Burning Spear concert review
Tue, 01 Jul 2014, 7 years ago
MTELUS in Montreal, Canada
Lead up to the event was great, affordable drinks, good service, excellent parking no BS on arrival.
Good crowd on hand, the right kind of haze as we walked in. The place was packed.
Ive heard venues with better acoustics, especially for a reggae show the bass could actually have be felt a little better. Drum levels were high (for Sly) and vocals were inconsistent (for Spear)
I will say that a rasta show in Montreal, is vastly different from one in Toronto. Spear was greeted as a musical legend, and he is well deserving – A Toronto crowd, with many more elder Jamaicans and Rastas would have made this a more authentic experience.
I guess those rastas know just how petty French Quebecers are on the concept of small amounts of marijuana. Really sad.
I was shocked that the presence of Bitty Mclean was not met with far greater acknowledgement; he lifted the entire show. His performance was positive and danceable; maybe an odd match for Spear seekers. That said Bitty neglected to sing so many of his finer tracks, it was baffling.
I’ve never seen/heard an odder intro to a headline set – the usual medley of riddims is to be expected, but fresh off the strangest MC hocking merchandise, the riddim mix played out like Phil Donahue was about to come out. It contained zero roots flair, it felt more like a Just for Laughs promo.
The moment Spear came out he was as expected, almost glowing, but for me his set started the moment he started dancing, then playing the drums – putting any fears of his advanced age to rest.
I agree that the backing band were on point, they seemed to have shed the sound from their intro, and seemed to be having the best time of anyone there. The riddims couldn’t have been more precise.
Please Montreal, if you are going to a reggae show, don’t be aghast that people are there to have whatever kind of fun they wish to have…there were a few odd birds whispering warnings in peoples ears about the things they shouldn’t be doing. It was lame.
You have security for a reason, and they will surely do their job.
I too was surprised at what Spear opted to sing, this was a performance meant to be loud and energetic – when it could have been a little more dim and far more rootsy.