April 1, 2013

Pato Banton @ SOhO ~ March 28, 2013

One Love, One Heart, One Destiny

photo by p. dunkley
I’m not going to insult reggae by trying to add cute reggae-isms into this review. Trust me, if it was authentic, I would. But legendary reggae singer Pato Banton was so amazingly genuine that I would feel like a complete phony for even trying.

To be honest, I was surprised that as big as reggae is in Santa Barbara, not many folks were out. The crowd grew as the night went on, but it was actually really nice to have room to dance without bouncing off of everyone around you while trying to hold your precious dance floor ground. 

Pato took to the stage late in an explosion of positivity. The entire band was dressed in all white, with horns, strings, keys, and flags in tow. The horn section was two handsome older gents, while the bassist was a smiling kid with long dreads, the keyboardist a young gal, and the guitarist and drummer looked this they could play in Sublime. As for Pato, he was a man small in stature with a huge presence. He began the set by telling the crowd to “shake off any negativity” and instructed us to hold our hands up and shake them. And we did.

photo by p. dunkey

Pato and the band then weaved positive emotions around the crowd of young college kids and youngish career professionals, and had them, stranger or not, smiling and grooving with one another. It was what Pato labeled as genuine “roots rock reggae.” They played all the favorites including “Legalize It,” “I Do Not Sniff The Coke,” and “Groovin’,” utilizing some stop-motion moves and some choreographed dance routines.

All the while Pato was preaching Love. The “Reggae Philosophy: One Love.” He went on, “one love, one heart, one destiny. All Gods Children, brothers and sisters. Look around you and hug your neighbor.” And we did!!

You could feel the love in the house. This was an incredibly intimate show, and I felt a positive shift in my outlook as I left.  I am definitely going to be practicing more of the Reggae Philosophy.