This summer has turned me into a huge reggae fan. First it was the Slightly Stoopid show that I wrote about in the post My Sweet Summer is Gone. Last night was the Damian and Stephen Marley show that turned my “like” for reggae music into “love”.
The atmosphere at reggae shows is a completely different experience than what I’m used to. I’m not used to people just standing around and having a good time. I’m used to always having to watch your back for flying limbs. It’s so refreshing to be a show where you can easily stand there with a long lost friend and catch up while watching an awesome live show with so much positive energy.
Everybody likes Bob Marley… don’t try to fight me on that. His music just makes you feel good. The way all music should make you feel. He had uplifting lyrics, catchy songs and an undeniable talent. Having a father that is such a legend has got to be rough. His kids must constantly be feeling like they have to fill his gigantic shoes. Last night, Stephen and Damian proved that not only can they fill Bob’s shoes… they can do that and more.
Stephen Marley was up first. His style is very close to that of his father’s which made the many covers of Bob that he did fit in so much better. Everything about his set was very calm and refreshing. Stephen played many songs off of his 2007 album Mind Control, that had won the Grammy for best reggae album that year, along with many songs off of his newer releases. No matter what original song or cover he did, Stephen stayed true to his sound and to the calmness and fun that reggae should be.
Stephen had covered just about all of Bob’s most infamous songs including I Wanna Love You and Three Little Birds. This made me wonder what was left for Damian Marley to do. Then Damian took the stage.
Damian’s sound is much more raw sounding that that of his brother and legendary father. There was more of a rap undertone to the songs versus the straight reggae sound that Stephen has. It’s not that Stephen’s set wasn’t upbeat and dance-able, but Damian’s set made it impossible for you to stand still. You wanted to raise you hands up and tap your toes and shake what your mother gave you. It made you want to move.
Damian seemed to stick to more original songs and not play as many covers of Bob’s but that’s not to say that Bob was not there in spirit. Throughout Stephen and Damian’s set there were old videos and pictures of Bob Marley being shown on the white background behind the band. It really added to the atmosphere and was a very touching tribute on the part of his children.
The crowd went crazy when the brothers took to the stage together. It must be rough having a father that is so iconic but these brothers have definitely done Bob Marley justice and are doing a damn good job keeping his legacy alive.
This summer has turned me onto so many new bands and genres. I absolutely can not wait for the next reggae show in town. They aren’t as intense as the shows I frequent but the feeling of family and friendship is undeniable at these shows.
Joe Mersa, Black Am I (only did one song a piece)
Venue: The Cabooze Outdoor Plaza
Sausage Fest Meter- 2 out of 10
Crowd Surfers- None
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- It seemed like the drunkards stumbled out on their own
Found in the Pit- None
Dreadlock Envy- 1238243986231238621 out of 10