I think that I’ve dreamed this night before. From the moment it began, this evening was so close to my soul -— I can’t think of another way to put it. Rarely have I experienced the magic of a thousand strangers singing “everything’s gonna be alright” in perfect unison. I’m not a religious person, but you better believe I was feeling the spirit.
As one the most enduring reggae institutions, The Wailers have all but defined this genre. With their current tour they celebrate the 30th anniversary of their album Legend, arguably one of the most important albums in reggae music history. The current roster of The Wailers is built around original member Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who is without question one of the greatest bass musicians of all time. The present Wailers line up is a beautiful blend of old, wise musicians and young, energetic vocalists (and there’s also the conga-master named Drummy Zebb #killingit).
On lead vocals, Dwayne Anglin and Audley Chisholm stirred the souls of the crowd with familiar, uplifting melodies. Behind them: a roster of world-class musicians having the time of their lives. Holding it down for the ladies on stage was the goddess-turned-back up singer CeGee Victory. Her jazzy voice rounded out the harmonies in the most crucial moments and her spirit brought such life to the stage. GIRL POWER!!
From the heart pounding “Could You Be Loved” and triumphant “Exodus”, to the contemplative “Redemption Song” and soul-bearing “Waiting In Vain”, they had the audience absolutely captivated. The entire performance was unbelievably dynamic. At moments, I was out of breath from dancing so hard—at others, on the edge of tears. Performing the entirety of Legend from beginning to end, this humble and authentic band of musicians brought so many dreams to fruition that night (mine included). If you were only familiar with four or five reggae songs, they were most likely played that night —- that’s how significant this album was.
The Wailers have months of touring ahead of them, so hopefully you’ll find a chance to intercept them at one of their 31 remaining dates in any of the four continents they’ll be visiting. Though I wouldn’t call myself a major reggae fan, this evening was something that everybody needs to experience. Something about this concert seemed to simplify and distill the stress of everyday life. Re-affirmed and energized, I felt a certain lightness I didn’t have when I arrived. Living up to the title, this night was nothing short of legendary.