Date: September 20th, 2003
Venue: Hudson Valley Riverfront Festival, Poughkeepsie NY
Every year Poughkeepsie hosts this festival featuring a variety of music acts and junk like that, or at least I think they do it every year?
Anyway, reggae legend Jimmy Cliff played the festival this year and me being the cheap bastard that I am, it was free so that sparked some interest when I heard he was in the area. I thought my brothers and I were gonna be late but we made it right on time as Jimmy Cliff’s band was tuning up. The area was super packed with people, and it didn’t help having seats all over the place so the crowd had to go back farther in and couldn’t squish in. I made my way around to the left hand side of the stage and waiting for Jimmy Cliff to hit the stage. In front of me was this fat white trash family sitting in the metal chairs (I’m surprised the seats could hold them) and they were hitting their annoying kids. I don’t think I could look at them, nor sit near them so I had to move, I couldn’t sit in that spot for an hour and a half.
Which is how long Jimmy Cliff played for which was excellent. He took the stage and played a few new songs from his new album “Fantastic Plastic People.” I forget how old Jimmy is but the man still jumps around the stage and still has a great singing voice. I haven’t seen Jimmy Cliff before but I’ve always wanted to because I’ve liked him for years. He’s in one of my favorite movies, Club Paradise with Robin Williams. You thought I was gonna say “Harder They Come” didn’t you? haha. I actually haven’t seen that movie so. At one point, he played the song “Terror” from his new album and it deals with 9/11 and the crowd was kind of silent for that one. He played some great classics like “Vietnam” “Harder They Come” “You Can Get It If You Really Want” “Sitting In Limbo” “Wild World” “I Can See Clearly Now” and many others. He played “Many Rivers To Cross” which was a crowd favorite and gave me goosebumps. After the set, he came out for an encore and played 2 more songs, and including one of them was “Bongo Man,” which I don’t really like. I think he should have ended up on a more upbeat tune than that one but whatever, it was still an awesome set. After Jimmy Cliff, there was an awesome fireworks display for a good 20 minutes. They played the Star Wars theme song so I was a happy guy. Man, some of those fireworks are freakin’ loud! I kept screaming “Grenade” and “Get in your foxholes” but no one heard me with the fireworks blasting in the sky. Anywho, If you haven’t seen Jimmy Cliff yet, you better get to it Sonny because the man won’t be doing this for ever. This was an awesome FREE show!