Last night, MySpace threw a “secret show” at Studio A, which was PACKED by 9:30 pm (what kind of secret is that?), featuring Stephen “Raggamuffin” Marley and his brother Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley as performers. The show opened with Mr. Cheeks of the Lost Boys who was TERRIBLE, and there wasn’t a single hand in the air as he stumbled through his set. Why a rapper was opening up for a reggae show beats us, but it was a relief when Stephen Marley took the stage like a rasta warrior and got the crowd amped properly. Stephen had a four-year-old child on stage with him the whole time -- we can only assume it was Marley’s son -- and he was dancing about and waving a rasta flag, so you couldn’t help but think about Stephen and the Melody Makers on stage three decades ago with their father doing the same thing. It’s eerie how much Stephen sounds like his father, even starting the show just like Bob Marley started all of his performances by chanting: Greetings in the name of His Imperial Majesty, Emporer Haile Selassie the 1st, JAH RAAAASTAFARI, which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
It was a quality show, and after eight or nine stellar tunes, his younger brother, Damian Marley, jumped on stage, and the two sang a few duos including “It Was Written,” “Welcome to Jamrock,” “All Night” and a few other ditties that we couldn’t catch the names of but sounded great up close and personal. Seeing as how the show was here in our backyard, it’s not surprising that those two weren’t the only Marleys in the building. It didn’t take long for Ziggy to join them on stage, and one of Bob’s youngest daughters, who looks JUST like him in the face, started singing back up as the male children chanted down babylon song after song. Stephen even acknowledged that his grandmother was in the club as well, and it was a miniature Marley Fest with less hype and more spontaneous elation. At this point, I guess we should big-up MySpace for putting all of this together. Truth be told, the energy and vibrations in the building actually did make it a better reggae show than Best of the Best. So shout-outs to MySpace. There, we said it twice.
P.S. Tom is still the devil. -- Jonathan Cunningham