Ziggy Marley’s Summer Tour with 311
Live at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Words and photos by Jan Salzman
This particular concert had been building interest since it was announced. Because I knew it was going to be a must-see event, I asked for my passes early on and looked forward to a day trip to beautiful Santa Barbara! There were a few bursts of rain on the way there… but once I reached Santa Barbara the sun broke through the clouds and shone brightly on the Santa Barbara Bowl. I was ready for a Marley vibe to bring the light and I found it!
Although 311 is a huge rock band, it was Ziggy Marley I was there to see, having missed witnessing his performances with a full band. The packed Santa Barbara Bowl exploded with joy when Ziggy took to the stage for a sold-out performance.
Walking onstage without his guitar, he then picked it up and did a little riddim to check the instruments. He launched into “Still the Storms,” from his Grammy-winning album Love Is My Religion. He started off the vibe with a little more alternative rock for this particular audience.
With so many great songs in his own repertoire to choose from, and possessing the great musical legacy left by his father Bob Marley, Ziggy has an abundance of music to choose from. It’s always interesting to see which songs Ziggy will choose to perform. Next, he chose “Africa Unite.” Over the course of the entire set, he did two more of his father’s tunes, “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Is This Love.” The set list I received after the show made this reporting a little easier. An interesting point to consider is that at this show Ziggy kept to his set list, which delivered a little shorter show than when he is the only headliner.
Ziggy, naturally gifted with his own style of performing, is visually the most like his naturally gifted father. He performs with the microphone stand. Sometimes he takes off his guitar, seemingly because he likes to keep his hands free to gesture and dance. I was a little concerned about his dancing as he had injured his knee in a soccer match only a month ago. He seemed to be fine. Ziggy and his band played their set flawlessly. He closed with his theme song, “Love Is My Religion.” Due to time constraints, he did not perform an encore, but definitely deserved one. A big “shout out” goes to Ziggy’s fabulous band: Santa on drums, Beezy on guitar, Takeshi on lead guitar, Mikey on keyboards, Angel and Rock on percussion, Pablo on bass, and Tracey on backing vocals. This is one of the greatest bands in all of reggae!
Following his show, I went backstage to greet Ziggy and the band. Such an irie and loving vibe flows through these people. Then it was time for the trip home…always blaring the music that I just heard to keep the irie vibe going. “Big up” to all at Nederlander for bringing us this star-studded show!