Posted On 19 Oct 2017
The GRAMMY Award-Winning artist Damian “Junior Gong” Marley is currently on tour following the release of his fourth album, “Stony Hill,” which comes twelve years after the release of “Welcome to Jamrock.” Opening for him on this run of tour dates is his fellow reggae performer, Kabaka Pyramid.
Last night (Wednesday, October 18), All Access was thrilled to see Damian perform at The Belasco Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. For roughly two hours, the Rastafarian musician entertained the sold out venue with his brand of reggae tunes. Wearing a simple long sleeved denim buttoned shirt and matching jeans, the performer owned the stage and delighted everyone in the packed smokey venue. Hanging down to just about his knees were his signature long dreads.
As the youngest son of the iconic Jamaican reggae singer, Bob Marley, and with over 20 years of performing experience under his belt, it’s no wonder how truly talented and passionate Damian was last night. His rapid-fire rhymes were amazing to see in person.
The concert-goers were eager to sing and bob along to the musician’s older songs along with brand new tracks found on “Stony Hill.” The hits “Nail Pon Cross,” “R.O.A.R” and “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody” were particularly enjoyed.
When Billboard asked Damian about the making of his latest album, he explained, “I wasn’t thinking about anything grandiose when I was writing the lyrics, just day to day personal relationships. The song (Nail Pon Cross) touches on the judgments we see in the media and in politics, but it is really about how we pass judgment on each other.”
At one point, Damian asked the crowd if there were any Bob Marley fans there and of course everyone screamed and put there hands up in the air when the first notes of “Is This Love” were heard. He also played Could You Be Loved” which they audience loved just as much.
The night was deeply immersed in Jamaican culture and it was incredible to watch a member of Damian’s crew sway the Jamaican flag high above the band for the entire show. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a proper Jamaican reggae show without a lot of talk about marijuana. It was indeed a pot-filled smokey dance party.
After about an hour of performing, Damian welcomed his half-brother Stephen Marley to the stage. Together, they sang “Medication” which is all about supporting the legalization of marijuana.
Damian wrapped up the night with his hit, “Welcome to Jamrock,” the title song from his 2005 album also called “Welcome to Jamrock.”
See below for praise for “Stony Hill”:
“(Stony Hill) is a reminder that reggae remains a potent pop force, especially when it’s in the hands of a master.” ROLLING STONE
“Stony Hill is a hell of a reintroduction, loaded with reggae classicism (greats including Dennis Brown and Black Uhuru are sampled), along with electronic and hip-hop elements.” ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
“Rife with clubby synths and fueled with Damian’s rapid fire delivery plus ecletic samples” PEOPLE MAGAZINE
“(Damian Marley) continues to push reggae forward.” THE GUARDIAN