Reggae legends The Wailers bring island music to Cleveland
We here at Nasty Fancy took a few days off around the Memorial Day weekend to celebrate in the summer weather and indulge in plenty of barbecue. While everyone across Northeast Ohio enjoyed their holiday on behalf of our veterans while relishing a true summer kickoff in the 90-degree weather, Cleveland was rocking to the island sounds and reggae rhythms of The Wailers at the Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica during the final day of the Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival. The Wailers, as you might recall, rose to prominence during their collaboration with infamous reggae icon Bob Marley. After a few lineup changes over the decades, the group is still going strong.
With sweat and sauce smeared across sunburned faces, a sizable crowd of all ages moved and grooved to the infectious reggae music of the Wailers’ ensemble. The mellow roots rock was a perfect complement to the afternoon’s festivities marked by the sweet, smoky smell of ribs sweltering heat, which forced the scores in attendance to crowd under tents and makeshift canopies while the sun hit its peak.
Because of the band’s legendary history, it was a privilege to catch these guys. Even casual fans like myself couldn’t resist grooving to some of the group’s most famous and recognizable hits like “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Get Up, Stand Up.” Dreaded heads swayed and fingers snapped as listeners closed their eyes and drifted off to their own island paradise with a resonating island sound.
The band played somewhere around two hours, and their emotional, soulful jams created the perfect atmosphere for the rib fest that afternoon. This may have been my first time seeing The Wailers, but I will definitely take note next time they come around. Above are a few random shots of the festival from my perspective in the crowd coupled with a Wailers vid below for a taste of what you missed.