Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, August 19, 2018

Reggae legends hit 9:30 Club for The Wailers' 30th anniversary concert

The Wailers, the band famous for backing world-famous reggae musician Bob Marley, took to the stage of 9:30 Club to perform their album “Legend” on May 29. The floor was packed, the balcony filled with fans, the stage full of as many instruments and musicians it could manage, and wafting smoke filled in the rest.

The Wailers, whose original members include Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and the iconic Bob Marley himself, are touring the U.S. to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its iconic album. Current members include Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Dwayne “Danglin” Anglin, and Kevin “Yvad” Davy. Keeping the legacy of Bob Marley alive, the band performed crowd favorites such as “One Love,” “Stir it Up,” “I Shot the Sheriff” and some earlier Bob Marley songs like “Jamming” and “No Woman, No Cry.”

The crowd reflected the era of the music’s time in their attitudes, age and dress, with a nostalgic energy that flowed through and out of the venue. Even if reggae music from a band formed in the late 1960s is not your style, the music was infectious to everyone. Fans young and old stood shoulder to shoulder beside intoxicated, tie-dye wearing fans screaming “One love!” with one finger raised proudly in the air.

The Wailers sang music straight from the man they adored and brought the legacy and atmosphere of Bob Marley back to life—if only for two hours. The band members sang straight from the soul and filled the room with many different drums, guitars, keyboard sounds and even an organ.

Today, bass player Aston Barrett continues the band’s worldwide campaign to promote peace, love and equality through the message of reggae and Rastafari, an African-based spiritual ideology that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica. Its campaign was evident in the conversation the band members had with their audience about loving one another straight from the stage, and a brotherly feel took hold of the entire room.

With nine players, three of them vocalists, the music rang loud and strong until the very end of their performance, and the only word that can best describe the show aligns perfectly with their final song: jamming.

thescene@theeagleonline.com


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