January has been a wonderful month already for musical acts playing in Western New York. The Seneca Niagara Casino hosted The Wailers at their celebrated venue The Bear’s Den on January 5th. The revolutionary spirit of Bob Marley is alive in America and the Wailers were about to make their contribution to the struggle. As America’s citizens take to the streets in protest of the current economic conditions plaguing our country, it is the right time for the Wailers to add their music to the people’s voice. On this special “Revolution” tour, the Wailers will perform a themed show “Survival”. Survival is a roots reggae album the group recorded in 1979 with political-minded militant theme.
Those who have never attended a performance at this venue were in for a real treat. This extremely intimate venue holds a capacity crowd of 440 people. The venue’s layout not only provides seating for patrons but also a standing area that has bar style tables and seating. No seats are more than 40 feet from the stage and for the sound, just a audio files dream. Clear and crisp acoustics flow through the speakers and fill the room with a rich warm sound.
The Wailers arrived on stage to the cheers and applause of the crowd eagerly awaiting to hear them perform. The band created a warm environment from the start, encouraging people to stand and dance. They band began the night with “So Much Trouble in the World” and “Zimbabwe”, the first two songs from the album Survivor. The energy and mood was high from the onset. This was the perfect place to hear the sound of reggae music. One fantastic reggae song after another filled the Bear’s Den with that unmistakable sound of Bob Marley. Powerful music and lyrics that focused on the struggles of Bob Marley’s people.
The Wailers are the most successful reggae band of all time is anchored by Aston “Family Man” Barrett, bassist and musical director, the last surviving member of the original Wailers and he put on a show. The authenticity he brings to the Wailers’ sound is indisputable and yet today’s line-up combines old school know-how with lead vocals from one of Jamaica’s most exciting new singers. The leader singer Danglin, who’s voice eerily sounds reminiscent of Marley gave the music the authenticity it deserved. He brings his own personal expression to Marley’s songs, revitalizing them for young and old alike. His energy was endless, dancing about the stage freely throughout the night. The background vocalist Cegee Victory contributed beautifully to the vocals and harmonizations. Her tremendous voice added that extra element that made the songs more powerful. Keith Sterling performance was excellent on lead guitar as he establishing that rhythmic beat the Wailers were known for in the past. The keyboardist Chizzy played his part, contributing to this energizing music with his melodic key work. While the foundation of the musical beat was set forth by Drummie Zeb on the drums. All fantastic musicians contributing to the greater good of the Bob Marley sound.
After completing the album the band took a brief break and eventually returned to the stage for their encore. A nine song showcase set of pure Marley. The mix of songs was excellent. Hits and deep tracks were well represented. Some of the highlights were “Redemption Song”, “Stir It Up”, and “Three Little Birds”. Audience members fed off the energy the band was emanating through their music as they tore through these songs with precision. The evening concluded with the band playing “One Love/Exodus”.
Reggae music brings people together people across all racial divides. The music focuses on breaking down long standing barriers that still persist to this day, uniting people in harmony. Life as it should be. Those in attendance were giving a delightful evening of reggae music and see a legend still playing the music he began over 35 years ago. Unfortunately the evening had to end, the band graciously thank the audience for attending. The crowd very appreciatively reciprocated with a standing ovation. Their cheers and applause signaling their approval of a great night of music. Bob Marley’s spirit and music still continues to live strong. However, as often in life the most important thing is to simply carry on. The Wailers don’t simply carry on, they cemented their place at top the throne as Reggae Kings.
Setlist: Top Rankin, Babylon System, Survival, Africa Unite, One Drop, Ride Natty Ride, Ambush in The Night, Wake Up And Live
Encore: Redemption Song, I Shot the Sheriff, Is this Love, Jammin, Stir It Up, Could This Be Loved, 3 Little Birds, One Love/Exodus-Party
The Wailers Upcoming Tour Dates in New York:
January 17 Bearsville, NY—Bearsville Theatre
January 20 Huntington, NY—The Paramount
January 23 Verona, NY—Turning Stone Resort Casino
January 24 Brooklyn, NY—Brooklyn Bowl