“When I say Barrington, you say Levy!” shouted a man onstage wearing gold-framed sunglasses. “Barrington!”
“Levy!” the crowd roared back at him.
The chant continued, ultimately dissolving into raucous cheering as Barrington Levy, reggae revolutionary, took the stage at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs on Friday night.
Mr. Levy opened the show with a blistering lyrical introduction that led into the Rasta-inspired fan favorite Under Mi Sensi. Although he has been performing for over three decades, Mr. Levy is in no way past his prime. His voice is a model of versatility, transitioning easily from smooth, soulful ballads to dancehall reggae’s trademark tongue-twisting raps. Dressed in a white T-shirt and a red baseball cap, Mr. Levy controlled the mic with an effortless swagger as if he were still just bursting on the scene as a young man in the dance halls of Jamaica.
Mr. Levy rose to fame in the late 1970s for his unique style of dancehall reggae that blended the rhythms of traditional roots reggae with the harder, more danceable edge that crowds were clamoring for at the time.
Crooked Coast opened for Mr. Levy. Their styling ranged from the wild clangor of Celtic punk band Flogging Molly to the sunny-sounding reggae upbeats of Sublime.
Despite the cold rain falling outside, the bands brought some warm Jamaican vibrations to the eager crowd at Dreamland.