After Kes & Friends, I had just enough time to grab a sandwich with my designated driver, take a quick wash up and change into more comfortable clothes before heading a few blocks over to Stage 48 for 5 Alarm Blaze. (Don't judge me and yes, it is that serious.) Despite the annoyance of being herded up ad down through the club's labyrinth, I was happy to see that both the ground floor and the balcony was packed. I took one of the few vacant spots on the ground floor and vibed to the music playing.
With hosts like DJ Young Chow and The Natural Born Club Killa, Kevin Crown, I knew some antics were inevitable, but I was not prepared for what I witnessed. Let me give quick shouts to the dancers who proved that slim and fluffy girls can get on bad.
The lineup included both dancehall and soca artists, but when only a segment of the crowd was excited to hear "Ah Feeling" and "To Meh Heart" performed live, I knew that this was primarily a non-soca crowd. Let me say that I like my dancehall and reggae, but soca has a way of getting people to move and many party goers seemed planted where they stood. Well, Fay-Ann Lyons changed that.
With a stern warning to "take yuh monkey ass to de back" if you don't want to participate, she began to instruct the crowd. I looked around and saw that there were some confused but intrigued expressions and I was sure that they had no idea what was about to happen. For those unfamiliar, if you hear Fay-Ann Lyons say this, just go to the back of the party immediately.
"Point yuh fingers so!" When all fingers pointed to the left confusion turned to fear for the uninitiated. Within seconds everyone bounced, ran, and lept to the left side of the club. I heard a young lady say that she refused to move. Poor thing. It was involuntary, but she moved.
We moved to the right, to the front, and to the back of the club in unison. I could have gone home right after that. I loved it! However, I stayed to see the other acts. By the way, I cannot believe that DJ Big Reef, who was supposed to be recuperating at home, made it to the event and even did the shmoney dance with broken ribs. Now that's dedication.
Last to perform was dancehall artist Mavado. It is always interesting to me to see the difference in how party people react to different genres of music. The jumping up and waving was replaced with swaying and finger guns as he sang "Last Night," "Real McCoy," and "So Special." While I am not one for dancehall during Carnival weekend, it was good to hear the Gully God sing a song appropriate for Labor Day weekend, "Caribbean Girls." This was the wind down for me. I suppose it was good to end the night with a slow wine.
I will certainly attend 5 Alarm Blaze again, but as I am a true soca head, I will probably leave after the last soca act. Come on. I can't end my weekend on dancehall. Carnival is soca.