At this year’s Panorama Steelband Competition – always one of the most popular events at the West Indian American Carnival and Parade – Super Blue and The Love Band’s “Fantastic Friday” appeared to act as a charm for the four steel pan orchestras that performed it, as renditions of this mega-hit swept the top four positions. Casym seized first place with a score of 481; Pan Sonatas moved up to second place with 470 points; D’Radoes once more placed third with 469 points; and, in its first appearance at Panorama, Pan Fantasy Steelband came in a very commendable fourth place with 467 points.
The biggest shock of the evening was Adlib Steel Orchestra’s fall to sixth place with its performance of “Fog.” Adlib won first place the last two years and placed in the top three positions the last seven years running. On closer inspection, in terms of points won, Adlib’s placing wasn’t as far down as it might seem: there was only an eight-point spread between second and sixth place, while the difference between first and tenth place was a spread of 63 points.
Claiming fifth place with its interpretation of “Wining Queen” was Despers USA, while Pantonic Steel Orchestra came in seventh with “Live Yuh Life Like Yuh Playing Mas.” These two orchestras scored 464 and 450 points respectively.
Two bands tied for eighth and ninth place with 433 points. A tiebreaker left Crossfire Steel Orchestra with its performance of “Leh Go” in eighth place and Harmony Music Makers, which played “Going for Gold,” in ninth. Metro’s rendition of “Somebody” garnered a score of 418 points, putting it in tenth place.Each steel orchestra consisted of anywhere from about 60 to a maximum of 100 players. They each performed for up to ten minutes. If they went over, they got a half point deduction. The five judges marked each orchestra on its arrangement for forty points, general performance forty points, quality of sound ten points, and rhythm ten points, for a possible total of one hundred points from each judge.