Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beyonce I AM: VVIP Experience

Well being the Carnival baby that I am, I was not a big supporter of having Beyonce around this time. Not so much because I felt it would hurt the promoters (which can easily be contested by attendance numbers at Beachouse and Lara) but because I done spend ALL my money by Ash Wednesday. So I had no idea how I was finding myself inside. This aside from which I was not really bound to see Beyonce period, but I was missing meh Machel for the season. Some of the general public was most disgruntled this week to see special 'packages' being offered for group ticket packages. In reality you only got $70 off VIP tickets but I would be kinda of annoyed too if I only found out today that Island People was selling tickets to their masqueraders for $300 General. I would aslo like to flush BMOBILE's mobile ticket outlet at the savnnah for running out of linx machine paper at 12pm on concert day. Really? You was not expecting ppl? Who really want to walk with all that cash ?steups.Anywho, I find my way in the VVIP and although I have many other reviews from last week to post, I might as well start here and go back. (BTW I forget my phone AND my camera home, like I was excited).

So i arrived about 5:00pm at the King George to park and took the shuttle to the venue. Bmobile failed to mention that you had to pay to park which is absolutely ridiculous for anyone who paid that VVIP or VIP money.The shuttle was efficient enough although we had to back track into the traffic to get to the entrance.I might add that the map published in the papers was not very helpful.Well I intended to eat my belly full but was quite shocked the line that met me at the food station.
First off, it had signs that said ,"Doubles, corn soup, Quiche, Gyros",yet the only thing serving was roast beef sandwiches. They were several bare tables and just two long lines going in either direction. As hungry as I was I sent someone to line up for me but I was most annoyed when anthem started playing and Machel started his performance before we actually got any food. Well at least the bar had Jonny Walker and Red Bull. Doh mind that if you did not do some exploring you would not know it had several bars throughout the venue cause everyone was just rushing the one at the entrance. I think I was most disgusted with the catering by the end of the night because every time I went by the bar the Johhny Walker was either taking he good time to restock or it was done and they were sending you to other bars. The food always had a long long line even during performances and most times there was only one food item serving. I never got my gyro or even see when the doubles man came and went and the quiche was way too salty (that must be why they had no line). I only managed to get a bess corn soup because the soup man like he had like me and let me skip. What kind of catering service serves their food in stages??I decided to make a trip to the opposite side of the venue to see if there were more available food stations and was quite suprised to see that the venue was laid out so that the entire front half was VVIP. I honestly could not see where VIP was located and if you was in General......humph yuh might as well have been in Diego Martin. And yes it had more food stations but they were just as over crowded as where I was before.

Speaking of conveniences, it was nice that they invested in some Andy Loos but why bother if you going to supplement them with regular portable toilets? Well I strictly used the Andy Loos but was most annoyed when I was forced to try a portable toilet and there was no water in the sink or toilet paper in it. Thats aside from the fact that it also had zero lighting and the men and women's toilets were side by side.Really? That is not at all cool for the money that they asking for.

Well onto more important things....I missed a few minutes of the beginning of Machel's performance but I was definitely glad I was present and accounted for. Machel win! I wine and wine and wine till I could not wine no more. Maybe is just cause it was his first performance for the season, maybe I am just a skettel but he did not disappoint at all. If you gave him a extra hour it would have been an AC worthy performance.All I was saying is "why this man could not have do this last week!" Maybe I am PREFER SOCA VIBES but I think he got more forward than Beyonce. But let me deal with the stoosh ppl in VVIP who come to watch Machel in stilettos. I find the VVIP crowd was a real vibe killer and you would swear is opera they come to see STEUPS. At one point I say I had to go in the front the stage where the real jammin was going on. PPl in the crowd was standing up in their evening gown with the hand crossed.Ahmm is the SAVANNAH !Where they feel they was going??

Machel performed a selection of old and new tunes. However most of them were abbreviated versions. I think the time restrictions that were placed on him were really cramping his style. I would like to give a big BOO to BMOBILE for that. I would have been more than happy to hear him for another hour but I guess they were fraid he would mash up too much for Beyonce to follow. But like they was afraid to give him anything at all cause he performed with NO LIGHTING and NO SCREENS. I don't know how anybody behind VVIP could have seen him and he had only a single spotlight onstage. I kinda picked up there was something going on behind the scenes becasue Machel made a few comments that seemed to suggest that he had some issue with Beyonce's camp like "Allyuh could go ahead and take pictures of me!" and a few times "What you go tell Jay-Z if he was here " (to I tiefin a little while hmmmm??). But meggie for you haters cause by the time he bring on Busy Signal he had won over the crowd. Well when he bring he suprise guest Destra to close the show with "It's Carnival" he was King and she was Queen. Beyonce had to cool it cause I could have happily gone home after that. Beyonce doh get tie up , this is Trinidad. It still have ppl drunk from Carnival and in this country Machel is King.

I doh even feel I want to talk about Beyonce herself nah cause I was most annoyed when during the intermission video screens started to get lifted and lights started to be tested. So what ? We boy not entitled to that ? She walk with them screen and lights or what?I not taking anything away from her as she is very talented and put on a international level show with all the stops and background footage but doh disrespect the Soca King in he own house. Blaze and JW gave a small talk in between and they only had to play the "Palance" riddem and the crowd was hyped. Like they was on a ban too cause they never sing the song. Also the DJ get ban from hyping the crowd too because he was playing a set of obscure music very softly.

Then the show start just so..BRAM! No introduction needed I guess.Beyonce also gave a full range of songs with short costume changes in between. Some highlights included when she move to a more centralised platform that was set up in the VVIP crowd itself. If you were in VVIP you got a really personal performance from her as she spent a significant portion of her time on the secondary stage. Her performance started high tempo but quickly got into the slow tunes and to be honest, I was ready to fall asleep. I was so not impressed with the go slow, maybe still on the adrenaline high from the 'opening act'.Throughout the show, I did note that she only briefly adressed the audience directly. Most notably when she picked a dude from the audience and sang to him directly. Well I thought he was going to pass out right there yes. Allyuh want to know what the MOST ironic thing is? You know what get Beyonce the most forward???? She started to sing "Check up on it " and it was mixed in with the Palance riddem. Well Trinis pick up on that one time. Well then she sing two " Palance" and make two "Palance" and the crowd mash up with that one. (I sure it on youtube by now). That goes to show, she STILL had to sing a soca to get she best ratings in Trinidad. But whereas she may have acknowledged the culture considering the controversy surrounding her prescence, she eh really respect it enough to sing more than two words of the song or to do a collaboration with Machel. I feel she would have really earned more respect from the ppl if she did. I think her most moving performance was her closing number of "Halo" which really shows the strength of her voice which was combined with a tribute to MJ.

On the way out people was again lining up for food. Looking to squeeze every cent I guess. I don't really feel that I got $1600 worth of anything in the whole VVIP experience. Yeah ok, so maybe they needed to charge that to cover Beyonce's performance costs and that stage they had to bring but the patrons did not get very much. Doh mind it had REAL ppl in VVIP although is recession. If I was in VIP I would have been annoyed completely and if I was in General I was storming VVIP. Nice seeing yuh Beyonce but the King still reigns.

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to mention this other ridiculous set up in VVIP. The VVIP was apparently also 'Coporate VVIP'. There were several raised areas with seating. There was this woman with her 10 year old daughter standing on the front of me on the ground. The poor chile could not see a thing so I told the mom she should try and go on the platform which was elevated. The woman tell me that they blank her as its 'Corporate'.Well I ask her if she did not cuss!! VVIP money and not a place to sit or get a better view of the stage? Robbery! BOO Bmobile BOO.


Fashion Addict said...

Thanks for the run down. I really want to see some clips of Machel, especially him and Destra together!! I love Beyonce, but I was wondering how the slower songs would go over with the audience. But she is a pro thats for sure

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

LOVE your review....evening gown? really? lmao

dougla_1 said...

Excellent coverage Carnival Jumbie. Boy meets girl in the Savannah, no lights, no camera, no screen for the boy. Sometimes a chaperon is quite necessary at the Savannah after dusk, but why the illuminati (big joke, here, lol) tie him up tight, tight so? The girl's halo is getting a bit too heavy, eh. All in all though, it does seem like it was a pretty good experience.

Carnival Jumbie said...

Yes evening gown I tell yuh it was wedding or grad!!! While Machel was on stage a womn come nad stand up right on top of me in she grad dress although it had plenty room at the time. So I wining like normal but she wnt stand up like a dignatory.I knocking her all thetiem and she refuse to move.Well is only when i take a jump and she get wet down on she foot from my drink that she decided maybe this was a fete and she should move.

Icahwait* said...

AH love it! couldn't have said somethings better myself. yes I eh know where all them dresses and heels were going in the savannah. i had my heels for elevation and viewing, but I also had my flats on the ready inbetween.


CK said...

LMAO, it's not even my money and I feeling it for some of these ppl! Great review!

Triniprincess said...

Bravo, Bravo, Bravo

Great review, you have my laughing hard at my desk just picturing them fools in prom dress.

Good to know my boy continues to hold in down dispite all the HATE lol

Hope he ready to get back to work now because Carnival season in the US starts shortly

shells said...

'Evening Gowns' yuh say! Naahhhhhhh, doh hurt mih head with dat one!

Great review Jumbie

Alterego said...

lol! love your review, but yeah definitely biased...the overwhelming view from what i've seen and heard from folks who attended, is that Beyonce was excellent...way more impressive. To be fair she had a bigger and better production,so machel was at a disadvantage from the get go.

Carnival Jumbie said...

Well Alterego I think I should correct MYSELF. I am not Biased I am just a bigger Machel fan than a Beyonce fan because I personally prefer soca music to R&B anyday.I hve more 80s tunes on my ipod than R&B. If he was complete rubbish I would not be scared to say so. I was quite disappointed that he only got a few lines of each song out but he still brought his energy as if it was his full concert. So really it is not a biased as so much it is a personal preference. Fact is,I did not really care if she was here period and I probably would not even have made the effort to go if Machel was not performing. I went to see Machel, not Beyonce.
I never say she did not have a good performance or even a great performance cause she did! But don't you think there was an inherent bias in favour of Beyonce by the promoters not to give Machel the same basic facilities like lights and screens? He gets the short end of the stick and then is still expected to give a Beyonce level performance in half the time?
Aside, for those who have not heard, I should also mention that there was a near riot in General as they could not see any of Machel's performance due to the lack of video screens and the security released pitbulls on ppl at one point from what I heard.
On the flip side I could easily say the same thing...all the ppl who loved Beyonce so much are biased in her favour .She is the bigger recording star, maybe they like her better than Machel period.I was in no way attempting to compare act to act side by side as they are of two different genres. I sincerely doubt that Machel could do R&B better than Beyonce the same way she could not do Soca better than him.If there is any bias here at all is between soca music to R&B not Machel vs. Beyonce.I would probably have felt the same way if it was David Rudder up there instead. You can call me the defender of the faith cause at the end of the day, she imposed upon my culture at its peak time.

Invisible said...

Amazing review! lol. "running out of register paper" lmfao

James said...

They should take care of the toilets. It was a horrifying experience.

James, the shower tray dealer.

Carnivalcocoa said...

"I don't know how anybody behind VVIP could have seen him and he had only a single spotlight onstage."

Exactly, VIP saw NOTHING. I was in VIP and I was HOPPING MAD that after $1000 TT I had to see Machel as the size of a f***ing rice grain!!!! And I had to jump to see that sh!t!!!!! Ants on stage. So imagine general admin's pain. In fact the screens were too low for them and yes they damn near rioted so the technicians had to raise the screens for them, since they quite up in Belmont nah.
The stage was level with the audience. What de arse!!!!!!! Even wearing heels did not help with the height issue (I'm 5'6)as all I ended up seeing were gates and heads.

Worse I def couldn't see Beyonce. Really now, my friends and I spent $1000 each to see homegirl on a TV screen??!!!! I coulda stayed home and do that shit for free. Epic fail. With that $3000 among us we could've gone to Tobago for the two days we had left in Trinidad. Bullsh!T the whole show.
I was so sour I couldn't appreciate anything Machel and Beyonce did. I just wanted to go home and pretend that night never happended. I almost f***ing cried.

chris said...

I am a bigger Machel fan than Beyonce... by far. But I do also think that Beyonce's performance was much much better than Machel's. It really made me realize why he is a Caribbean soca star and she is an International Superstar.

My two cents.

Stacey Marie Robinson said...

I really enjoyed this review, thank you. I had only heard bits and pieces about what really went down, and saw the YouTube footage but I knew there had to be some drama/controversy.

You made a good point, when artists are travelling to another country they MUST respect the local culture and big as they might be back home you have to tap into the SOUL of the people there. I guess Beyonce tried...but didn't try hard enough.

Good writing, I will keep up with your blog!

Stacey Marie Robinson