Monday, August 02, 2004

Burning Spear LIVE at The Culture Club

Last Thursday Night (July 29, 2004), Winston Rodney's Burning Spear played at The Culture Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Culture Club only holds a few hundred people and by 10:30pm when the show started, it was a very (overly) packed house. If it had been any other kind of show, fights would have broken out all over since you could hardly move. A couple of people I came with wanted to leave because they couldn't take it. Leaving was not an option for me though. I've been lucky enough to see Burning Spear a few times - in fact, The Burning Brass (featured on the "Live in Paris, Zenith '88" CD/video/DVD) played at my wedding. Maybe we'll write a piece on that sometime but for now, you can read a little more background on Winston Rodney and Burning Spear in an earlier BLOG entry - we will have a Burning Spear Artist page at soon.

Anyway, over packed house or not, I was there to see Winston and Burning Spear. If you end up against the back wall in front of the sound board where I decided to stand, you're only about 20-30 feet from the stage. I figured that was as good a spot as any and the sound mix at that spot couldn't have been better. By the second song, Winston and the band were already locking into a solid groove. In the small room and packed house (that was, Thank Jah, well air-conditioned) Burning Spear was awesome. Winston and band are consumate pros and deliver solid perfomances, show after show, but seeing them in a small club is a lot more powerful than seeing them at a big festival. Winston worked in new and old tunes in a mesmerizing mix. Even without a good spliff the flow of sound from the stage could easily transport you beyond the wall to wall press of people. My revelry was occasionally interrupted by someone moving by aggressively trying to reach the rest rooms but I spent most of the show on a different plane. Maybe it was just the very intimate nature of the night but I don’t think I have ever heard Burning Spear so Roots Rock solid. All I can say is if you ever have a chance to see Spear, particularly in a club setting like this was, DON’T MISS IT!!

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