The Message of Love Tour Takes to the Road
By M. Peggy Quattro
February brought the kick-off of Julian Junior Marvin’s “Message of Love” tour 2019. The famed Wailers lead guitarist presented two sold out shows in Philadelphia (Feb. 1) and Washington, DC (Feb. 2). The band of talented musicians and singers were warmly welcomed inside Philly’s Ardmore Music Hall and DC’s Hamilton Live.
Featured on stage with Junior Marvin are Drix Hill and Samuel “Earth” Maxwell on keys, Dino Yeonas on guitar, Stephen Samuels on bass, Ken Joseph on drums, Brother Fitzroy James on percussion, and harmony songbirds Simone Gordon and Hassanah Iroegbu.
Both shows were billed as Bob Marley Birthday Celebrations and the fans and friends who joined in the party were not disappointed. From “Exodus” and “Could You Be Loved” to “Waiting in Vain” and “Three Little Birds” and all the favorites in between, Junior delivered a passionate and personal performance, telling the audience BMW stories and encouraging sing-alongs.
Philly’s Big Mind opened first. Then mid-Atlantic’s popular 6-piece Jah People band opened for both shows. A solid Reggae ensemble, Jah People gave strong performances, which included several Marley songs and their originals. The audience was treated to two surprises this cold Philly night that warmed the Ardmore. Jah People bandleader, Dean Rubenstein, was visibly stunned when Junior came out to join them on stage during the opening set. Junior sang a few Marley hits while the band fell into step with his carefree vocals.
The second surprise came when Rubenstein presented Junior with a Gibson ‘50s Tribute Les Paul guitar. Junior was now the stunned one as he said to the crowd, “No one has ever given me a guitar before.” The audience loved the show of love and respect, especially while celebrating brother Bob’s birthday.
Junior and the band gave the audiences at both shows the tight, quality, authentic versions of the BMW songs the world has come to love. Fans braved snow and freezing temps to celebrate Bob’s Earthstrong, and Julian Junior Marvin and his roots rockin’ band did not disappoint.
DC’s Hamilton Live was sold out and fans waited patiently in line for the doors to open. The beautiful nightclub-style Hamilton has several levels of seating at tables, stools, stairs, an upstairs bar, and in front of the stage. Every space was filled with diverse happy, smiling fans rockin’ to the “positive vibrations” coming from Junior’s band.
Junior lives in the DC area and is a local favorite. Fans came from DC, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The encore for both shows was a show of unity when Jah People joined Julian Junior Marvin and band for a lengthy version of “Jammin’.
Starting off his tour in fine style, fans can be assured that when Julian Junior Marvin of Bob Marley’s Wailers come to your town, this is a show not to be missed!