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Wednesday, October 04, 2023

UB40 ft Ali Campbell - A Night of Timeless Hits and Unforgettable Moments


Ali Campbell's unmistakable voice reverberated through the Sunbet Arena in Pretoria, captivating the hearts of thousands on Saturday night. UB40, featuring their original member Ali Campbell, graced the stage and left the adoring audience of 8000 in awe, their spirits soaring higher than ever before.

The concert was a lively affair, brimming with the band's timeless classics that have stood the test of time. As the familiar tunes of "Can't Help Falling in Love With You," "Kingston Town," and "Red Red Wine" filled the air, the atmosphere transformed into something truly magical. Each beloved hit drew the audience in deeper, leaving us wondering how we would ever move on once the night came to an end.

Before UB40 took the stage, the local band Tidal Waves warmed up the crowd, igniting a sense of excitement that was met with thunderous applause as the headliners emerged. The concert kicked off with the much-loved "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," and the band wasted no time in letting the audience know that they were not a sit-down band. This declaration prompted half the crowd to rise to their feet, with others dancing in the aisles.

UB40 ft Ali Campbell showcased their musical prowess with flawless renditions of their greatest hits, including "Grooving," "Stick by Me," "Impossible Love," and "I'll Be There." One standout moment was their performance of the new song "Unprecedented," which serves as the title track of the band's latest album. While staying true to UB40's timeless sound, the song's poignant lyrics highlighted the anxiety stemming from the pandemic and political unrest in the UK, striking a chord with the audience.

While Ali Campbell has long been the face and voice of UB40, it is essential to acknowledge the contributions of the other talented musicians who bring the band's distinctive sound to life. Bass, drum, trumpet, and saxophone players, as well as backing vocalists, all shone at different moments throughout the night. Among them, drummer Frank Benbini stood out, captivating the crowd and keeping their energy high with an electrifying drum solo.

The band saved their most iconic songs for the grand finale, leaving us on the edge of our seats in anticipation. The atmosphere reached its peak as the familiar chords of "Red Red Wine" filled the arena, and the collective excitement was unlike anything else. But the night didn't end there. UB40 returned for an encore, delivering soul-stirring performances of "Kingston Town" and "Food for Thought." However, it was the magical moment when the chords of "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" filled the air that etched itself into our memories—a perfect fusion of tranquility and adoration emanating from the crowd, creating a core memory that will be cherished forever.

UB40 ft Ali Campbell's concert was an unforgettable experience, weaving together their timeless hits, stellar musicianship, and moments of pure magic. It was a night where time seemed to stand still, and the power of music united thousands in an unbreakable bond of shared joy and love for the music that has touched their lives for decades.

[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

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Kevin Rademeyer

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