Date: Saturday, May 24th, 2014
Artist: Ziggy Marley
Location: California Roots Music Festival – The Bowl – Monterey County Fairgrounds. Monterey, CA
Following up an unforgettable day-one with performances by SOJA, Steel Pulse, Katchafire, J Boog, The Expanders, Passafire and many more, Day-two of the 5th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival started off in a haze as the cloud of smoke from the first night had not yet dissipated. Although it was colder than the day before, a special last minute fill-in acoustic performance by Josh Heinrichs helped bring some warmness and sunshine to the Monterey County Fairgrounds early in the morning.
After SOJA’s friday night fiery grand finale, the question on everyone’s mind must have been, “How could Cali-Roots top night one?” The answer to that question, although not simple, was to schedule another full day of amazing Reggae artists from start to finish. From the wooded “Original” stage to the open “Cali-Roots” stage, to a spontaneous round of live acoustic performances being held at ThePier.org booth and everything in between, day-two was on the right track. With today’s most popular Reggae bands like Iration and Rebelution playing alongside Ziggy Marley day-two was primed to deliver another amazing night of Reggae music.
Just as the sun was setting, a sea of approximately 12,000 people flooded the grassy lawn of “The Bowl.” On stage patiently waiting for the opportunity of a lifetime were two of Southern California’s best live artists, Al Scholl and Jimmy Ovadia. With a black and white portrait of the Jamaican musician already on stage waiting to be completed, the anticipation was at an all-time high. Ziggy Marley, the oldest son of Rita and reggae legend Bob Marley, hit the main stage just after 8pm.
As Ziggy and his backing band approached the stage, fans from all over the world began cheering with true joy. Before hitting a single note, Ziggy expressed, “There is already too much hate in this world, so now LOVE is the rebellion. Love is the rebel.” Following the beautiful statement was his first song of the night, the title track off his 2006 release, “Love Is My Religion.” Next, Ziggy followed up the powerful opening with a song that would normally feature additional vocals from actor, Woody Harrelson, in 2011’s “Wild and Free.” Next up was a song that has been getting worldwide recognition as Ziggy has made appearances on late night shows across the nation performing it as promotion for his latest album release. “I Don’t Wanna Live On Mars” is a song dedicated to the planet Earth and why we should continue to love and care for it. The instrumental that followed had everyone moving, leading into the track, “Conscious Party.”
Smiles and smoke clouds filled the venue as Ziggy performed a classic cover of his father’s “So Much Trouble” for everyone to enjoy. Ironically, during this track, I was witness to the first fight I had ever seen at California Roots Festival. Just as things began to escalate, an elderly man, wearing rasta-colored attire, jumped in between the disruption of peace as if he were an angel sent down from above to restore order at this beautiful festival we call Cali Roots.
After a few more songs, I really began to take notice to all the progression the live painters had made on the stage as Ziggy performed “True To Myself,” a personal favorite of mine. Al Scholl’s black and white portrait had now added background colors while Jimmy’s canvas now included much greater detail. The massive crowd of fans never stopped dancing and singing along as Ziggy continued to perform songs, both old and new.
A highlight of the set was Ziggy covering his father’s legendary reggae anthem, “One Love.” A song known by all, the crowd immediately began chanting the lyrics as soon as the first musical note hit the speakers. If you closed your eyes, you almost felt as if you had traveled back in time, listening to Bob Marley spread his music to the masses. At the same time, it was very surreal to see a few of Ziggy’s youngest children dancing on the big screen! Switching up the vibe, Ziggy’s guitar player hopped on the microphone to bring the crowd a taste of some dancehall roots in the track, “Look Who’s Dancing.”
To finish the set, Ziggy performed the title track off his April 2014 release, “Fly Rasta.” In a late night interview with Conan O’Brien, the multi-talented family man explained that he was pushing the boundaries of his music with the release of his newest album. The final track of the night featured Ziggy, front and center, playing multiple bongo solos throughout the song. As he left the stage, the crowd continued to cheer for minutes upon end. Ziggy’s host then hit the stage once again, asking for one more round of applause for the children who were seen on stage throughout the set dancing and playing percussion instruments.
According to Ziggy, his father’s last words to him were, “Money can’t buy life.” The oldest son of reggae legend, Bob Marley, seems to have taken these words to heart. Not only does he deliver a heartfelt performance, Ziggy also leaves everyone in attendance with a sense of peace and love for the Earth as well as one another.
The creator of the “Marijuanaman” comic and writer of the children’s book “I Love You, Too,” is always working on new ventures. His performance from last night clearly solidifies that he is carrying on the legacy of his father and has left the perfect set up for his brother’s performance as he closes out the festival for day three.
Ziggy Marley Set List:
1. Love Is My Religion
2. Wild and Free
3. I Don’t Wanna Live On Mars
4. Conscious Party
6. So Much Trouble (cover)
7. I Get Up
8. Rainbow In The Sky
9. True To Myself
10. Moving Forward
11. Tomorrow People
12. Give It Away or Forward to Love??
13. One Love (cover)
14. Look Who’s Dancing
15. Fly Rasta
Ziggy Marly Website
Ziggy Marley Facebook
Article by: David Garcia
Photos by: David Norris
More Photos From The Night…