17 August 2016
The evening was divided in two by the return of Damian Marley, one of the most important artists on the modern scene and also one of the most eagerly awaited here at Sunsplash. The frenetic strobe lighting and dubstep sounds marked the beginning of the concert with Make it bun dem, making the Main Stage explode. A high energy combination of the cornerstones of his repertoire followed, including Promised land and Set up shop, as well as two new songs from his new album Stony Hill; Nail pon cross and Caution.
The wrists of face of the bassist Shiah Coore said a lot about the powerful sound and the weight of the bass frequencies, while Damian jumped around the stage, taking advantage of the energy of the massive crowd and the frenetic movements of the backing singers. The spirit of his father Bob is always present and a considerable part of his set was made up of covers of his songs, for example War, Exodus, Couldyou be loved y Get up stand up, which preceded an emotional rendition of Road to Zion shortly before the end of his set.
A few hours before, the veteran Pablo Moses opened the dance, the friendly-face that wrote vibrant pages of roots & culture in the 70’s and 80’s that make his repertoire stand out. We’re talking about examples such as A song, Pave the way, Ready, aim, fire and Dubbin’ is a must, during which Pablo emulated the gestures of the Handcart Band’s bassist, a great homage to dub music. Ziggi Recado followed Pablo Moses on stage, a popular and well known European artist, known for his versatility in combining roots vibrations with the rhythms of dancehall. Ziggi presented his smooth Bless to the crowd, from the new EP Ivan the terrible, which formed a part of his diverse catalogue of albums. He closed his show with Need to tell you this which to this day continues to be his most famous tune.
Before the entrance of Damiam Marley, the climax of the night, we saw the return of the dub poet Jah9, who was without doubt one of the most fascinating female presences on the “reggae revival” scene, thanks to her innate style, great charisma and the style and quality of her lyrics. She was backed for the first time by her new band, Dub Treatment. Her set was full to the brim of dub with echoes, effects and powerful sounds and heavy drums. The new queen of reggae has also has a new album that will be released in September and the way she played the new songs live, such as Feeling irie, Humble me and Unafraid surely showed that it will be a very high quality work. Jah9’s voice had traces of jazz, combined rhythmically with her harmonic touches, set between other beautiful movements could be found in her interpretations of Avocado, Steamers a bubble and the song that the title track from her new album; New name. Her energy, the natural mystic flows of her tunes surely helped to warm up the audience for Damian Marley, which was definitely the strong-point of another great night at this edition of the festival.