Osheaga Music and Arts Festival – Day 2 part 1

I love reggae music, and of course, Bob Marley. Not reggeaton, I'm talking Lee Perry, U-Roy and Peter Tosh. The real stuff. To say I was excited to see Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley is an understatement. Along with the other white boys and faux rastas, I was there to get as close to the Marley legacy as possible. Knowing why the fans had gathered, the backup band got the wet crowd moving with a Bob Marley mashup jam that garnered cheers of approval. With an emcee there to spur on the crowd, Damian Marley with his knee-length dreads joined the ensemble on stage to continue with the irie times. Consisting of the usual array of musicians, Jr. Gong was also joined by 2 backup singers/dancers and a big Jamaican waving the Ethiopian Lion of Judah flag proudly and non-stop. Playing "Confrontation", the first track off of his latest album Welcome to Jamrock, Marley laid down the vibe and kept it going for most of his hour long set. Aside from only a couple tracks that didn't win over the Osheaga faithful, tracks such as "Hey Girl" and "Beautiful" did the trick. Fusing roots-reggae with hip-hop and the Marley political awareness, Jr. Gong did a formidable job in filling what has to be the toughest pair of shoes to fill. The last portion of the show was the strongest as people were dancing and grooving to the Bob Marley sampled track "Move" in spite of the rain, and seemed to be feeling the social commentary on "In 2 Deep". With lots of call and response with the ganja fueled crowd, the peak was reached with the final 2 cuts. His cover of his father's "Could You be Loved" will be the closest this generation will get to rubbing up to the Marley legacy, and they reacted accordingly grooving and singing along. Finishing up with his club friendly and title track "Welcome to Jamrock", Damian Marley breathed new life into his family's rich tradition and offered up a welcome change at Osheaga.

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