“I was pretty sure that I’d seen God onstage. Otis looked to be 12 feet tall, stalking the lip of the stage like a caged tiger, just shooting lightning and sparks.” – Bob Weir
“Otis just transported the entire audience to church. They became the congregation, and he was the preacher.” – Lou Adler
A quick introduction by Tommy Smothers (of Smothers Brothers fame) and away we go … Otis Redding’s set closed the second night of the Monterey International Pop Festival (Buy It), and good gravy what a closer it is. He comes out of the gates with “Shake” (a Sam Cooke tune) sounding like he’s got something to prove, and immediately he’s got the audience in his pocket. So deep they’re jangling around with the spare change. Even when it comes to the slower numbers, like “I’ve Been Loving You…,” he pumps so much energy into the performance and builds and builds that energy until the place is practically set to come down around him. But the killer is absolutely the set-closer “Try a Little Tenderness,” in which he sounds like a man possessed. Redding channels the energy of the entire crowd back into the microphone, edged on by his backing band (of Booker T. and the MGs), like they were kids triple-dog-daring a friend to do something extremely dangerous. Do yourself a favor and watch the videos too (God bless the internet), even though the “Shake” video is a little out of sync and the “Try a Little…” one is mostly a montage of concertgoers and … kittens? Anyway, enjoy.
Otis Redding – Shake (video) Otis Redding – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) (video)
Otis Redding – Try A Little Tenderness (video)
Booker T. and The MGs – Hip Hug-Her
posted by Adam