It’s hard to believe that in 1968 Toots and the Maytals released their first single. To be stood in the midst of a packed Rock City crowd fifty years on, anticipating their appearance, was a glorious buzz and a feeling of privilege that you were soon to be in their presence.
The iconic group opened the show with tracks from their new album Reggae Time. I’ll admit that I’ve heard very little of the new stuff, but it warmed me and the crowd up smoothly into the reggae heaven of their classics that was to come later… And boy, how it did!
Out came the anticipated tunes that the crowd knew and loved, each flowing into one another. Their blend of reggae, ska, funk and soul have always made them unique in their sound and music. The vibe in the audience rose to audio heaven as they performed Pressure Drop, Monkey Man, Take Me Home, Country Roads and 54-56.
The energy and quality of their stage performance is still very much there and it filters out to every member of the crowd. Watching an artist in their 70’s having this level of stamina and vivacity is awe-inspiring and glorious. Everyone was dancing, smiling and feeling the wonderful groove of the music. There was no way anyone could stand still to this experience.
To see Toots and the Maytals perform live is a must in life. You come away with your soul lifted and a sense that you have been lucky to witness something very special, and that certainly happened for me and the fans.