Thanks to our man Billy and Late Nite Productions (among others)…The Bigga Baggariddim Tour finally made its way to our area. The tour featured UB40, Maxi Priest, the Original Wailers, and Big Mountain.
Now of course we should probably address the elephants in the room. This version of UB40, of course, features many (4/5) of the original members but did not include original frontman Ali Campbell who left the band in 2008.
And despite the somewhat misleading name…We should also mention this is not quite the original Wailers either. At least not the one featuring Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and Bob. This version has only original Bob Marley and the Wailers guitarist Al Anderson in its ranks who can claim to be the last surviving Wailer. But despite all that…this was still a great show to see and be entertained by. Just ignore all the confusing names/situations here.
First up was Big Mountain. This band came out with great energy and did a somewhat abbreviated set. But one that was very satisfying. Quino mentioned he wasn’t feeling his best during his performance. So maybe that was the reason. But make no mistake, Quino and the band sounded as good as ever. His voice is one that really doesn’t seem to have aged much. And always a man of the people..Quino was found later out in the lobby chatting and mingling with fans. Quino is always personable and friendly that way. No surprise there.
Next up was Maxi Priest (featuring Relivant) that came in and mashed up the place! Now THIS performance was a little bit different. This one was more of a Dancehall high-energy vibe if you ask me. As Maxi and Relivant were constantly moving across the stage keeping the energy at maximum. This was definitely my favorite performance of the night. Truth be told they were all good. But Maxi and crew killed it during their time on stage! This was a high-energy show.
Next was the Original Wailers. I’ve seen these guys before and I really enjoy their shows. It’s a trip down Bob Marley’s memory lane mostly. The whole crowd is singing and dancing along to all your favorite hits. It’s really cool to experience. And it’s been the same way each time I’ve seen them. You always get to the end of the set in a better mood than you started. I mean…these are reggae standards they’re playing. So it’s literally a show you can bring pretty much anyone to and have a good time. Who doesn’t like classic Bob songs?
And finally…to cap off the night…the headliner UB40 took the stage. This also was a good time as they meandered their way across the huge catalog of UB40 hits. Sometimes one forgets just how many they’ve had over the years. But let me just tell you…the list is long. Robin Campbell (original member and brother of Ali) shared almost the same ‘storyteller’ vibe as Al Anderson did during his set. They would share little anecdotes and notes about some of the songs and history just before performing them which was pretty cool. It was great to hear some of the histories during the set. I really enjoyed that style of performance. Particularly for storied songs and bands like these.
So all in all a great night. And in a beautiful venue (the Grand Theatre at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino). This show was originally scheduled to be at the outdoor amphitheater in picturesque Truckee. But due to the almost annual fire calamity being faced here in the mountains, it was moved to Reno just in case. A happy accident for sure as we all loved seeing the show at this writer’s favorite Reno Hotel and Casino! – Eyeree