I’ve never been to Haiti, or even the West Indian Day Parade on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, but Terminal 5 may have been the next best thing Saturday night. Former Fugee, Wyclef Jean celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut solo album The Carnival as well as his new album J’ouvert. T5 definitely felt like a Haitian Carnival. There were lots of artists, many not even on the bill, who took the stage for this party that ran until Wyclef was told he had to end the show…at 2am!
Warming up the crowd were some rappers and an indie/folk singer before the first billed act The Janes took the stage. These girls are a new R&B/Pop girl group from New York, and they really heated things up.
Next up was Kassav’, a Caribbean band from Guadeloupe formed way back in 1979. These guys and girls really started the carnival-like vibe that remained throughout the night.
By the time Wyclef took the stage there was a full-blown party going on. Throughout his set he brought out many dancers, rappers, R&B and gospel singers, even bringing up some guest from the crowd. One fan who joined him on stage was a Jewish kid rapping in Creole who had Wyclef totally stunned. Speaking of crowds, Wyclef gets an award for crowd participation. I’ve yet to see an artist perform from the crowd as much as he did. At one point he actually climbed onto the railing of the balcony.
A first for me, Wyclef reached for my camera to bring on stage and snap some pics of the crowd. No disrespect, but lets just say he’s a much better rapper than a photographer. He also brought former President of Haiti Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly on stage. Martelly was featured on the title track of original Carnival album.
As far as a Fugees reunion, Wyclef says to ask Lauryn and Pras because he’s ready. How I’d love to see that!
Article: Michael DiGiovanni