January 29th, 2009
It was a cold evening in Atlanta. Anticipation built, and clouds of smoke puffed up into the air as the soulful sounds of The Wailers warmed up The Masquerade. The artists who took to the stage focused their energy into evoking the spirit of the legendary band.
Family Man’s bass began to talk as Elan Atias, the lead singer, danced onto the stage laughing, glowing, and smiling, his vibe infectious. A strong connection was immediately forged with the audience through an enthralling call and response during “Exodus” and the spirit felt, melodic “Natural Mystic.”
Gaining their notoriety backing Bob Marley, one wonders how The Wailers can still be performing minus the majority of their original members and the legend himself. There obviously is a certain feeling and sound that came from that period in time that be experienced again. However, The Wailer’s music is still carried on because of their ability to tune into its soul.
The set began to pick up momentum and the crowd was treated to a high energy “Jammin.” As he led the audience in jumping from left leg to right it became evident that the lead singer Elan carried the show. His passion and fiery voice draws you into the whole experience and really stirred your emotions just as it seemed to be moving him.
Declaring “Waiting in Vain” as something special for the ladies, the band then slipped into an Irie cover of “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” leaving everyone all smiles. Those smiles morphed into pure feel-good vibes and the mood began to shift with the never failing and globally loved songs “3 Little Birds” and “One Love.”
With “Pirates” and the original “Nothing is Worth Losing”, the night took on an old southern church-like feel. The keys sounded like an organ, the back up vocals were grooving, the horns were singing, the guitarist’s double-handed fret playing was feverish, and the audience was leaping up and down, caught up in the spirit of the music. A joyfully tearful moment arose later from “No Woman No Cry” as the audience sang along in unison lifting their fire (lighters) to the sky.
As the words and melodies of the evening echoed in our ears we were asked to do one last thing…“Get Up. Stand Up!” Leaving us with the conscious, infused message Elan sang aloud, “We’re Survivors. Don’t Give Up the Fight!” “It felt like they were channeling. It was amazing and real,” responded one enthusiastic fan. I’m not sure what it is about Reggae music that propels the spirit, but I know that The Wailers brought it to the world, their music will continue move generations, and will always Satisfy My Soul.