Review & Photos: Maxi Priest in Chicago, IL @ The Shrine 3/29/2013
04/06/2013 by David Wells
Maxi Priest in Chicago, IL @ The Shrine 3/29/2013
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Shortly before midnight, an expectant audience packed every square foot in front of The Shrine’s stage. To the relief of all assembled, as it seemed the DJ was beginning to fire up another mix, the red curtains concealing the stage receded, and there Mr. Priest stood. Every woman in the audience shrieked and then screamed with lust-tinged joy. His presence fairly dripped with the swagger of a man who has known great success and possesses the talent as a live performer to entice, toy with, and exhilarate everyone drinking, dancing, and secretly waiting for him to play their personal favorite Maxi Priest-hit from the nineties; when Maxi enjoyed a run as one of the world’s top-selling pop artists.
On this night, Maxi Priest brought his brand of “Reggae-Fusion” which produced the sound that proved so commercially successful in the past. The set consisted of a number of covers, everything from Rod Stewart’s Some Guys Have All The Luck, to his well-known rendition of Cat Stevens Wild World. Maxi Priest’s voice is almost perfect in its delivery, a very slick and savvy performer. Maxi Priest is not a true reggae artist in an exclusive sense and I imagine he’d agree with that. He was a pioneer of combining reggae with R&B and Hip Hop, which netted him a fortune and world-wide following. During a brief post-show meeting with this writer, Maxi conveyed himself as humble and genuinely appreciative of everyone packing the house that night to experience his performance; which was in stark contrast to the supremely confident, lady’s man pose exhibited onstage. Maxi Priest is an elite vocalist, high-energy performer, and for what it’s worth: a nice guy, too. Definitely worth the effort to catch live.