Friday night at SOhO was unlike most others. The State Street staple, which regularly plays host to a wide array of musical acts, saw its stage rocked on by none other than legendary reggae artist Don Carlos, who shook up the venue with the vigor of a youngster and the presence of a seasoned pro.
Preceded by opening acts Litmore and The Divine Crime, the legendary Carlos graced the SOhO stage with his nephew, up-and-coming performer Jimi D and a barrel of old and new tunes. Carlos worked the crowd with his smooth and easygoing disposition, both through his latest serenades and numbers from his musical back catalogue. During tunes from his new album, Changes, and older crooners like “Just a Passing Glance,” Carlos seemed committed to consistently entertain the crowd and genuinely enjoy his own show.
Carlos opened up the night with a bang, getting right into the groove with the newly penned “I Love Jah Jah.” And his ability to both perform and thoroughly deliver an entertaining show remained visibly evident with each new track. Carlos accompanied said tunes with gentle dance grooves that sent the audience into shockwaves. And their undying hunger for more was palpable in the air and did not go unnoticed by the celebrated singer; Carlos continually expressed his gratitude for the crowd with peace signs, verbal expressions of thanks, and air kisses. And the audience reacted in kind with thundering cheers.
Whether it was assembling a giant groove session for “Ride on Christine,” asking for autographs as Carlos concluded his set for the first time, or begging for an encore, Friday’s crowd knew how to say “thanks” — and Carlos reciprocated with a setlist that seemed design to please. Stepping onstage once again in response to the demands for more, he played until the SOhO lights flickered on, much to the chagrin of the crowd. By night’s end it became clear that Carlos’ timeless appeal was mush more than “just a passing glance.”