The Wailers performed Friday night at The H Lounge located in the middle of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. Local reggae band Jah Works had the honor to open up for the legendary group. The Wailers made their fame by being the band of the reggae icon Bob Marley. Even though bass player Aston “Family Man” Barrett is the only original member in the group, the Wailers have continued to play on. Since Bob Marley’s death they have released four solo albums and have performed with John Denver and Kenny Chesney.
A concert in the middle of a casino does have distractions. If you are not in a good spot – slot machines, table games and side conversations can distract one from the music. The Wailers did not disappoint. The Wailers set started slow with a couple of instrumentals but continued to build up excitement throughout the night. The large standing audience also caught the positive vibrations of the music and responded stronger as the night progressed.
Keith Sterling shined on the keyboards, while Audley Chisholm was comfortable playing all the guitar parts. Chisholm started the encore playing “Redemption Song” electrically with the singer. Even though the song was originally an acoustic song, the electric version was clean and fit the venue. They are not recreating Bob’s music but keeping it going. Audley wrapped up the encore with an incredible solo on “Exodus.” Singers Koolant Brown and Duane Angling brought explosive energy to the show. Koolant enjoyed every minute of fronting this band. Singing, dancing, jumping, flowing everyone in the audience could see he loved the music and performing. They also had a beautiful backup singer who added to the harmonies of the songs.
The Wailers respected their history and fans were treated to rousing versions of old favorites. Highlights for me included “Three Little Birds,” “One Love,” “Get Up, Stand Up” and “One Love” which references Curtis Mayfield’s great song “People Get Ready.” They also performed a wonderful version of the classic “No Woman, No Cry.” The set included a lot of hits and gems. They billed this tour the Revolution Tour and by the end of the night the audience was on board. It was a super night considering the concert was free with no tickets and no cover fee.
The Wailers had another successful night of delivering positive vibrations with a Jamaican beat that had everyone dancing along. They are wrapping up a tour of the United States but plan to back soon after a tour of England and Jamaica. If you missed the show you will want to catch them the next time around.
Running Time: Two hours with a brief break between a 90 minute set and the encore.