Life is One Big Party When You Stay Young: Shaggy Live
Life is one big party when you stay young and that is exactly what Shaggy has done: stayed young, fresh and always a party. Since breaking into the mainstream music scene in 1993, the venerable artist known as Shaggy has brought us a plethora of hits from dance hall to reggae to pop. His biggest hits of course include “It Wasn’t Me,” “Angel,” “Mr Bombastic,” and who could forget his sensual duet, “Mr Lover,” with none other than miss Janet Jackson. More recently Shaggy has collaborated with the likes of R&B superstar Ne-Yo, and according to Shaggy at his recent concert in New York, he is working with a production team at Sony on some new material for an upcoming album.
Always a more then casual fan of Shaggy, when I found out he was stopping in NYC on his current tour, I knew I had to go. Walking into Webster Hall in New York’s East Village, I was pleasantly surprised by a rowdy yet respectful the crowd was, who seemed to only want to dance to some pop infused reggae music. Unfortunately for Shaggy, like many others in the crowd, I did not expect a show in NYC, where bars and venues are open until 4am or later, to start so early. Luckily though, I didn’t miss much, and walked in just as Shaggy and his live band went into “Angel,” one of my favorite songs of all time. The whole crowed knew every word, not just to this hit, but to most of his songs.
Yes, it is true. Shaggy’s voice is just as deep and just as silky smooth as it sounds on the radio, like a well-tuned bass instument. The rest of the night ebbed and flowed from loud to quiet, from music to banter, from hit to just good old-fashioned reggae and dancehall. There are few shows where I enjoy the artist banter as much as I enjoy the music. Shaggy’s banter was not only funny but whitty, topical and surprisingly sophisticated.
The musical arrangement was fantastic. The diversity in the type of music he played was of course important, but the band backing him up rocked. They jammed; they rocked; they bopped and trapped, even busting out blistering guitar solos here and there.
Overall the night was fantastic. Shaggy and co. put on a show to remember, a place to go back to, and most of all, memory to dance to.