“Positive versus negative, positive will win. We are positive.”
– Julian Marley
On the week the world marked the late Bob Marley's February 6th birthday, Park City celebrated with his son's reggae happening at the stage on lower Main Street as part of the VISA World Cup Skiing Championships. When my friend emailed a few of us that afternoon to ask if we wanted to go hear Julian Marley in concert, I responded in the affirmative even though it was already a marathon week of concerts, gigs, and even Sundance Best of Fest. It was a year ago that I wrote my first concert review post for this blog, which incidentally was also one of my first posts. So indulge me … I'm sentimental and wanted to return to my beginnings.
We coordinated everything in a New York minute --- what to wear, when to meet and where, and our general strategy for the evening. Dressed in fashionable ski gear and for me a long wool coat, we procured princess parking four stalls from the entrance to Lower Main Street and the stage where Marley's performance was barely underway.
Given his parents – father Bob Marley and mother Lucy from Barbados - reggae music is truly Marley's musical heritage. Talk about having a musical influence: most musicians aren't talking about their parents. Sure, they might have heard a few albums and went to a few concerts, but Julian Marley's depth of musical experience is rare indeed.
A striking characteristic of Marley's music is the powerful and positive lyrics. The words to his songs spoke of lifting people out of oppressive political situations and poverty. Marley recognizes the power of music. “I love listening to music, all kinds of music. Music puts you in different moods. I want to exercise today, I put on this music. I want to go and relax, put on music. Time for getting motivated, this music.”
We abandoned our usual stage front spot for a spot in the middle of the throng where friends of friends were already vibing to the Caribbean beat. “You cold?” I asked my friend. “No,” she said. “Me neither,” I said. “Well, maybe a little on my face,” which was the only part of me not covered with several layers. And her feet were a bit chilled. I told her about my idea for a blog post: “The Case for Staying Home.”
A few songs from the end, we climbed on what by summer is a flower bed so I could take a video. Then, all of the sudden, I looked down and it looked like an ominous drop. “How did we get up there so easily?” sort of like the baby bear that climbs the tree and can't figure out how to get down I was. But we did, and back into the legion of dancing, ski-hat wearing Marley fans.
Reggae as a genre has such a beach-y sound, so jamming to Marley's band in full ski regalia was the ultimate irony. But … some ironies are just too good to pass up, and this was one such. My friend summed up our experience so well:
“I had a great time...sometimes once you push through the "motivation drag" you have some of your better experiences! What a great show they did... “