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Sunday, February 21, 2010

TRIBE 2010 Review

This was my first experience in Tribe, and after hearing many glowing reviews over the years I decided to see what this hype was about.

Costume collection
It was probably the smoothest I have ever encountered in my life having played mas in several different bands. It was a well oiled machine efficiently run, and almost military like in its execution. This to me left a very good impression on me as to what to look forward to on the road.

The costume for the most part was well made with the exception of the head piece which was a bit problematic for me.
Large headpieces are nice but, securing it on your head is quite another issue which i think is something designers need to look at becuase many masqueraders with large headpieces (myself included) had problems with it blowing off, or falling down on our faces. some were able to handle this with grace, while others were not so lucky...


Carnival Monday
The vibe in the band was good. I have a tendency to roam on my own to see what happens throughout, and I have to say the band seemed very organized on Monday. Drinks were flowing, people were having a good time, and everything went well until we passed the savannah stage and passed the cipriani exit .TRIBE was stuck for about 45 minutes…this gave me a good opportunity to have a look at the band, and it was only then I realized how truly massive it was. It stretched for miles. I would estimate that there were about 4000 people on that day. In the back of my mind I dreaded what Tuesday would be like but say what I was having a good time! Copious amounts of water and Gatorade for me to drink, so I was good.

One thing though, a friend of mine told me that he encounted a small skirmish with security who almost put him out because the tribe insignia on his id band ,was rubbing out, and he was accused of having a false id. Immediately I had a look at mine and the same thing was happening. I wondered if I too would be accused of having a fake ID, and also wondered how many other masqueraders if any had the same issue. I think this is something the management of tribe needs to look at, if only to ensure that their masqueraders are not falsely accused and have to suffer embarrassment of being potentially thrown out. They are actually opening themselves up to some serious litigation.

Back to Monday…
The rest stop was nice, food was decent and plentiful and most importantly tasty. For me sitting under a shady tree in Jackson square to re-energize was better than resting my backside on some random pavement somewhere. However there seemed to be no real indication as to when the band would get going again, the rest was overly long and I was most tempted to take a power nap.
Anyways, the band continued along onto tragarete road and down pole carew street onto ana and ariapita avenue…that was when I felt ram cram. I spent most of the time outside the ropes than in, trying to get some breathing and wining room because it felt like a Jamaican bus during rush hour!! Sardine like!!. When tribe got to the avenue I stayed a bit and left to meet my pick up as I was already too tired.


Tuesday
That was a whole debacle in itself…I am not going to get into the details of why I met the band so late but all I have to say is thank god I was not stuck on charlotte street. I met the band when they were at memorial square (well at least my section) and it was messy to say the least. Cramped, hot, sweaty and pushy people everywhere. I tried to make the best of it however when it came to finding a drink truck??? They did a Houdini on me!!! I could find none, all gone….so I had to rely on 6 dollar inflated price blue waters to keep me from fainting in the sweltering heat. Perhaps the band needs to look at keeping 3 drink trucks on keate street or something…so that at least masqueraders can get their drinks in close proximity to the band

The dj’s tried to keep the vibes going and that they did, but when you expend energy you get thirsty not so??? So waiting for over an hour in 1 spot jamming and nutten to drink will eventually make you frustrated as hell…and that I was.
Again, I spent most of the time outside the ropes than in the ropes walking up and down looking for some shade.

Eventually the band got moving. I was glad yes but then things got a little worse after the “get in yuh section call”. I won’t blame the band for this, but I would criticize some of the masqueraders themselves. People got in their sections yes, but almost everybody wanted to cram to the front and to the left where the cameras were and they didn’t care if you had a large headpiece, a front liner or if you were an individual or if you had on a floor member costume. Oh jeez, I mean not everybody can go to the front right????

After a while I got exceedingly frustrated and anybody who pushed me, male, female, dog, cat or rat, got a reactionary shove once I was shoved. Imagine a male masquerader tried to push his way in front of me, when there was no room, and when he shoved me to move back had the audacity to smile and say thanks?!?? *woosah moment.*

Anyway the only relief I got was when the individual and then the frontline was allowed to parade in front of the judges first, which was just fine for me. I had room to play myself. And even then, before they let us go infront the judges, I was being jostled by other masqueraders to get to the front. I think there is a big difference between exhuberance and outright unmannerly behaviour, and surely some of these ppl were just plain unmannerly. I could understand excitement and anticipation but taking that to a point where it causes discomfort to others? Methinks not.

The band took a total of 1hr and 35 mins to cross but I wanted to see all the sections and I could tell that there were a lot of thirsty, tired masqueraders…Loulan, poor masqueraders….everybody and their tantie with costume or not, wanted live palancing…that’s all I will say about that.

The rest park by the time I got there was a mess, no room to sit, garbage strewn everywhere despite the fact that there were ppl there to collect discarded containers. Food collection was relatively easy and like Monday the food was also tasty and plentiful, loads of starch though but as I said it was tasty and well cooked

Not enough toilets tribe!!! And well serving ppl lukewarm Gatorade does not cut it either!!! I didn’t even bother to venture near the pampering center or whatever it is called as it was incredibly crowded as was to be expected but I would have preferred if there were more toilets available for people to use.
For the most part I just relaxed until it was time to move again.

It wasn’t bad though this time around, until we got to pole carew street , there were people lining the streets creating some incredible congestion in the band and it became somewhat uncomfortable, and again found myself outside of the ropes. As we got close to the avenue it got worse and by then I had had enough so I said my goodbyes and left

Conclusion
I would give TRIBE a B for overall experience, but if they don’t do something about their numbers they are going to self destruct. It is true that they have created a hype that makes them a very popular band among the masquerading public and everybody wants to play with them but sometimes things get to a point where it becomes too much to be bearable..I doubt very much that tribe would want a logistical nightmare on their hands so I suppose in their post mortem they might have to look at ways of further reduction of numbers or creating 2 separate entities.
To be honest in all my years of playing mas I never exhibited loyalty to a particular band and this experience in tribe wouldn’t make me start either. Lets see what happens at band launchings for 2011.

1 comment:

Trinibears said...

Hmmm....i wonder who that FALSE masquerader was????..LOL.....

In defense of TRIBE it was sorted out quickly with the sector managers, without me going postal, filing a Lawsuit or killing anybody.

Note to TRIBE and Everyone "Spray on Sunblock" contains "Paraffin" which dissolves "Paint" Off of plastic wristbands.....

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