Toots and The Maytals Still Giving Fans All They Got
reggaewire | October 15, 2008 at 12:58 pmby
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Headliners Toots and the Maytals took the stage and gave the crowd an encouraging welcome, “We’re not a sit-down kind of band. Come down and stake out your spot now” said Jamaican native Toots Hibbert. The band opened with their “Get Up, Stand Up” as more people made their way to the floor in front of the stage.
The band followed with their cover of Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman” and it was surprising not only how well the song works for reggae, but how similar Hibbert’s voice is at times to Charles’. It has elements of those deep throaty rasps and soulfully scraping high hollow notes that Charles was a master of.
As the band worked through their songs, the floor filled up. It was an extremely diverse crowd - there were long-hairs and gray-hairs, buttoned-ups and dread locks all swaying and bouncing together. It seems reggae has the uncanny ability to bring people together.
Hibbert’s daughter, backup singer Leba-Hibbert Thomas had a chance to show her own musical ability on “True Love is Hard to Find”. The rest of the bandmates created a breezy sound that melded together well to give the group their feel-good vibe.
There were issues with the sound system throughout the night, and Hibbert had to stop to address the problem. He asked the man running the sound board to check his microphone, because it kept reverberating with feedback. He was clearly upset over the ordeal, asking “What’s my name?” as if his fame should prevent him from having to deal with matters like this. He didn’t let it ruin the evening, though and the band played quite a very long, happy set.
For audience-favorite and final song, “54-46 That's My Number” he pulled over 30 people on stage to sing and dance with him. It’s amazing how Hibbert took such a bleak topic as his jail-time and turned it into the upbeat smash-hit that it has become. The whole house was hopping and bopping to this one, including the packed stage.
Wrapping up the evening, as the audience began to wear down, Toots left with good tidings. Apparently forgiving of the sound issues, he said, “What’s the name of this place? It’s a very nice place. We’ve been coming through Boston…and this is one of the best places we play.”
The Reggae News Agency
www.riddimjamaica.net | www.riddimja.com
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