Date: Friday, October 31st 2003
Venue: BB Kings, NYC
What a night for a show. I wish the Wailers (www.wailers.com) could have performed outside in Times Square, but I guess that wasn’t logistically possible. A few friends and I caught the show on the nicest Halloween ever. We opted for the 12:30 AM show (they had played an 8 as well.)
BB King’s (www.bbkingblues.com) was almost full, but comfortable enough to move around and easy enough to grab a beer. The sound system was tuned perfectly (as usual) and there was a good diverse crowd out enjoying the show.
I had caught them twice before and I warned my friends that their usual set is not a rundown of “Legend” but that they play some more diverse stuff, mostly from the boxed set. Sure enough they played some great tunes including “Natural Mystic,” “Bend Down Low,” “Stir it up,” and “Lively up Yourself.” The crowd didn’t seem to mind, as the dance floor was packed all night. Toward the end they mixed in more popular songs like “Jammin’” and a great rendition of “Redemption Song.” Then they closed with something more obscure – “Talkin’ Blues.” Kind of quiet for a closer, but still a great song.
Not interested because Bob himself is long gone? No worries – Gary “Nesta” Pine does a great job filling in on vocals.
I do have a few complaints about the venue. For one, they hauled 2 girls out of the club early in the set for firing up. I guess a reggae show in NYC ain’t what it used to be. Also, they shut down the bar ¾ through the set. (Why you shut down the bar when people are paying $7/beer, I don’t know?) Good thing we doubled up at last call! If you can stand the uptight rules and outrageous prices for booze, BB Kings is a good bet. The Wailers seem to stop in twice a year or so.