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by Charlie Aldringer, Honolulu Academy of Arts

“Despite the rain, the concert was a lot of fun,” said Jessica Berman, a 23-year- old social science major.

Fans were treated to a lightshow, as UB40’s name flashed in bright colors across a screen behind the band, and spotlights played over the band and the audience, but the music eclipsed the special effects. Even though the group didn’t perform the current single off their last album, most of the audience seemed pleased with the older play list.

The multiracial UB40 was formed as a politically and socially conscious band in Britain in the late 70s. According to UB40’s Web site, the name comes from a British unemployment form. While the group is best known today for its reggae-pop hits, especially some of the cover songs such as Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe,” its social roots are implicit in the title of its 2005 album Who You Fighting For?. Today the group is working on Promises and Lies, a musical feauring music by UB40.

Originally only slated for one concert in Hawai‘i, fans were excited to hear it would be performing for two nights, even with the chance of rain. Although most people went the first night, there were still many fans at their second show.

By the end of the concert the rain had become a distant memory and, as UB40 exited the stage, most of the crowd was on top of the chairs dancing and yelling for an encore.

UB40 didn’t disappoint. The band came back for another half hour, delighting Hawai‘i fans and leaving them hoping for another concert in the near future.

“ I look forward to their next concert,” said Berman.


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