It was a celebration of Jamaican music at an intimate concert organized byÂ Simmer Down Sound.
Setting the mood for the evening was the DJ’s of Simmer Down Sound, who did a great job playing a mix of reggae dancehall and dub for the enthusiastic crowd. Simmer Down Sound also promote reggae/ska in Chicago by throwing showcase events such as the one that brought Fada Dougou and The Drastics to this stage.
The Drastics are a band that has been making music for 11 years. They’ve released three full-length albums and three EPs of dub reggae music. Their roster is made up of accomplished musicians who, together, have labored tirelessly to keep dub reggae alive in Chicago.
The band took the stage to a crowd ready for a great show. Frontman Fada Dougou demonstrated his natural warmth as he engaged his audience. The crowd danced and waved arms in the air as he exercised his rhyme skills with his rap during their opening song, which blended hip-hop vocals with funky dub reggae rhythms.
The first set was a mix of original material and a few classic covers, all done with journeyman efficiency. One particular highlight was their unique rendition of Bob Marley’s Waiting In Vain.
After a break, The Drastics returned to the appreciation of fans in the smoky venue.
The audience could be seen singing along with Fada, hanging on his words. More reggae and ska followed as they played more of their original songs as well some classics. They ended the set with “Prophet Song.”
For this night, dub reggae was alive and well in Chicago.