the first song. I went there to be a critic but I soon forgot my reason for going after I caught myself singing the lyrics to every song they played.
The reggae section was my favourite but they were pretty versatile playing songs from Reggae, Dancehall, Pop, Soca and even classical. The audience were moved by every crescendo and decrescendo of the band, they never neglected to assured their pleasure of the evening by giving rousing applauses to every song, laughed at every joke and sat quietly to listen despite the smoke machine letting out too much smoke.
When the curtains close on the scheduled final performance, the patrons didn’t want to leave, shouting “Encore!”
Of course, the band came out and sweetened the deal with another performance.
On the outside, I eavesdropped on a couple of conversations between patrons and they were talking about the sync of the band; not one itch or glitch in the performances, evidence of a well rehearsed group.
I then went to speak with the Musical Director for the Steel Pan Orchestra, Samantha Williams who said, “I want people to see how versatile steel pan is, it can be used to play any song, any genre, people shouldn’t see it as just some oil pan.
Trust me if this is, The Journey, I can’t wait to hear the destination. I would recommend anyone to go and support the UWI Steel Pan Orchestra.