Roots, Rock, Reggae

Catch Toots & the Maytals at the UC Theatre and the Fillmore.

Wanna hear something dumb? In college, I was once driving on the highway in Connecticut with my then-boyfriend, a dude named Drew. Bored of whatever was playing on the radio, I slipped in my 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection Toots & the Maytals CD, figuring that two angsty, over-worked, and not-yet-legal college students could do with a bit of rocksteady reggae to help de-stress and chill out.

I was wrong. Drew, who was from Oahu, found it almost sacrilegious that I would deign to play the music of the islands in such an awful place like Connecticut. Apparently, it’s an affront to play happy, carefree tunes from sunny locales in a deciduous forest biome during the dead of winter. (Either that, or Drew was massively depressed and didn’t want upbeat music to cheer him up.)

But whatever, he’s obviously wrong, because how else would you explain Toots & the Maytals’ current tour, which — in addition to a stop at Coachella — encompasses the West Coast and all of Europe? Though few places on their tour can match the warmth of Jamaica, something tells me that people still show up to their shows.

Toots & The Maytals
At 8 p.m., Friday, April 14, at the UC Theatre in Berkeley. $30.50;
And at 9 p.m., Friday, April 21, at the Fillmore. $30.50;

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