Ziggy Marley ADD

Review & Photos: Ziggy Marley in Los Angeles, CA @ Roxy - August 10, 2018

08/15/2018 by Larson Sutton

Review & Photos: Ziggy Marley in Los Angeles, CA @ Roxy - August 10, 2018

Ziggy Marley @ Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, CA (USA) - August 10, 2018

Summer in Los Angeles no longer seems a complete season without a sweltering performance from Ziggy Marley and his band. Like the Hollywood Bowl appearances in recent years, this early-August stop, in support of Marley’s Rebellion Rises album, arrived concurrently with a steadily rising mercury. Inside the famed, sold-out Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip, an everlasting mass of supporters sweated through a brilliantly sharp and focused two-hour set of the reggae giant’s latest and greatest, plus a few tips of the hat to his legendary father.

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Flanked by his two female backing vocalists, Ziggy Marley entered determinedly, played onto the stage by his seven-piece ensemble for the show-starting new track Change Your World. In a vibrant black-and-gold shirt, he tacitly mediated a friendly duel between longtime guitarist Takeshi Akimoto and guitar newcomer Adam Zimmon to close out the opener, then picked up a guitar himself for the cutting See Dem Fake Leaders. A third nod to his latest record came on the darting World Revolution, and continuing the evening’s theme of political and social change, Marley dipped back into his catalog for a driving Justice that morphed into Bob Marley’s War, with instant recognition from the humid house, then into a most poignant Wailers’ gemstone, Get Up, Stand Up.

The middle section of the set also felt thematic, brightening the earlier intensive calls to action with the neo-classic Love is My Religion, tagged with The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love, and love plea Beach in Hawaii. A particularly hot version, literally and figuratively, of I Don’t Wanna Live on Mars, the lead single from 2013’s Fly Rasta record, preceded the cooling breeze of One Love, and Marley’s pleads for positivity on a pair from the latest: a bouncy High on Life and the calming Circle of Peace

A slightly extended We Are the People, from 2016’s eponymous Grammy-winner carried more intent this time around, less a gentle reminder, more an empowering statement and led to a surprisingly strong take on I Will Be Glad, shedding the sheen of the studio version for one of the highlight’s of the second half. It had a carryover effect on band and crowd, pushing through the exhaustive heat in the crammed club, for a rocking run of Wild and Free, again closing with a Zimmon flourish. Then, with unintended irony, a full sing-along on Bob’s Coming in from the Cold, and a final blitz on the Rebellion Rises title track.

Urged on for an encore, Marley and his group moved swiftly through “Your Pain is Mine,” before drummer Santa Davis, all night a tireless, lockdown master of timekeeping, clicked in Bob’s gold-standard, Is This Love, with Marley finding even more energy, sharing and scatting through the chorus with the rejuvenated audience. A last, and, given the temps, amazingly upbeat Look Who’s Dancing reached back three decades to Marley’s heyday with the Melody Makers and left the sweat-soaked SoCal faithful supremely satisfied after another sensational summer workout with Ziggy.

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