Review by Jan Salzman

August 2, 2007

As always, I arrived early for the show in Costa Mesa. I enjoy the privilege of listening to the sound check. As I drove up, Santa Davis, Ziggy’s drummer was just going in the backstage entrance. He okayed me with the guard and I got close parking right near the tour buses. As I entered the venue I was greeted by Ziggy’s wonderful wife and manager, Orly, who took great care of me for the day. I got a great seat at the side of the stage. I just hung around soaking up the irie vibe until show time.

After Ziggy finished the sound check he came over and sat right beside me. I didn’t have a tape recorder, so I’ll recount my conversation as best as I can. I asked him,"Did you see the last review on Reggae Report. Com and Reggae Music Reviews.Com?"

Ziggy said, "Yeah! I liked it. That was a special show (in Ventura, CA). Thanks."

I asked if I could take some candid photos of the family (three of Ziggy’s daughters were there: Judah, Justice, and Zouri). The very private Ziggy replied,"Me no know about dem tings deh." Which was a very polite no. All is okay with me. Nuff respect! I mentioned that I love his newer music and that it is a very crossover sound. His response was, "That’s what the people dem say."

After our conversation I relaxed backstage where I met some members of Donovan Frankenreiters band, who were really nice people. Then it was show time, in front of a sold out crowd of 8,500!

The first to perform was Honk, a very popular Orange County blues band. They had a saxophone player that played two saxes at the same time a la Rassan Roland Kirk.

Then came Donovan Frankenreiter, a fantastic bluesy rock band. They included a great harmonica player, Mo Grundy, who was spotlighted during the set. Donovan is a guitar virtuoso that intersperses his vocals with wonderful riffs and plays feedback a la Jimi Hendricks. He really got the crowd going and earned an encore.

Then it was time for the highlight of the evening…the indomitable Ziggy Marley! Ziggy opened the show with his upbeat ska song "Black Cat." Then he went straight into "Lively Up Yourself." He paused before the next song, proclaiming to the audience, "People shouldn’t fear the Government…the Government should fear the people." His next song was "Be Free." The crowd was on it’s feet during the entire performance, singing along and waving their outstretched arms. Ziggy sang and danced with expertise and perfection, spinning his hip length dreadlocks which flew like a giant angel wings. His repertoire that evening included two more of his father’s songs…"Roots Rock Reggae" and "Is This Love?" He also sang many selections from his latest Grammy winning album "Love Is My Religion" and a few songs from the "Dragonfly" CD and a few more songs from his days with the Melody Makers. He closed the set with "Love Is My Religion." The crowd wanted an encore, but the show went over time and the house lights went up.

Totally satisfied I packed up my gear and headed home after saying my goodbyes and thanking Orly. I was thrilled with the night’s show, as I am every time I see Ziggy. Thanks for the inspiration!

Photos by Jan Salzman




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