Written By | Jilian McLendon
The Buckhead Theatre, iconic in its own right, has seen a fair amount incredible acts. Compared to other Atlanta venues, it offers a pretty intimate experience. A headlining UB40 show is in no way an exception.
The night opened with DJ Gold Dubs playing a variety of tracks with a strong foundation of jungle beats overlayed with reggae faves like Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”. The audience dove right into song and dance and made for a wonderful transition into the evening’s main event.
UB40 in all their glory and years of experience put on an entertaining show. With an impressive resume of albums produced over the (40) years, the set list was cohesive and solid ranging from some 80’s hits and a fair amount of newer tunes to bring awareness to their recent album, For The Many (2019).
Despite the absence of several original band members, newcomer fans or passive listeners of UB40 could almost be convinced of an original lineup, especially with the incorporation of classic, well known cover songs like “The Way You Do The Things You Do” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You”. Though there have been some debates on waning content over the years- especially compared to their early work, I will say that there is a distinct talent, sound, and energy that comes with and drives UB40 as it is today. There are no shiny dance numbers (not counting Norman Hassan cutting shapes on stage!) or intense light sets but they have one for-sure and undeniable aspect that comes with their set: nostalgia.
When taking into account the diversity of the audience of this particular show, it was evident that this music was reaching across generations, backgrounds, and cultures which falls in line with the breakthroughs of early UB40 content on inclusion and social commentaries of a wide variety of political and economic issues. UB40 is more than just a cover band and they have the breadth to prove it.
With this tour’s success, it’s undeniable that a lot of us just can’t get enough “Red, Red Wine”, love, and reggae.
Photo Credit: Jilian McLendon