Ziggy Marley lit up the Burton Cummings theatre on Friday with his positive vibrations and left the fans feeling I-rie (Jamacian slang for ‘alright’)
Marley started off the evening with ‘Love is My Religion’ then ‘Forward to Love’. These were the first two of five songs he performed with the ‘L’ word in it (including three of his father’s songs ‘Is This Love’, ‘Could You Be Loved’ and ‘One Love’).
Ziggy Marley and his nine piece band (including his two sisters, Cedella and Sharon, on background vocals and dancing) were very entertaining for the evening of ‘Roots, Rock, Reggae’ (another of his father’s songs which they also performed).
The third song of the evening ‘Wild and Free’ paid tribute to the sacred herb, Marijuana, that is a sacrament to the Rastafarian culture which is used to help in their meditations on Jah (God).
I was reminded of my trips to Jamaica in the 80’s. It was a culture shock seeing the conditions in which the people lived, but I also saw some of the happiest people that I’ve ever seen in my life. Young and old were doing the reggae thing in this tropical paradise. I smiled as I watched the simplicity in which they lived, with children having the time of their lives playing with a discarded bicycle tire. They didn’t have much but they appreciated what they had.
Of course there will always be comparisons to reggae’s most famous musician who also happens to be Ziggy’s father, Bob Marley. It’s not easy for children of musicians and celebrities to have a career and follow in their parent’s footsteps. Ziggy worked hard at it and established himself as a socially conscious singer song writer.
Into his third decade as a recording artist, the 45-year-old is a father of six and is using his talents to not only keep his father’s music alive but to also spread messages of peace and love, and of being environmentally conscious.
Ziggy first performed live with his brother Stephen at his father’s funeral on May 21, 1981. The two brothers and two sisters recorded a song, ‘Children Playing in the Streets’ in 1979. Bob Marley had written the song four years prior for his children.
They formed the Melody Makers and released six albums from 1985 up to 1993, when Ziggy went solo with the release of Joy and Blues in 1993.
Altogether, Ziggy and band performed six tunes from the Fly Rasta album that was released in April of this year, and four of his father’s songs, plus a few of the classics from Ziggy’s own career.
Ziggy Marley was clearly having a good time dancing around the stage with his dread locks swaying. Many in the near sold out audience were also dancing throughout the evening.
For the encore, they did ‘Lighthouse’ from the new album followed by the fast-paced, Ska-inspired ‘Black Cat’ from 2007. After this, the unmistakable intro to ‘One Love’ was played on the keyboards which inspired the audience to sing those lines to perhaps the most positive song written in the last century, “One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright.”
This was followed by ‘Fly Rasta’ where Ziggy played the Djembe and a cymbal.
The evening ended off with ‘True to Myself’. Yes Ziggy Marley, you certainly are true to yourself and your roots. I’m sure your father would be proud.
All photos by Doug Kretchmer
SET LIST Oct. 3, 2014
1. Love is My Religion (2007)
2. Forward to Love (2011)
3. Wild & Free (2011)
4. Conscious Party (1988)
5. Personal Revolution (2011)
6. I Don’t Wanna Live on Mars (new)
7. Is This Love (Bob Marley)
8. I Get Up (new)
9. Rainbow in the Sky (2003)
10. Moving Forward (new)
11. Roots, Rock, Reggae (Bob Marley)
12. Tomorrow People (1988)
13. Give It Away (new)
14. Could You Be Loved (Bob Marley)
15. Look Who’s Dancing (1989)
16. Lighthouse (new)
17. Black Cat (2007)
18. One Love (Bob Marley)
19. Fly Rasta (new)
20. True To Myself (2003)