U.K. Music Hall of Famer and prominent reggae artist Pato Banton performed in Brookings on Thursday night, causing many fans to ask, “Why?”
Before starting to play at the 101 Bar and Grill, Banton told the crowd that he had many longtime fans approach him before the show to ask:
“Why? Why are you playing a show in Brookings? And how are we getting a free show?” Banton said, echoing fans’ statements.
“We really wanted to stop in the smaller towns because a lot of the fans out here don’t get the music,” Banton told me after the show. “It wasn’t about the money or even about stopping; it was really about coming to see the people in smaller cities.”
Banton played in Medford on Friday, with dates ahead in Port Angeles, Wash., and Sandpoint, Idaho.
He told the 135-person-capacity audience that he actually tried to play a show in Crescent City, but when he called the owner of Shooters Billiards and introduced himself, the owner responded: “Pato who?” and said she would think about his request to perform.
“But the way she said, ‘maybe, let me think about it,’ made it sound like ‘maybe next year,’” Banton told the crowd.
“As I was just about to give up playing in this region, (keyboardist) Antoinette went on Facebook and she found (Brookings-based reggae artist) Sequoyah,” Banton said. He called Sequoyah, aka Evan Dunn, and said:
“Hey Sequoyah, I’m Pato,” when Dunn excitedly interjected, “Pato Banton?”
Dunn connected Banton and his band, the Now Generation, with the 101 Bar and Grill, and it was on. Dunn was even called onstage to freestyle reggae-rap with Banton. “It was the biggest musical name I’ve ever been affiliated with at this point; it was huge; it was nuts,” Dunn said after the show.
“It was a beautiful show; beautiful people, man. We’ll be coming back for sure,” Banton said after the show.
Coming back to Brookings, in all likelihood — not Crescent City, as Banton told the audience:
“All of you guys when you go back to Crescent City, tell the owner of Shooters, give Pato a call. And when she calls me, I’m going to say, ‘maybe next year.’”