Brothers’ Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Stephen “Ragga” Marley, sons of Reggae legend Bob Marley, each performed their final show for the "Catch A Fire" tour under the super moon lunar eclipse at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre. The concert featured performances by Bob Marley’s grandsons Jo Mersa and Skip Marley, exclusive appearances by dancehall legend, Super Cat and legendary reggae artists Morgan Heritage, Terrus Riley, Black Am I, Jemere Morgan and Kingston 12 (Shinehead & Papalotl). Reggae icon & dancehall artist Barrington Levy was scheduled for a special performance, but according to his reps, he collapsed from a dangerously high temperature and was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with Dengue Fever, forcing him to miss the show.
The tour was a revival of the original "Catch A Fire" tour in 1973 in honor of Bob Marley’s 70th birthday earlier this year. It was a reggae family celebration under a giant rasta moon. “Do you love reggae music?" Stephen “Ragga” Marley, the second son of singer Bob Marley, repeatedly asks the dancing crowd. Stephen began his music career early, appearing on his first record at the age of six. His set was reminiscent of his father’s classic reggae sound, mixed with rock, rhythm & blues and contemporary jazz grooves. His band was very versatile and the performance included an amazing solo by vocalist Erica Newell during the catchy “No Cigarette Smoking in My Room.” He closed the set with a brilliant cover of “Iron Lion Zion,” featuring video footage from the period when that song debuted.
His brother Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley followed with a riveting performance and a style that infuses traditional Jamaican reggae with pop, old school R&B and hip hop. He opened with his electronic dance music hit, “Make It Bun Dem,” that was composed with Skrillex. His set list also included covers “Exodus” and “Could You Be Loved.” He was powerful in promoting love and peace with no more trouble and no war. He led us from Kingston into the promise land of Mandela. Damian is the youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley and was only two years old when his father died. Damian has been performing since the age of 13. He is the only Jamaican reggae artist in history to win two Grammy Awards on the same night. He is also the only reggae artist to win in the Best Urban/Alternative performance category at the Grammy Awards.
Text by Heidi Meyer
Photos by Paula Tripodi
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