Ziggy Marley at Del Mar Farigrounds… Riding Piggy Back on Bob Marley

Well its been about 6 years since I saw Ziggy Marley. Last time my street team and I were handing out Reggae Rock Hop CD samplers (my second album) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and things were quite different.  I was a little greener in my musical journey and more tolerant of nursery rhyme sing a longs.

First I’ll give Ziggy credit, he makes music to inspire people and he’s done an amazing job at that, spawning super simple feel good tunes like “true to myself” and “love is my religion.”  The world could always use more positive inspirational music like Ziggys.

Ziggy-and-his-father-Bob-MarleyWhat was really striking to me this time was that this place was packed with probably 3,000 people who come to his concerts over and over, yet 75% of the time people weren’t even into the music, they were just talking to their friends bored and unmoved.  For better or worse Ziggy Marley is really a pre-branded name transcended from an iconic father Bob Marley who pulls crowd numbers in large part from sheer name recognition.

While many are content with the really basic two or three chord progressions and choruses that never change more than three or four words long, as a musician for 17 years I have a different perspective with a seriously refined acoustical listening mechanism, otherwise known as “elephant ears” according to world class bass player Pancho Tomaselli. But these ears have studied masters like Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin and the like, who have won multiple Grammys and lifetime achievement awards and the result is high expectations for not only myself, but other musicians.

With the exception of the great company I was with, the entire concert seemed to lack energy, it was as if he was just doing his duty out of obligation.  I couldn’t feel his soul come through and with the exception of the backup singer getting out and dancing one tune, the band never moved, never coalesced and did anything really cool.  The highlights were of course Bob Marley songs, Could you Be Loved and Is This Love, where I closed my eyes and imagined I was listening to Bob live, which I never got to do before he died, but made it worth the drive, the $8 admission fee and dealing with the occasional drunk chick spilling beer.  Maybe I have high expectations, but hey this is supposed to be the top professionals, give me a little more than I’d see at a local bar man.  As I watch I can only determine to do better when my time comes.

Ziggy if you ever read this, I love you man, and thanks for the love, but step it up a little brother!

Please feel free to comment below on your experience or opinion.

lots of love, Chad