Toots and the Maytals
The Coach House
November 21, 2012
Straight from Kingston, Jamaica, classic soul reggae group Toots and the Maytals brought those good island vibes to a not-too-large crowd at San Juan Capistrano's Coach House on Wednesday night. Despite the fact that it was the night before turkey day, everyone in the crowd was smiling from ear-to-ear while awaiting the much anticipated group. Frontman Frederick “Toots” Hibbert stepped on stage with an all-red leather outfit and shades he only lifted once throughout his whole performance.
Toots and the Maytals played most of their classic hits from albums like Jamaican Monkey Man as well as Flip and Twist. Among their long discography, the first choice song, “Bim Today (Bam Tomorrow)” put everyone in the irie mood with just enough skanking for even the highest dude in the joint (no pun intended). Maybe I have a bad sense of smell, but never did I smell any trace of pot anywhere which proved to be my evening's biggest surprise. Another crowd favorite, “Pressure Drop,” made hands clap and bodies sway all around.
In between songs, Toots shared stories about troubled women, John Denver and an ugly monkey man he based on his “Monkey Man” song. He played the classic “Country Road” with a Jamaican twist and everyone, young and old, chimed in to this classic Denver tune.
And of course, where would a reggae set be without “54-46 was My Number” to round off the evening. Toots did call-response where he made the audience “give it to him 13 times,” and they did.
Critical Bias: I'm a surfer girl, these guys have been on my playlists from the beginning.
Crowd: Super mellow people of all ages, colors and walks of life.
Overheard: “TOOOOOTS, yah!”
Random Notebook Dump: During a pause in a song, some ditzy chick yelled out “say wah?!” and after every pause in the song afterwards, random dudes would echo her. Funny