Thu Apr 16th, 2009 at 12:12:13 PM EST
For those of you who were not lucky enough to be in Zurich, Switzerland last night...AND inspired enough to get your butt out the door and go hear some truly great music - well, all I can say is go see TOOTS & THE MAYTALS as soon as he comes near to your town!! You are really missing something special - one of the OLD MASTERS!!
Toots first started playing and recording in the middle 1960s (see link to discography below), and is actually credited with first publicly calling the music we all now know as REGGAE. But what is particularly special about Toots is energy and intensity, which is really a mix of Memphis Soul and Reggae - think of a Jamaican Otis Redding - PLUS, the MAYTALS are a GREAT BAND!!!
Funny, I have been hearing Toots songs for years (you have too, and may not even know it!), but he really only came more clearly into my consciousness in the 1990s, so since then I have been trying to synch up my schedule with his and catch one of his shows. All I can say is DAMN!! What took me so long?? Too much great music missed...
Anyway, I neglected to bring a note pad with me last night, so will construct a partial setlist and a few comments - below:
The show last night (April 15th, 2009) was actually a birthday gift to myself (comng in a few days - damn I'm getting old...but this brought the young Bob in me!! WOOHOO!) - so I celebrated it with a buddy (poor Lil caught a bug and had to stay home - boo!), at a real cool old music hall in Zurich called the "VOLKSHAUS" - maybe it holds a 1000 people, with a little balcony upstairs (with about 4 rows circling the main floor), with the main floor being open space for dancing and moving around. MY KIND OF SPACE! Sorta reminds me of the Fillmore Auditorium back in SF:
Okay, just to acknowledge this - there was a great young German Reggae band that opened for Toots: Sebastian Stürm - get poly-rhythmic action - and very fun! So definitely worth hearing.
After them came out the MAYTALS and their two SWEET BEAUTIFUL ANGELIC BACKUP SIINGERS, and once they all got rolling, TOOTS came out and started right into action, singing and touching the audiences hands. As you can probably tell by now, I tend to rave on the great OLD BANDS (YES!!), and so really feel a sense of musical history with someone like TOOTS - it makes me so happy (and a bit sad feeling like we are all getting older - as THE DEAD do their first tour in four years in the US - yes, without Jerry, but still solid). Anyway, heres the setlist I can remember (and not in order:
Toots & the Maytals - Volkshaus, Zurich - April 15, 2009:
Sweet & Dandy
That Was My Number
West Jamaica, Country Roads
Louie Louie (!!!)
Reggae Got Soul (!!!!)
Bam Bam (!!!)
Irie Irie (guessing the name here)
And one or two more
I had some favorites I wanted to hear, and I got almost all my wishes!! so needless to say I am thrilled (still even!!) . Reggae Got Soul was amazing, as was the Reggae-fied Louie Louie, and he pulled out an acoustic guitar and played a soft version of Bam Bam, in which he got a great call and response going with the audience that was a Reggae-Gospel-Soul mix, that kept repeating the haunting tune. In fact, the whole show was full of call and response, real fun shifts in dynamics - loud to soft, soft to loud, slow beat to sudden shifts to double or triple beats, with his howling in his gruff soul voice!! And the MAYTALS ARE TOTALLY IN SYNCH WITH TOOTS!!
So - it was a G-R-E-A-T f**king show, by one of the great showmen and Reggae founders. All I can say is, GO SEE THEM WHILE YOU CAN!! You will see what I mean! Here's their current tour schedule:
Toots & the Maytals - discography:
Cheers and a big thanks to TOOTS and the MAYTALS!!