15 August 2016
The second night was divided into the mysticism and depth of 70’s roots reggae and a classic combination of Latin American rhythm and melody. To start with, we witnessed the first concert of Ijahman Levi in Spain, an artist who reached a new level of intensity with his two masterful albums Haile I hymn and Are we a warrior. He continued his career independently with a number of other excellent albums in the 80’s and 90’s.
His style on the Rototom stage was highly meditative and his songs were lengthy and involved thanks to his band, in particular the flawless solo guitarist. When he wasn’t singing, Ijahman Levi closed his eyes and took on a gesture of concentration to better communicate his mystic vibes to the audience. Then came the moment to present two new songs dedicated to Chris Blackwell, the famous producer who he had a confrontation with, and the second dedication to the spirit of his good friend and fellow musician Bob Marley. Apart from these new tunes, classics such as Moulding, I’m a Levi and Heavy load were covered magnificently. Although his voice isn’t what it once was, he was put on the stage given his brilliance as an artist.
Ijahman Levi opened the night with a nod to roots reggae, while the legendary Israel Vibration closed in similar form. The trio of veterans were reduced to a duo some time ago due to the passing away of Apple. Unfortunately, at the last minute they couldn’t arrive together as Wiss‘ passport was stolen, so in the end only Skelly appeared on stage. With musical encores like those of Roots Radics, along with heavyweight and bassy sounds similar to Flabba Holt, the concert was impeccable as expected. As Skelly said, the absence of his two band-mates was clear and it cast a shadow over what would have been a highly memorable night, had the band been complete.
Green Valley and Big Mountain lead the night with a mixture of Spanish lyrics, South American rhythms, melodic prowess and characteristic Latin American sound. The young band from Catalonia returned to the Main Stage again from the year before to showcase their new album Ahora. It was warmly welcomed by the public and made us see the masses of fans enjoying it. Their sounds convey a very personal story in roots reggae, with a romanticism that proved particularly popular with their female fans and some songs that raised a flame to dancehall.
While Green Valley had appeared on stage after Ijahman, Big Mountain had the task of playing third, before the “incomplete” Israel Vibration. This prominent Californian band have been active since the 80’s and lived through pivotal moments in the 90’s. After a period of almost complete inactivity, they reformed just this year to launch their new work Perfect Summer. We enjoyed Big Mountain for their tight rhythm section, the charisma of their front-man Joaquim “Quino” McKinney and the irresistible character of their melodies. Examples of this were their cover of Here comes the sun by The Beatles, as well as the solid songs from their new album. They closed the show memorably with their hit song Baby I love your way, which continues to remain their most famous song.