I heard the band before I saw them, as I was was walking up the long path from the parking lot to the waterfront tent last night. The heavy 1-3 offset reggae beat on Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was the giveaway: Easy Star All-Stars were in the house. (Tent, actually. But still.)
The anticpipated follwup to their hugely popular Dub Side of the Moon and Radiohead albums came out last fall. Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band is a unique dub/reggae takeoff on the Fab Four’s 1967 classic. I’d been listening to the recording all day as a warmup, and when the time came for Lucy, Eleanor Rigby, and When I’m Sixty-Four (three of my faves) I was happy to hear the group sounded even better in person than on the release. “They could have been the headliner!” – was a statement I heard repeatedly.
Easy Star was the main attraction for me, though the two following groups were sure to be great as well. I would have left happy if it had only been them.
From there the evening moved on to the Itals and the Wailing Souls, as the tent and waterfront filled up. I didn’t hear much of either group, unfortunately. By the time Easy Star left the stage it was time to walk up the hill and get to the Flynn for the Sonny Rollins concert.
Day 9, part two coming shortly…