I don’t listen to a ton of reggae, but when I do, my favorite act is Toots and the Maytals. I’ll admit I haven’t delved too deeply into his catalog, but I quite like a lot of the songs that are always on his “best of” collections. So I was excited to see him peform, even if he’s past his prime.
It was cool to see Toots on stage, and it was cool to hear songs like “Time Tough,” “Monkey Man,” “Pressure Drop” and “54-46 That’s My Number” played live. And it was cool to be in a hall full of people who like this stuff.
But the show wasn’t as satisfying as it could’ve been because I could barely hear Toots’ vocals. I don’t know if it was because of the Newport’s notoriously muddy sound mix or because his voice was thin that night, but it often seemed like I could hear the vocals in my head more than in my ears. If you’ve seen him in recent years, I’d be curious to hear whether his vocals were strong.