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Live Concert Review: Richie Spice At S.O.B.'s
Published April 20, 2007

By Matt Scheiner

The Reggae hitmaker, backed the New Kingston Band, brought his unique energy to S.O.B.'s for a short set on April 17, 2007.

Wonky smells were wafting through S.O.B.’s in NYC during Richie Spice’s short set, providing smoky accompaniment to his hit anthems “Marijuana,” “Brown Skin,” “Youths Dem So Cold” and “Sunny Day.” Despite some sound issues fuzzing Spice’s soft voice, the crowd filled in the gaps with ebullient sing-alongs, fists pounding in the air and lighters striking flame. At the beginning of the set, Richie seemed out of sorts, perhaps inhaling a little too much of the atmosphere, and just as soon as he fell into his groove he confusingly walked off stage for an unknown reason, but was cajoled and jostled by his entourage to carry on. Spice’s usual backing band was not behind him, but a young group called The New Kingston Band laid down his tracks effortlessly while sporting enormous just-happy-to-be-here grins through every “rewind,” rim shot and rat-at-tat-tat. The New Kingston Band performed some originals of their own preceding Spice’s set and their youthful energy, powerful harmonies and choreographed moves were much appreciated (one band member was even playing a keytar). It was too bad that Spice’s set was so short, but the crowd just seemed happy to be in the presence of the reggaeman hit maker. The house was filled with beautiful people feeling the vibes. There is nothing quite like scanning a crowd and seeing everyone swaying in unison, shouting out proclamations and singing every word — almost to the extent of drowning out the performer. But it is a good energy shared by all — one that you can feel and can’t help but get wrapped up in. For if reggae has a pulse than the people are its heart, and there is definitely no bigger heart than NYC reggae.