Legends among legends at UB40 concert

Saturday February 02, 2019 Written by Published in Entertainment
Ali Campbell and Terence “Astro” Wilson performing at National Auditorium. 19013031 Ali Campbell and Terence “Astro” Wilson performing at National Auditorium. 19013031

There were legends among the crowd on Tuesday night when Ali Campbell and Terence “Astro” Wilson from UB40 rocked the National Auditorium.


But one in particular, or maybe two, amused me the most.

When Astro, after returning to the stage from a small breather, threw his sweaty towel into the crowd, the person on whom the cloth landed without hesitation sent it flying back at him.

What a legend!

I judged he/she may not be a big fan of the Birmingham-born reggae band, or maybe Astro?

For a second I felt bad for the singer. He must have thought the gesture that many performers are renowned for would be appreciated by the local crowd.

I guess not everyone get star struck like some in the crowd who went absolutely bananas when Ali and Astro belted their top hits. And good on them, this was surely once in a lifetime opportunity, especially for those who grew up listening to UB40 songs.

Action Man cum Superman, Minister George Maggie, also ensured his presence at the concert was noted when he performed his version of pushups which involved leaping off the floor and landing with a thud, his stomach hitting first.

And not once, he did that 10 times! The politician surely seem to have a “strong stomach” in almost everything he does.

While some found Maggie’s performance amusing, others were bemused and questioned whether this was “a bit too much” for someone of his stature – a top government official.

I attended the concert fresh off from finishing Bohemian Rhapsody – a biopic on British rock band Queen, centered on their lead singer, the late Freddie Mercury.

Hope Empire Cinema show the movie here – Bohemian Rhapsody is eloquently done and it’s an engaging watch. What a brilliant portrayal from Rami Malek, who plays Freddie. Simply outstanding!

After that emotional rollercoaster ride, I looked forward to some perfect downtime with a dose of Red Red Wine, among others from Ali and his band.

And they delivered – masterfully, like they always do, the breakaway UB40 stars, who are touring the world to mark their 40th anniversary, blew the roof off with a memorable performance.

They performed for about an hour and a half, belting some of their greatest hits to the delight of the jam-packed crowd at the auditorium.

Ali and Astro started on a high tempo with hits like Kingston Town, getting the crowd grooving and singing before performing some of their not-so-familiar tracks such as the Fijian Sunset which caused some few frowning faces among the crowd. I loved it for obvious reasons.

Then after a quick break, they were back with a bang for their final segment in which they performed their rendition of Elvis Presley’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You, Cherry oh Baby, ending the show with Red Red Wine, which got everyone, from young to mature audience, on their feet.

It was a power packed performance from UB40 featuring Ali and Astro, minus keyboardist Mickey Virtue who was advertised in the earlier promotional banners.

From the instrumentals to the vocals, everything sounded pure magic, a class you would expect from renowned artists and band of UB40 stature.

The onus is now on local promoters to attract more big names to Rarotonga as the success of UB40 show there are people who are willing to spend on renowned bands and singers.

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