Jimmy Cliff Live, Jimmy Cliff Troubadour, Jimmy Cliff Band, Jimmy Cliff CMJ
The Jimmy Cliff band was an eclectic group of musicians, young and old, all wearing read button up shirts that said “Jimmy Cliff” on the front and had an eye of Horus with the title of Cliff’s new album (Rebirth) on the back. One of the band members acted as hype man, shouting “Are you ready for show time?” Chanting it until the audience was in a tizzy, he brought out Jimmy Cliff, adorned by a yellow snake skin suit. At age 64, Cliff moved around the stage more than most teen punk garage rock lead singers do. He would jump into the air, flail his arms as he sang, grind against imaginary bodies, and kick his legs with the flexibility of a gymnast. And he did all of this for two hours. It was as if he was channeling the spirit of the Energizer Bunny.
Truly a legend, Jimmy Cliff could probably sell out arena venues, but playing a small venue like the Troubadour, with a 450 person capacity, gave the concert a very intimate and soulful feel. Everyone was pressed against each other, singing along with all the lyrics, dripping sweat, smiling in unison. This also led to some rambunctiousness when people brought down the house until Cliff performed three encores starting with the song “One More,” after which the audience chanted for “One more!” Cliff came out to not only play “The Harder They Come,” but also enact scenes from the film. Cliff’s final encore was “Wonderful World, Beautiful People,” appropriately ending a beautiful night.
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