Bob's oldest son is still #1.
After the Melody Makers split up a decade ago, lead singer Ziggy Marley seemed a bit lost. He occasionally toured with his brothers - Stephen, Damian and Julian - and has released two solo albums, Dragonfly (2003) and this year's Love Is My Religion. I'm here to report that, based on last night's concert at Irving Plaza in New York, Bob Marley's oldest son is back.
The 24-song, 2 and 1/2 hour set was Marley's most electric New York performance in some time. Marley played guitar and at times simply sang songs. His backing band - two guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, two singers - was as tight as a djembe drum.
Marley chose from three separate oeuvres: his own solo songs, Melody Makers music and selections by his father. Since he hadn't played them in a while, the Melody Makers' tunes - "Conscious Party," "Tumbling Down," "Lee and Molly," "Tomorrow People," "Look Who's Dancing" - were among the night's highlights. The show peaked with a rousing "Get Up, Stand Up."
Marley played with his back to a huge banner that simply spelled out LOVE. It is his religion, and for the last song of the lengthy encore, he had everyone blissfully singing along. Damian may be a more exciting performer these days, but Ziggy remains the torch barer holding the Marley family flame.