I suppose I am a little late with this recap but cut a brother some slack, I'd been partying non-stop 4 days straight.
WOW what an experience. Atlanta Carnival 2013 met and greatly exceeded my expectations from Cooler Fete through breakfast fete on Memorial Day, I definitely had a blast. It wasn't all fun and games of course, I did have a few gripes and quibbles here and there but nothing major.
I started partying from the Thursday night, having taken Thursday and Friday off work. My first fete was Anti-Stush with Bunji Garlin. For all intents and purposes, it was a great, damn good fete and Bunji had that crowd going from start to finish. You know what wasn't so great? The flipping sound system. How hard is it to do a sound check BEFORE an event? Maybe we'd learn a few things like "the microphone volume is low" or "why is the music way louder than the mic?"........I'm just saying, maybe we'll be able to actually hear the artiste sing next time. It was even worse at the Blaxx fete but more on that later.
Also, Atlanta does not have a sizeable enough, active Caribbean community to adequately support multiple fetes with multiple artistes on the same night. So Anti-stush had a decent turnout but the place certainly wasn't packed, you know why? Because somebody decided Destra needed her own fete the very same night. Yes there's a lot of politics in party promoting especially here in Atlanta but for the love of Christ it would be nice if soca lovers only had one fete to go to see their favourite acts on any given night.
The same thing happened the very next night and soca lovers were forced to choose between either Kes/Shal/TC/Ravi B in one fete or Iwer, Cassie and Lyrikal in another. Imagine how bess Friday night would have been if we'd had a Iwer, Kes, Cassie, Shal, TC, Ravi B and Lyrikal fete.......oh well.
Kes was good, don't get me wrong, but in this day and age, why is it still impossible for big artistes like Kes and Bunji to fill venues in Atlanta? The people who brought Machel seemed to have figured it out because gawd damn that place was packed. One show, multiple major artistes, no other competing performances.......dance RAM.
Saturday May 25th of course was the day of the parade itself. Masqueraders and spectators alike enjoyed themselves tremendously and with the exception of one overzealous police officer "catching a whif" of some weed, the event mostly went off without a hitch. My son and I hooked up with a riddim section coming across MLK and we had a ball. As anticipated, parking was a bitch and the traffic snarl around the parade route was biblical. I hope people took the train, I sure did.
Truth be told, I had a few misgivings about the new venue which I've chosen to discuss here: http://www.twowithslight.com/2013/06/carnival-village-shenanigans.html
Saturday night after the parade (and after more than a couple Red Bulls) I managed to make it to the second Kooler Fete featuring Blaxx. I talked about the problems with the sound system at the Bunji fete earlier. It was worse at the Blaxx show; it's almost like they learned nothing from Thursday night. Further compounding the problem, this was an indoor/outdoor party, and if you'd suffered the misfortune of setting up your cooler in the outdoor area, you had to deal with the outdoor speakers tripping on and off at random. After a while, the outdoor speakers went off entirely and never bothered to come back on so either way, it was a shitty situation all round.
To make matters worse, the deejay didn't seem to have any of Blaxx's music. So when the big man himself came on stage to perform, the deejay seemed to have two or three of the man's songs on hand. Blaxx was calling for chunes, and the dummy would drop a Machel or a Bunji or some other fuckery. Eventually Blaxx had to ignore the deejay entirely and started singing acapella.....bad, bad, bad, bad. I was shaking my head through the entire performance.
In case you're wondering, the Bunji and the Blaxx fetes were both held at Karibbean Konnection. The folks that run the place clearly need to do better with setting up the sound system correctly and hiring proper deejays. Needless to say, I came away from this particular fete with a pretty bad taste in my mouth.
I'm going to cut this short here or this post would end up being too tedious to read, I'll come back with a recap part 2 in a day or two.
Until then, hol it down, doh rape it.......... :)