I never thought I’d get the chance to see a living legend live. I mean, the bands/artists most of us listen to that shaped genres are long gone. Last Tuesday I saw Toots And The Maytals at Lee’s Palace.
Reggae music hits this nerve that no other has. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think it’s somewhere between the honesty and sincerity that can be clearly heard in every word of an old reggae album. It’s genuine. Those dudes were playing music because they absolutely loved it. They meant every word they sang and there’s no doubting that. I also think the recording has a lot to do with it. The fact that the majority of it was recorded live off the floor with little to no over-dubbing blows me away. The little imperfections haven’t been covered up by auto-tuning and it really just adds to the feel. So good!
Back to the show… When the lights came up, the band started jamming out a tune for a few minutes, then Toots made his entry and they kicked into Pressure Drop. I knew they’d start with a classic but I was expecting Funky Kingston first. None the less, holy hell, what a way to start the night! They continued roll out song-after-song for over 2 hours! They played everything I hoped they would – and it sounded 10x better than I ever could have imagined. All the songs that were re-done on True Love were played the old school way, which was awesome!
The highlight of the night for me came about half way through the set. Just a few songs after Take Me Home, Country Roads – the lights dimmed down, Toots picked up an acoustic guitar and continued to tell everyone how this is a special treat for us since he hasn’t been around for a long time. Apparently, he never plays guitar live, but he did that night. He walked up to the front of the stage and started playing and singing Love Gonna Walk Out On Me with a single spotlight shining down on him. Right at the point where the guitar and bass usually come in, the whole band kicked in full force as the lights came back up. That was probably the most amazing moment I’ve witnessed at a show! Simply amazing!
I could go on and on about how good this show was, but I think you get the point. Now that I’ve seen the best show I’m ever gonna see… now what?