The Wailers brought their classic reggae sound to LiveWire in Scottsdale on August 5, 2016. Produced by SLE Entertainment, The Wailers headlined a night of reggae that included two Arizona reggae bands in what was truly a phenomenal night of reggae.
The evening opened with Kill Babylon Coalition from Camp Verde, AZ. Kill Babylon Coalition (KBC) is a 7 piece band featuring Sweety Peety Collins out front on vocals and other members of the Collins family – ZoeRae Collins, Cloe Collins and Ezra Collins – on vocals, keyboard, guitar, bass and ukulele. Other members of the band include James Soto Jr. on bass, Carlos Ortega on drums and Alvaro Mendoza as “wordsmith.”
Casper and the Mighty 602 Band followed with a really impressive performance. The group is from Kykotsmovi, AZ on the Hopi Reservation. There is apparently a long-standing affiliation between the Hopi Nation and roots reggae from Jamaica, beginning with cross-cultural exchanges that began in 1985. (If you’re interested, the Reggae Inna Hopiland Festival is coming up on August 26, 2016 in Second Mesa, AZ). If you’re a reggae fan and not yet familiar with these talented Arizona performers you should definitely make an effort to obtain tracks from their new album from their website http://caspermighty602band.com/.
The evening culminated with the classic reggae band The Wailers. Originally of Bob Marley fame, the Wailers have continued performing since Marley’s passing in 1981. The band played many of the Bob Marley and The Wailers hits such as Three Little Birds, One Love, and Redemption Song. But they also dug much deeper into the catalog of the Bob Marley era than just the commercially successful tracks and played a number of songs that might not have been well known by casual fans. The vast majority of the set consisted of songs from the Bob Marley and The Wailers period with very little coming from music published after that period. The Wailers sounded great. Even though some members are clearly aging, they are aging well and are still strong musicians. All in all, The Wailers were a great conclusion to a really strong summer night of Reggae at LiveWire.
Review and photos by Greg Cohen
All photos © Greg Cohen 2016