Inner Circle Show Review
Legendary Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle wrapped up their Spring Tour with an intimate show at Orlando’s Social Thursday night. The staying power of these accomplished performers is a testament to their perseverance, commitment and premier musical talent. They’ve suffered hardships and lost key band members over their forty year history, but they still sound as good as ever and continue to impress fans everywhere they go.
Founding members and brothers Ian and Roger Lewis have been the heart of Inner Circle since their childhood and still sound great today. Roger is slowing down a bit and spends most of his time playing his guitar seated, but Ian is still a fantastic showman and is all over the stage while playing a killer bass. Bernard “Touter” Harvey is another long-time band member and a tremendous keyboard player, who stole the show this night.
The band spotlighted selections from across their vast catalog throughout the ninety minute set and also threw in some nice classic reggae covers. The band sounded fantastic all night, featuring two guitarists often trading off leads, including a few that would make any rocker proud. Ian Lewis had a constant smile plastered on his face and offered up a creative bass solo that included a playful snippet from “Billie Jean.”
The setlist highlights included “We A Rockers,” “Real Soldiers,” “Games People Play” and a nice tribute to deceased former front man Jacob Miller. The high point of the set for the Social audience was a ten-minute extended version of “Sweat” which had the crowd dancing, immediately followed by the band’s biggest hit “Bad Boys,” which they stretched out to an entertaining fifteen minutes. It was a great way to wrap up a killer set.
The crowd pulled them out for an encore and after announcing that this was the last night of their tour and their last stop before home, they freelanced a bit and gave the house an unexpected treat. They offered up a few more classic covers, before all of the band members walked to the front of the stage and sang an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s iconic “One Love.” with a nice assist from their fans. It was the perfect way to end a great night of music from a band that’s still entertaining fans across all genres.
All that being said, I need to do a little bit of whining about Orlando music fans. They’re just generally too damn safe. You’ll drop hundreds to see the over-rated and over-priced Eagles, but we couldn’t scrape up 100 fans to spend a few bucks to see an entertaining band of this stature. That’s weak – and a poor reflection on our city’s music fans. Next time Inner Circle is in town, make sure you check them out, and while you’re at it, check out our concert calendar and take a chance on a band you don’t know well. You’ll be happy you did….