If there were any chances left of beating Kees Dieffenthaller and Iwer George’s Stage Gone Bad for the road march, it was mashed up, shelled down and turned over long before Carnival Tuesday came to an end.
The popular song was by far the most dominant song on the road and at the judging points throughout the entire day.
The closer competition was also always going to have Iwer’s name in it, Conch Shell, performed by Machel Montano, Iwer George and Skinny Fabulous.
As if to symbolically take a bow to the song which is expected to outshine his for the Road March title, Machel Montano sang Stage Gone Bad alongside George as mas band Tribe crossed the stage at the Socadrome, Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
The Conch Shell singer, who has ten Road March titles, also encouraged the revellers and onlookers to join in singing the song which was almost on a non-stop loop at the venue as other bands crossed the stage.
Late Monday evening, as Tribe masqueraders were crossing the Savannah stage, Montano was atop a truck singing Conch Shell, when masqueraders began chanting “Iwer” as they demanded that Stage Gone Bad be played instead.
The DJs in the music trucks obliged.
Montano also crossed the Savannah stage Tuesday with Peter Minshall’s Mas Pieta to Iwer and Kees’ song.
Stage Gone Bad was the preferred choice for bands to cross the stage at the Socadrome, especially for Yuma which almost exclusively played the song for the revellers as both artistes sang along from the music truck.
The other bands such as Harts and Bliss also chose to cross to Stage Gone Bad, however, also played Montano’s Conch Shell.
Following his performance with Kees for Yuma’s crossing, Iwer told Guardian Media when asked about the success of Stage Gone Bad over Conch Shell, “Well anywhere it go, Iwer win first and second…it’s the people’s pick.”
But having two collaborative pieces in the fore of the race for the title wasn’t a coincidence. He indicated that it was partly due to proper planning.
“Stage Gone Bad was really last year’s song and this is the first time in my life- after 32 years, I actually hold a song from last year for this year,” he said.
This will be the second title for George who last won it in 2000 for his song Carnival Come Back Again in a tie with SuperBlue’s Pump Up.
It will be the first title for Kees whose fans were left disappointed last year after his song Savannah Grass was able to capture the hearts of many but not the title, losing to Skinny Fabulous’ Famalay, a collaboration with Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin.
Also at the venue yesterday was Trini-born America rapper Nicki Minaj who accompanied Montano and Iwer as they guided revellers across the stage from the music truck.
Minaj last visited the country in 2012 to shoot the music video for her song ‘Pound the Alarm’ which featured aspects of T&T Carnival.
However, at the Socadrome she announced that yesterday was her first time at the celebration.