While the Opera House audience enjoyed their drinks of choice and marked their spots on the floor, they were treated to some fine Reggae tunes courtesy of Toronto’s own Kevin Laverty who, with his coveted case of 7″ vinyl, kept the turntables spinning, and anticipation building for the upcoming live performance.

Having already seen Ziggy Marley perform a number of times, I was looking forward to a good evening of sweet Reggae music and was not disappointed.  Marley takes his live performances seriously.  Faithful, respectful renditions, of all songs performed, was the order of the night.

Marley opened with two songs off his latest album Rebellion Rises.  The evening included another 5 songs from the album, all of which were true to the Reggae genre.  Unfortunately, the LP was not available for purchase on vinyl at the show, which is very odd considering the Marley business, Tuff Gong, have their own vinyl record pressing plant.

Ziggy Marley takes the responsibility of being the son of Bob Marley seriously and proved this early on by showing his father’s music would be a large part of the set. In fact, seven Bob Marley covers were performed.  I love Bob’s music, and most people have seen never him perform live, so the crowd was grateful that Ziggy paid tribute to the music.

Ziggy Marley’s renditions are true to the recorded versions.  The moment the band broke into one of Bob’s songs, the audience responded with thunderous applause in anticipation, followed by a full audience sing along.  During “Is This Love”, Ziggy’s vocals were overpowered by the audience singing along.  I was especially grateful that Ziggy chose my favorite “Coming In From The Cold”.

From my spot at the back, the view ahead of me was a sea of cell phone screens lit up and recording during the classic Reggae anthem, “One Love”.  It’s uncanny how much Ziggy sounds like his father, and no matter how many times I hear “One Love”, it’s always magic and an absolute highlight of the evening.

The video backdrop displayed appropriate imagery to accompany the songs being performed and I loved the psychedelic projection as we all sang along “All You Need Is Love”.  Ziggy and the band put on a solid 2-hour performance.  I was at first disappointed that “Look Who’s Dancing” wasn’t performed during the main set but was pleasantly surprised when they performed it during the encore.  Thanks Ziggy.

If you love the sweet sound of Reggae music, you really need to catch Ziggy Marley the next time he is in town.

Review and Photos by Steve Danyleyko