I finally got home from the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. My voice was gone and feet were in pain from gyrating all night. The only thing missing was a one-two stagger and somebody could’ve easily assumed I was a drunkard coming home from a Mash-fete.
But no. Even though this was no wild stage show full of alcohol and lawlessness, it will certainly go down in history as one of the best Mash-memories that Christians in Guyana will hold on to… unless somebody decides to do a repeat next year *wink wink*
I was approached on September 3rdof last year and asked to be a part of a concert to be held on Mash Night 2015 featuring International Gospel Artistes like Dj Nicholas & Positive. My first thought was “MASH NIGHT? That’s crazy”. Being into Christian entertainment myself, I understood how great a task it is to host an event on the same night as many other events… especially those hosted by Guyana’s tycoons. But what I did not realize, was that for many Christians who usually stay home on Mash day to avoid the… “craziness”, this would be the perfect opportunity to come out and have good, clean fun. And furthermore what I failed to remember is that even if Dj Nicholas shows up for a concert in Guyana ten times in one year, the crowds will show up ten times too. So five days to show time when people started scrambling for already scarce tickets, it was a clear indication that it would be a monumental gathering at Cliff Anderson.
And monumental it was. I went to the bar with my friends, stacked up on drink supplies for the night (non-alcoholic of course), secured our spot in the already huge and growing crowd, and got soaked in sweat from praising God through the night. They could not have chosen a better MC for Gospel Fest. Pastor Simon Harris; who I’m sure fit right into the “Over 50” group he was making fun of; brought the fire to the stage and showed everyone what it meant to be a chairperson. I was taking notes.
I was highly impressed by the performances and attitude of the international artists and their musicians. They delivered well, adjusted well and did not make a public scene when the police came to shut the concert down at 12:30, and (most striking to me) still brought
the fire even though they had to work through the adverse conditions of a sound system that left much to be desired. I still dream about going to a concert and not having to complain about sound. But whether or not there were issues to be trashed out afterwards, the masses will never know because the artists were professional in public. Positive sure raked in a lot of new Guyanese fans on his first visit with his unique swag and coolness to match his excellent music, and I’ve already been hearing people talking about bringing Sherwin Gardner back soon. As to Dj Nicholas, well… he might as well buy a piece of land and build a house here. We love him.
But perhaps the most significant aspect of the night for me; and maybe many others; is one that has been recurring over the past three years dating back to the GT&T Donnie
McClurkin Concert – and that is the great improvement in the musical sound and presentation of our own Guyanese Artistes. As a matter of fact let me back up, and applaud them for the great team spiritedness they displayed. The atmosphere backstage was a jovial and light as in the crowd, and being an artiste myself I understand how great it feels to have your fellow Artistes encourage you before and after you leave the stage. I was even more touched at Kester D’s kind gesture of cutting his performance in half to introduce a fresh face to the music scene and give him exposure. If that same attitude can be perpetuated to other aspects of our struggling Christian Music Industry, it would work wonders for us in the next five years.
Everyone brought their A-game. Even the talented youngsters from R.L.I.C that were barely visible from behind the keys and drums. Cherlyn Maloney’s set was very well put together and Redeemers’ energetic Soca performance made us break a sweat very early. Shawn English, who from long time has chosen the Hip-Hop route, owned the stage with his cousin and band. The crowd was amazing and I could only hope that we all kept it holy and refrained from “thiefin a lil backball”
It can only get better from here once the right spirit and purpose for hosting Christian events like these is maintained. GospelFest 2015 was a great response to the question of what really is Christian entertainment. Kudos to the promoters who worked hard to make this possible and it is good to know that you who were behind the curtain planning, are actually Christians. Even though you guys are fresh on the scene, you certainly turned heads.
Lets do this again sometime. Soon. Real soon.
– Samuel Medas