Words and Photos by Dave MacIntyre
The approach of cooler weather in Toronto was held at bay in lieu of warmer waves of Reggae rhythm brought to the city by Ziggy Marley. The son of the legendary Bob Marley, it can be argued that Ziggy fits the same status and has for some time having released six studio albums to date, including this May 2016’s self-titled release. This is a man and artist that has earned his own success by fusing a legitimate passion and skill for songwriting with outstanding live performances that, without a doubt, prove he’s just as gifted as his father was.
Marley’s stage productions are big, but focus is placed on musical instrumentation including various percussion setups, and room for dancing back-up singers, instead of complicated lighting rigs and visuals. It keeps the atmosphere intimate and genuinely “roots”, which is really what this music is all about. Besides, the front-man and his singers are themselves riveting, making extra flair unnecessary.
Fans were treated to 120 minutes of near-perfect music that included new songs, classic Ziggy Marley tracks like “Tomorrow People” and select Bob Marley songs that turned the Danforth Music Hall into a joyous sing-a-long party. “Get Up, Stand Up,”, “One Love”, and “Could You Be Loved” were goose-bump inducing covers that sounded remarkably like the originals and fit in nicely with Ziggy’s own material. Although an encore did not follow due to time restrictions, it’s unlikely anyone left unhappy with the what they heard and witnessed.