Red gold and green were the colors of choice Friday night at the Music Hall of Minneapolis, as Damian “Little Gong” Marley brought his unique brand of reggae to the Twin Cities. This show was the kick-off of his US tour.
Damian has been performing since he was 13, and released his first album in 1996. The two time Grammy winner has collaborated with a diverse roster of artists, most notably rock legions Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart as well as Hip Hop monster Nas and EDM god Skrillex. On Friday, Skrillex released a collab with Marley and Ty Dolla $ign. Damian is also an entrepreneur, repurposing a former prison to grow medical marijuana and producing “Welcome to Jamrock”, one of the most successful music themed cruises. He is in town supporting the recently released, critically acclaimed album Stoney Hill.
There were some issues with WIFI at the door causing delays for people with tickets at the will call window. Damian waited until everyone was in before starting his set. You could feel the excitement in the air as Marley took the stage around 11:15. As the opening strains of “Here We Go” reverberated through the packed Music Hall, the crowd enthusiastically welcomed Jr. Gong to the Twin Cities. Damian had full command of the stage, with his machine gun quick delivery, dancing from end to end accompenied by a Rasta flag waving buddy. The crowd was in full skank mode; the former Mill City Nights being transformed into a Trenchtown dancehall. Damian leaned heavily on his older material, only doing 5 songs from Stoney Hill. His band was super tight, and the backing singers looked like they were having the time of their lives. The crowd powerfully sang along to the call and response of More Justice. However, the most enthusiastic response came when Damian broke into his father’s War/No More Trouble as well as the closer Is This Love.
It was quite apparent Friday night that there is tons of love for reggae in the Twin Cities.
Set List: Here We Go – Nail Pon Cross – Time Travel – More Justice – Upholstery – Hey Girl – Beautiful – Affairs Of The Heart – R.O.A.R. – Medication – The Mission – Love And Inity – Struggle – War / No More Trouble – Move! – Slave Mill – Living It Up / So A Child – Is This Love