Jamaican reggae artist Half Pint brought the Caribbean sunshine to Teton Valley this past Sunday as he and opening act Yellow Wall Dub Squad uplifted the curious, carefree and cabin-fever-escaping crowd.
Patrons began to trickle into the petite ski bar as Yellow Wall Dub Squad took the stage and commenced their intentions to take away any care or worry one might conjure up. The bass notes shook the floor, the keyboards has the listener beg for more and the drums provoked a roar from the ever-expanding dance pit.
With his Mick Jagger run-around stage antics, Stevie Culture led the dub squad by speaking his words of wisdom atop the freeflowing tone radiating from the band.
"VIC-TAH EYE-DA-HO! How ya feelin' out there?" Culture yelled as he instructed the raucous audience into an almost Simon-Says routine of back and forth banter and hand-motions between the two sides of the stage.
After a sweat-drenching set, Culture jumped offstage as anticipation grew for the man of the hour.
Sauntering onstage in a black suit with dreadlocks nearly touching the ground, Half Pint found welcoming arms from the Idaho faithful.
Opening with his 1986 single "Greetings," Pint brought forth his talents as the listener hung on his every word, sang in unison, drifted above with feet still firmly planted to the ground. Heads and hands were held high as the reggae legend radiated optimism, hope and a positive message for all who lent an ear.
"The music tells the story," he said before diving into "Mr. Landlord" -- a song addressing the anguish caused to those who live beneath the poverty line.
The momentum never ceased. The dub squad would bounce from song to song and Pint would only give the audience enough time between tunes to catch a quick breath.
It seemed the show would never end. Once you thought it was his last song, he would start chanting into the next melody. Then when you thought maybe he didn't have another one in him, as beads of sweat streamed off his face, he would say, "Here's one more." Deafening screams, whistles and cheers came from every corner of the Knotty when Pint finally exited the stage.
"It's about life, love, liberty and harmonizing the world as music harmonizes the soul," Pint said following the performance. "Everything has a time and a grace period. We are here for just a grace period. Life goes in circles and it never stops. Reggae speaks of the problems in society and yet there are solutions and this music provides the solution."
In an industry where reggae and dub squads are a dime-a-dozen, Half Pint provides a breath of fresh air in a hazy world. He is the epitome of what reggae symbolizes. This is no second-guessing what he brings to the societal table. The passion was genuine, the intent was pure and the message of "live the life you love, love the life you live" was clear.