By Tim R - Scarboro Sessions - 03/23/2005
Credited with coining the term Reggae as well as helping to shape its sound during the 60's in Jamaica, Toots and the Maytals are one of the most recognizable names in music today. On this Wednesday night, they would take to the stage at Club Soda.
The opening act, Cutti, was a great showcase of roots music, along with some Somali-influenced tracks. Their short acoustic set opened with an acapella version of the reggae classic "Tay Lay Lay". The highlights were the songs in which one of the female backup singers sang in her native Somali. All in all, this was a great display of global Reggae music.
Of course, everyone wanted to see the main act, the legendary Toots and the Maytals. This former ska band, turned Reggae pioneers, really came out of the gates with a lot of energy and nice vibes. Right away, they wasted no time going to their hits, with "Pressure Drop" being the second song performed. When you have a catalogue as deep as theirs, it must be difficult to make a set list that will please everyone. Even so, the crowd certainly seemed pleased. Blazing through hits such as, "Sweet and Dandy", "Bam Bam" and "Funky Kingston", Toots showed the energy of a young dancehall DJ, constantly vibing with female audience members and even inviting a throng of people on stage just before their final number and first big hit "54-46, That's My Number".
This was a show I would have loved to have taken my father to, as it was a big mix of people, from young to old, and from black to white. The diversity of the crowd is a real testament to the power of their music, bringing all these people together and lifting their souls. I felt as though I was six years old again at a house party in my uncle's basement.
I recommend that you go out and pick up some of their music and then you might come very close to feeling the vibes we felt that night.
[Tune in to Scarboro Sessions Tuesdays 4pm-6pm]