Opening Bands: De Sol
Date: Thursday December 30th 2003
Venue: The Downtown, Farmingdale, NY
The Downtown sold out on Tuesday at 10PM as I walked in, 5 minutes before the opening act came on. When I walked in the place was packed like I had never seen it before.
Note to self – next time get advance tix. De Sol put on a pretty good set. They play latin style rock with plenty of percussion. Definately good to dance to, not that there was any room. They played all originals, as far as I could tell, and closed with Santana’s Oye Como Va which drew a good reception from the crowd. Thw Wailers (www.wailers.com) came on shortly after, playing to an eager but mellow crowd. The place became a little “foggy” right away, which I found odd for the Downtown.
I’ve seen them about 4 times and they played their typical set – War, Who the Cap Fit, Rastaman Vibration, 3 Little Birds, I shot the Sheriff etc. It wasn’t until this performance that I noticed what a well rounded band they really are. As a huge ska fan, I can tell you the horn section was great. The percussion was top notch, the 2 female backup singers were phenominal, and Gary Pine does a fine job at lead vocals. All of this together, of course, sounded great on the Downtown’s legendary sound system.
The Wailers left the stage after 1 AM and little of the crowd had dispersed. Then all of the sudden the whole place started howling, clapping, and chanting for an encore. I’ve been to a bunch of heavy metal shows over the years and have never seen a band get a response like that! I don’t know how often the Wailers see that either because some of them looked like they were blushing. They returned to play a few more including Redemption Song and Exodus. Their early sellout should ensure a return to the Downtown some time soon. Don’t miss them if they play your town.