Musical Zion

I have grown leery of casino shows, usually I refuse to go at all, but who could resist a double bill of Ziggy Marley and Robert Randolph? For only $33? I gave up my chance to go see Buddy Guy, just because I had a feeling this would be worth it. And man, oh man, was I right. Each of these performers gave $150 show – a spectacular show!

We lined up early because it was a general admission show. Brad and friends went for a front row booth, dead center. About thirty feet of dance floor separated it from the stage. I positioned myself just to the right of the microphone, touching the stage and didn’t give up my spot all night. It takes stamina to be a devoted fan. I thought security might hassle me about the camera, but they didn’t seem to care, so I flashed with abandon.

After seeing Ziggy a few years back in Truckee, I was smitten. He absolutely glows with the love and peace he professes. He did four of his dad’s songs, which gets the crowd all singing along. But that left plenty of time for his own original works. When I see a show so overwhelming, I lose all track of time, just being in the moment of the song. Every once and awhile I’d think, “Wow! He’s been playing forever.” (No, I wasn’t smoking with the rest of the crowd). It just seemed that he kept doing more and more and more. Instead of being an “opening act,” he gave a full concert, over 20 long songs.

During the break, the kids around me were so infatuated, they were sure that the show was over. When I told them that another better act was coming on, they really couldn’t believe it. I had to try to describe what type of music Robert Randolph plays. It is a difficult task; while you can put Ziggy firmly at the heart of reggae, Robert has no category. No one else plays pedal steel, high energy, rock, gospel, jam, wild, wonderful music like this.

Well, I was right; those kids lost their minds when Robert started in on his musical rampage. The dance floor went wild with joie de vivre. One hundred percent dancing, singing fools. The reason I go to concerts is to feel that feeling. It overwhelms you and carries you into the music. It’s impossible to describe unless you’ve done it. It's impossible to photograph that kind of energy. I am sure that I will not see another show that good for the rest of the year. It was untoppable.

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