Any concertgoer would agree-it was an evening of veritable rock and reggae perfection on Friday night at the Bowl. The Summer Unity Tour kickoff show was awash with cliches-the full moon came out, the clouds were ominous, and the overall tone of the night rang something like, “peace, love, and rock ‘n’ roll.” At the crux of it all was 311 and their ever-so-eclectic lineup-this year, the hip-hop-funk-rock-reggae band decided to bring Rasta master Ziggy Marley along on their annual coast-to-coast ride. And the audience, beer cup in one hand and el diablo sign in the other, could not have been more stoked.
Ziggy Marley, along with his band and their instruments, were a vision in red, green, and gold as they took the stage at sunset. With his hands on his waist and three-foot-long dreads swaying, Marley commanded the platform where his father recorded his final performance back in 1979. Unable to resist Marley’s alluring feel-good presence, fans bobbed their heads and clapped their hands to the dub beat as Marley sang songs about crying for justice and staying true to oneself (“Justice,” “True to Myself”). Marley (who is believed to sound most like his late, great dad) also got the crowd on its feet with his almost-as-good renditions of “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Is This Love.” Before clearing the stage to make way for the evening’s headliner, Marley made sure to throw out his closing pleas for peace, one love, and pronouncing love was his religion during “Love Is My Religion.”
By Paul Wellman