Recap: The Reflexions Open For The Wailers at Higher Ground in South Burlington, VT
Writer: Shane Netski Sobriquet
Photos: Ben Collins
Burlington, VT welcomed legendary reggae band, The Wailers, on Wednesday night at the iconic music venue, Higher Ground in South Burlington, VT. Local Burlington reggae band, The Reflexions opened up the show, impressing the audience with original music fusing reggae, blues, and rock. Friendly staff at the venue kept everyone safe, happy, quenched, and smiling.
It was a very special night for The Reflexions, being honored to share the stage with such an important part of our music history. In a brief interview with front man, Joshua West, he said, “It was an absolute blessing to be in the presence of the legendary Wailers tonight. They have meant so much to me growing up on their music. It hit in a very special way tonight when I got to see it and share the same stage.”
The Reflexions came ready to light fire with passionate lyrics and grooving melodies. Showing their talents they took turns singing originals that fit perfectly into the night. With only a short thirty-minute act, they played all of their best hits:
- Queen of Queens
- Future Generations > Feel That Pulse
- Feeling Irie
The crowd warmed right up to “Queen of Queens” with restless energy, excited to bounce and bob to reggae beats. A brand new song, “Aurora” was applauded loudly after the band dazzled the audience with bluesy guitar licks, heavy bass lines, and perfect tempo changes led by the percussionists. With
the horn section popping catchy melody, members of the crowd could be heard saying, “Wow, I’m glad I got my money’s worth!”
The Reflexions are a group of talented songwriters including: Joshua West (Drums, Vocals), Matt Blair (Percussion), Mowgli Giannitti (Bass, Vocals), Ty Miller (Guitar, Vocals), Avery Cooper (Sax), and Sam Attalah (Trumpet, Keys). Joshua’s passion for reggae and songwriting breathed life into this incredible 6-piece band. With years of professional touring with bands such as Annie In The Water, Lucid, and more, his connection to local music spreads across the beautiful Lake Champlain into the capital region of NY and beyond.
“Feel That Pulse” is a rhythmic reggae song with an incredibly likable horn melody. The crowd was moved to dance and flail with the energy of the song. Joshua West wrote this song as a response to the Pulse nightclub tragedy that happened in Orlando, FL in 2016. With June 1st kicking off the nations Gay Pride month, this song was very appropriate. Check out this song on your favorite streaming platform, featuring Mihali of Twiddle on guitar!
Ready to hand the stage over to The Wailers, The Reflexions played one last relevant song, “Feeling Irie.” The crowd was so pumped up by this song that by the end of it, they erupted into an impressive roar of acceptance. I personally teared up in disbelief that one of my favorite local bands received such a warm embrace from an amazing crowd of reggae fans of all ages!
The Wailers came out strong, igniting everyone into dance from the first note! Beaming smiles sang out the words to songs we’ve all grown to cherish over the years. There was absolute magic in the air. Historic songs like One Love, Buffalo Soldier, Redemption Song, No Woman No Cry, and I Shot The Sheriff were a few of the many renowned songs enjoyed by all. I could not help myself but recognize the wisdom of generations passed through song and dance. Bob Marley’s influence on music and the world is so important to our global community still today. It was humbling to feel that energy coming from a family that refuses to stand by in silence as the world so desperately needs to hear the message.
This family of entertainers continue on tradition, pleading a powerful message that has been passed on for over fifty years. Back in 1974 the Barrett family joined reggae pioneer, Bob Marley. They continue to this day, spreading love and joy through song and dance. One Love, a message so central to our being. From Kingston, Jamaica to the whole world we dance, sing, laugh, cry, smile, hug, and celebrate the music that has made true change in a difficult world.
I beg you to go to a Wailers show, hear their message, feel their energy, bask in the wisdom that has been passed from parent to child for centuries. Love, Freedom, Unity, Acceptance, and Joy. I promise you will not be disappointed!