16 August 2016
If we were to find a common denominator for the 3 artists who performed Monday tonight we would say without hesitation; their love for roots reggae and their great passion from different corners of the world, regardless of their age.
Obviously this passion spread over from the Main Stage, hitting the audience in the most positive way. Kabaka Pyramid is from Jamaica and he belongs to the ‘reggae revival’ scene. We got stunned by his capability to invent fresh and still meaningful lyrics. Moreover, he showed his vocal elasticity singing roots reggae, hip hop and even the most rhythmic dancehall. His show is free from glittery tricks and gets to keep high the voltage through the wise use of the consistent flow, thanks to the Bebble Rockers’ loyal accompaniment.
Kabaka learned the ropes in hip hop and doesn’t hide his first passion using rhymes which seem to be born in South Central rather than in Kingston. He pays the tribute quoting the artists who influenced him (e.g. Sizzla, Capleton and Burro Banton) as well as his fellow ‘reggae revival’ artists of the same age like Protoje and Chronixx. His set closed with ‘Well done’, criticising politician’s hypocrisy from all over the world and demonstrating that reggae still struggles to denounce inequality and injustice. Damian Marley, tomorrow’s main guest who was already with us, stood on the main stage while Kabaka (who he often collaborates with) was performing.
Meta Dia came next. This young Senegalese artist went to New York and managed to co-found the project Meta & The Cornestone, composed of artists from different countries that aims to start a new roots reggae pattern putting together several music influences. Tonight Meta’s show was solid and energetic root & culture, and his late album ‘Ancient power’ was made genuine by his travel to Jamaica just before.
His very first Rototom appearance has been welcomed by applauses which continued during his moving speech about the urge to work together in order to stop wars shedding blood in several corners of the planet.
The ‘Royal Family’ Morgan Heritage got on stage right after, one of the best worldwide bands recently awarded with the Grammy for their 2015 ‘Strictly roots‘ album. Reggae classics such as ‘Reggae bring back love’ or ‘Don’t affi dread’ are followed by his newest songs not to mention his beautiful tribute to Peter Tosh.
The peak of the quality was reached when Alborosie opened his show, like a musical hurricane crashing through the audience. The Italian singer, who lives in Jamaica, appears in a very good shape and sang song after song unrelentingly, leaving the audience out of breath. He started with ‘Herbalist‘ and performed most of his new album entitled ‘Freedom & fyah’ without forgetting to play ‘Kingston Town‘ towards the last part of the show. Lots of ovations arose from his loving supporters and ‘Albo’ was successfully sided by his Shengen Band, making tonight’s show a very momentous one.