It's 9:30a.m. and we're just waking up as I lie in bed to write this...groggy, achey, sandy-eyed and sore...oh so sore. Actually I have to write this in bed because the body is not-so-politely demanding that I remain horizontal for a little while yet (must be getting older).
Sent out an email and a blog post late last night letting you all know that we'd be closed today (no whining please, I do this once or twice a year and am confident that you can handle it if you really put your mind to it). Here's an update from last night's festivities.Pato. Image by Nate Walkner.
We got home around 2:30 a.m. and waking up this morning to the rain and throbbing knee said "Good thing you sent that email out last night, David, cuz you ain't getting out of bed for a while." Man, that was a riot last night. (You know, even my fingers are sore this morning...typing is like work!)Pato Banton and the Now Generation Band...just an unbelievably uplifting, energizing and musically awesome performance. The Stump was packed and we worked our tails off. My knee is swollen and raw this morning, I think from running up and down the stairs resetting the breaker and then hauling tables back in at 1:30. 60 minutes on the inversion table ought to do the trick today.
Pato himself was every bit and more the gentleman and shining spirit I had been told he was. He is patient, humble, funny and a great entertainer, connecting with the crowd and getting people to move, dance, sing along with him, and even turn to hug the people around them. He took time to sign CDs and photos, take pictures and chat with people, was very gracious and made everyone feel special.
Everyone in the crowd was gracious and patient and joyful (there usually seem to be one or two nimrods who don't quite get it...they make the dork list). Everybody loved Pato. The Now Generation band members were, to person, absolutely wonderful and sweet. Everyone in the band was wonderful - really fine people - but special mention goes to Daniel (guitar) and Antoinette (keyboards) and Brian (trumpet) just because I got to chat and get to know them a little bit more. Lovely, joyful spirits, all of them.Daniel on guitar. Image by Nate Walkner.
The only real hitch of the night was the electricity. The breaker popped a few times in mid-song and I had to run downstairs to reset it (I think that tee'd off my already shaky knee). But man, Pato and the band were unbelievably professional and gracious during those few moments, carrying on, making light of it and just having fun. It had to be a little disconcerting (pun intended) for them, but Pato is a pro and all was cool. The crowd picked up on it too and sang along with him during those few seconds when the speakers died. Audio man Mitch was Johnny-on-the-spot and "fixed" the situation eventually...thanks Mitch.
They were pros through everything, when Pato improvised with a cooler to gain a bit more height so that the crowd could see him better, when someone from the audience invaded their space to dance during a tune (invading the band space is a huge no-no, people...and that's putting it mildly), when taking time after the show to connect with people, when setting up and breaking down (a well oiled machine they were).
The policia arrived, as expected, with a noise complaint and they also were excellent. I figured there would be someone who would call, even though it was early in the evening and it was awesome music they were hearing. But the cops were great, told us to have fun and that they were just making us aware of the complaint, and that at around 10:00 we might want to bring it down a notch if the show went any longer than that. The TR police have always been good to us, very professional and supportive.
However, I did have a moment or two when I wondered if the old building could take what Pato and the band were putting out. A 100+ year-old building with questionable wiring...the bottles on the shelves were vibrating forward and one bottle did actually vibrate off the shelf and fall (fortunately it didn't break). This was the largest band that Stumpjack has held thus far, which was initially a little cause for concern, but they made it work and work well. But I realize now that we need to address a couple of issues, sound and electrical especially, as we continue with these events into the future.
Nate and Marty have placed some images and video onto their Flickr sites (click here for Marty's - Click here for Nate's, Nate's pics are incredible, he has two sets labeled Pato Banton) and I'm placing some video on our YouTube site too. Marty has a little video/audio with Pato singling out "Mr. Green," our good friend Bill. So, Bill was one of the stars of the audience along with Sarah (the first "lady in red"), Bobbie, Jayne and someone else who I don't recall. Those moments by Pato really added to the performance and to the night, as they turned the show into more of a "party of friends" and brought people together.
The music was incredible. They are all very talented musicians and I think it's a credit to Pato's talent and musicianship that he has assembled such a top notch band. His own songs are uplifting and infectious and you would be hard-pressed to try to not move with the rhythm and sing along. He's a great showman and an exceptional human being, who is living his mission to bring positivity and love to people through his music and message. It was an honor and pleasure to have him at our place. We're looking to get him and the band to perform at EthnicFest next year (and maybe yearly) and to return to the Stump for another gig as well.
Finally, many thanks to our friend, Don, for working his tail off to make all this happen too. You hook up with people who have a passion and the care to make something happen and good things do indeed happen. Thanks, Don.
If you were one of the lucky ones who saw Pato last night please make a comment on here about it. We want to share with Pato and the band and give them more reason to come back again.