16 August 2015
After counting the days and hours, the audience of Rototom Sunsplash is finally reunited in Benicàssim for another memorable celebration of music and life, and precisely the immortal vibrations of Bob Marley are the ones which open the festival with the concert of his solo guitarist Junior Marvin and his band. Junior was recruited in 1977 to put some rock and blues into the music of the greatest Jamaican artist in the sessions of “Exodus”, becoming the lead guitarist of the Wailers on world tours, from that year until his death in May 1981. Now this master of the reggae guitar travels the world evoking, through his concerts, the great classics of Marleys catalogue. A wonderful version of “Rastaman Vibration” opens the festival and the emotions emerge during the concert little by little with the romantic “Turn your lights down low”, “No woman no cry” highlights the passion, ending with “War / No More Trouble” and the concluding “Could you be loved”.
After all these blessings, the French roots reggae star Naâman is back on the scene, who after making his debut at the festival on the Showcase stage in 2013, has been promoted to the Main Stage due to his great maturity. With several Jamaican experiences on his shoulders, this young artist knows very well the language of Jamaican music and makes it his own by giving it his personal touch and some rock influence. His arrival on stage is truly energetic and Naâmans show involves the audience thanks to a mixture of roots reggae, dancehall and ballads, throughout which the band must be prepared to put the foot on the accelerator and then slow down and thus encourage the glorious tension.
After the international sound of an artist who moves between Gentleman and Alborosie, the Main Stage is overwhelmed by the power of Popcaan, one of the new key players of Jamaican dancehall. The rhythms become wild with this artist, when he plays one after another all the hits of his repertoire in which the influence of the American “urban black music” is obvious. It is quite noticeable, the good work of the French supporting band Dub Akom, already present at the festival alongside many other Jamaican artists. Popcaan s debut at the festival is good but he still has to grow to reach the intensity of traditional legendary characters such as Super Cat, who closes in style the first evening of the Main Stage.
After being disappeared and having given an aura of mistery around him since the early nineties, Super Cat returns to the scene stronger than ever displaying his strenght accompanied by a band for the first time. The optimal Kaushan of Jamaica, the fascination and energy of the golden years of Jamaican dancehall are evoked by the skills and the uninterrupted flow of the legendary artist, whose show is a real lesson in how to ride tirelessly the most irresistible riddims. The Wild Apache rides like a train and in the meantime and to move with more ease, he takes his hat off to let his long hair loose. Amongst the various classics we point out “Come down”, “Under Pressure”, “Don Dada” and the great closure with “Dem not worry me”. We arrive late to realize that we need the energy of Super Cat after being overwhelmed by the shouting and tense rhythms played at the Dancehall area by Freddie Krueger and Ricky Trooper, two of the most famous selecters of the Killamanjaro Sound. The Rototom has started in a big way and we still have ahead of us another seven unforgettable nights.