The Michigan Daily-Saturday, May 20, 1978-Page 7
Marley opens tour im A
By MATTHEW KLETTER
The crowds gathered early Thursday
evening outside Hill Auditorium, the
night Bob Marley and the Wailers chose
to open their first American tour in two
The show began with the Imperials,
formerly Little Anthony and the Im-
perials, but with new moniker due to
the loss of Anthony Gourdine. The band
played contemporary rhythm and
blues, characterized by synchronized
dance, uniform dress and a musical set
including their classic "Going out of My
Mind" and Donna Summers' "Don't
Leave Me This Way." They covered
this last number well, adding both zest
and sensitivity to the lyrics, and some
fine disco dancing, care of Harold
FOLLOWING an alternating selec-
tion of original numbers and pop tunes,
Marley and the Wailers took the stage,
their backs to two large murals depic-
ting Haile Selassie, the personification
of the Rastas' God, and Marcus Gar-
vey, founder of the back-to-Africa
movement in the twenties. When
Selassie, of Ethiopia, was crowned in
1930, he was regarded as the fulfillment
of Garvey's prophecy, and the
Rastafarian movement was born.
Physically, the Rastas set themselves
apart from Jamaican society by
plaiting their hair into strands and
waxing them. The effect is that of a
Gorgonian snake nest called
The singers, consisting of Marley's
wife, Rita, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy
Mowatt, launched into "Time Will
Tell," and then into a great version of.
"Kays," the title cut from the Wailers'
recently-released album. The song
retained reggae's characteristic sound
- highly amplified electric bass, stac-
cato scratch on the guitar, and choppy
drums. The total emphasis is placed on
the second beat, giving it a sounda New
York Times reviewer referred to as
"inside-out rock and roll."
MARLEY SANG "I've gotta have
Kaya now" while pouncing up and
down, stumbling around, and allowing
his head to fly back into what appeared
to be a state of meditation.
The third song, "Concrete Jungle,"
centers around the oppressed
Jamaican, a theme common in reggae
music, but not to be mistaken as an
overtly political statement. According
to Marley, what reggae is striving for is
not a political revolution, but a spiritual
revolution, to be achieved with the aid
of smoking herb. Marley regards this
last item as "The healing of the
WHEN THE Wailers performed
"Bellyful," it occurred to me that I had
overheard someone say that no one
would put'up with reggae "unless they
were peddling a culture." After seeing
MarlTey live, this opinion seems to hold
little weight. Indeed, reggae music
presents a culture and a set of beliefs,
but is not limited by its philosophy and
expresses a spontaneous feeling in its
dance, song, and life. Unlike a concert
where the object is to duplicate studio
sound on stage, Marley is alive and
broadcasts that feeling to an audience.
Following "Bellyfull," Marley per-
formed "I Shot the Sheriff," the first
song to lend him any kind of notoriety.
Marley's current Wailers include,
aside from the singers, Aston Barret
(Bass), Carlton Barrett (Percussion),
Touter (keyboards), and Al Anderson
(lead guitar). The Barrett brothers are
the rhythm unit of the band, and are
considered the best in reggae. Guitarist
Anderson is the only American in the
group, and his superb lead guitar
playing is a fantastic addition to
Markey's songs. Following "I Shot the
Sheriff" was "No Woman, No Cry," a
bluesy reggae song about a state
beyond loneliness, and then "Crisis"
and "Lively up Yourself."
THE BAND finished the set with
"Jammin," which featured some fine
organ and lead guitar, and finished by
bringing the audience to its feet, trying
to get the band back for an encore. Af-
ter what appeared to be enough time to
smoke a joint, the Wailers came back to
perform "Get Up, Stand Up," which the
audience responded to accordingly.
The Rastafarians and Rasta
musicians hope that the money made
on these albums and tours will help the
conditions of the ghetto.
Consequently, although a Bob Marley
concert may be energetic, there is a sad
undercurrent as well that must be
recognized to understand the art form.
One song Marley has yet to record,
typifying reggae's protesting nature, is
"Children of the Ghetto":
Chiren hlayin thecstreeteos,
lackoknoatios nrubuthMaly anth
Ain't gatnohin ,o ea,,
Oa Ysweets that rot their reeah,
Siltng n'he darkness,
Reggae has been criticized for its
lack of innovation, but Marley and the
Wailers showed the Ann Arbor audien-
ce otherwise. Marley's invigorating
spirit of life indicates that reggae will
always be there to enjoy.
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