Bob Marley & The Wailers
By Nathan RodriguezJanuary 31, 2011
Thousands in Egypt have taken to the streets to protest continued economic inequality, and lyrics from a dozen Bob Marley songs seem apropos descriptors of the situation, where ordinary citizens stand up for their rights. (Seriously – sometime this week, turn on CNN, and when “The Situation Room” starts, hit “play” on any Marley album, and wait for the shit to line up).Live Forever
is the 40th posthumous Bob Marley-related release. Fortunately, it’s one of the better efforts, thanks to generally pristine audio quality and the significance of the show itself – Marley’s final concert, in which nearly all his utterances seem imbued with a prophetic quality.
The band begins with the fluid slither of “Natural Mystic,” showcasing their characteristically well-balanced sense of spacing. Junior Marvin shines on guitar in both “The Heathen” and “No Woman No Cry,” but keyboardist Tyrone Downie consistently rose to the top throughout the show. The transition from “Running Away” to “Crazy Baldheads” was seamless, and both “Jammin’” and “Redemption Song” demand additional listens.
The highlight of the show was a nearly eight-minute version of “Could You Be Loved,” ushered in by a girthy bassline that found the band fully locked in. They return for a three-song encore, punctuated with the show-closing “Get Up Stand Up” where Marley devotes the final moments of his last public performance to urge the audience, “Don’t give up the fight.”