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Saturday, March 19, 2011

TRIBE Way of the Warrior Review #9

Hi Saucy

Now I am not a carnival baby like yourself; I have only played for the last four years- all with TRIBE. I have gotten very accustomed to a certain level or service and quality of costume, even comparing Miami carnival bands to them. Last year, like mostly everyone, I loved my costume ( which stayed intact) but the band was just way too big. I still opted to play with them again this year, because like I said, Tribe is all I know and I rather stick to "tried and true" than a new band.

This year three friends from Miami chose to come to Carnival with me, and based on my lauding of Tribe, all wanted to play with them. So....enter a friend with a link since none of them would have gotten a costume on their own strength. Committee registration really opened my eyes to how Tribe operates behind the scenes. I had a connection, who I was in conversation with well before prices were even published, and she's telling me that I can't get sections because they are sold out!! Are you kidding me?! The website and prices are not even out yet!! Eventually, we were able to register the girls in Gladiator and our one guy in Knights Templer.

Last year we were only able to collect on the last day because of our arrival in Trinidad, and were faced with ridiculous lines. This year we opted for my parents to collect on our behalf. They had no complaints- very efficient, quick and friendly.

Very disappointed! The gold of Gladiator was that cheap, stripper-like color and the overall quality was just poor. Glue strings and loose beads were already at the bottom of the box. I tried on the costume, and numerous beads fell off while walking to the mirror. Walking, not even chipping and wining!!! Thank God that my friends and I planned alternate Monday wear because other than the quality, the sizing was quite questionable. Why ask for waist measurements if the waistbands were sized as small/medium? Also, the same bra padding that was appreciated in my B-cup was not welcome in my friend's D-cup! Lastly, it seems as though Tribe went the Spice Route this year and dyed some feathers seeing as though my friend's white headband AND hair were red for a few days after carnival.
My guy friend's Knights Templer costume fit him perfectly and no complaints there.

Carnival Monday and Tuesday:
We were at the back of the band again this year with JW and Blaze, but no complaints since we vowed to make the most of our experience. Also, it really made no difference since Tribe was its usual disorganized self. Monday's stage experience (my first) was very anti-climatic. SPU had cut off the last section too late, and since it was only like 200 masqueraders they chose to form no barrier, and simply said "go through, go through." Tuesday was alot better and I had my real stage experience then.

Lunch this year was deplorable!! The band has to know how much masqueraders and staff that they need to cater for, so how is it that food ran out on both days and security was served before masqueraders?!?! Not to mention the portion sizes this year..

Security was definitely not on par with years' gone by. I cannot even remember how many non-Tribe masqueraders I saw freely roaming and wining WITHIN the band, mostly Yuma-ites. There were also alot of Bliss stormers- I heard that they were allowed to jump with Tribe but I cannot understand why. The point of two bands was to reduce the numbers and congestion, right? So why allow them to converge?! ...But at least these were actual masqueraders, there was countless by-standers and stragglers in regular clothes and NO BANDS that were in the band and never removed!

My Tribe experience of 2011 was definitely my least favourite of the past years, and actually has me contemplating a move next year.
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