STEPHEN & JR. GONG MARLEY | 05.11 | NYC

Listen to Stephen Marley on Rhapsody...

Words by: Martin Halo :: Images by: Rod Snyder

Stephen Marley feat. Jr. Gong :: 05.11.07 :: Nokia Theatre :: New York, NY


Stephen Marley :: 05.11 :: New York
With stenciled road cases bearing the name "Tuff Gong" littering the stage and transcendent African rhythms blaring over the house speakers, there is only one plausible conclusion about who is hiding deep in the belly of Manhattan.

Coming off a stellar co-bill performance at Coachella and each with critically acclaimed new albums, the Marley brothers have made their way back east in a big way, stuffing the Nokia Theatre Times Square with Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley remaining on the bill with his brother Stephen Marley who is touring in support of his highly-anticipated solo debut, Mind Control.


Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley :: 05.11 :: New York
As the house light dropped, the haze of smoke was so pungent that it literally singed one's nostrils and sent your lungs into an uncontrollable frenzy for a taste. With his dreads swaying from side to side, Stephen Marley stepped into the awaiting spotlight. As his face appeared a chill came over the audience before erupting in raucous jubilation.

A powerful "Rastafari" rang out over the crowd as Stephen's rasp channeled the spirit of his father. While every member of the Marley clan echoes aspects of Bob, it's Stephen's style and delivery that are most closely tied to his father.


Stephen Marley :: 05.11 :: New York
"Reggae on Broadway" kicked it off and was quickly followed by "Chase Them" and "Slave Driver." With his hand touching his face, Stephen dove into tracks off his debut including "Mind Control" and "Hey Baby" with his small son at his side peering up at him. Mind Control (released 3/20 on Republic), features contributions from Mos Def, Jr. Gong and Ben Harper, and is Stephen's first solo studio effort and has already earned him five Grammy Awards.

Featured Marley family classics included renditions of "Buffalo Solider," "No Woman No Cry," and "Iron Lion Zion." Jr. Gong joined his brother about halfway through the set, jolting the already electric performance to explosive levels. With the audience glowing by handheld flames, Damian captured and hypnotized fans by melodically singing, "Jamaica, Jamaica. Jamaica, Jamaica." Once he had the New York crowd firmly in the palm of his hand, the PA barked, "Out in the streets they call it murder!" The house now ablaze, the Marley brothers launched into the title track off Damian's 2005 juggernaut Welcome to Jamrock.


05.11 :: New York
NYC showed the Rastas serious love, and the smile on Damian's face was priceless. By the time we heard "All Night" and "Pimper's Paradise" the beat was so thick that the music seemed to permeate the air as the venue grooved with Marley's concoction of mystic, floating delights. The set closed with "Could You Be Loved." Now well past midnight, Stephen returned to a sea of praise for his encore of "One Love," "Jammin'," and "Exodus," the composition that solidified this performance as brilliant and managed to enrich my very soul.

Carrying the legacy of Bob Marley is no easy task. His music and life have taken him far beyond the accolades of an artist; he is a hero, a legend, a king amongst men. No one person, not even a son, could shoulder the weight alone, but with Stephen and Damian sharing the duties, the results are transcendent.


Stephen Marley :: 05.11 :: New York


Stephen Marley :: 05.11 :: New York

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[Published on: 5/30/07]

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Comments

bobbydougal starstarstar Wed 5/30/2007 02:06PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

im sure this was a good show, but why doesnt anyone post a review for the LA 4/26 show. for those of you who dont know, ben harper, mos def, chali 2na provided guest appearences performing. and if thats not enough, STEVIE WONDER came up from the front row to play some songs with the bros. i bet this show was cool, but i dont think anything could ever top the LA show. it was rediculous!!!

Rich Lieberman starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/30/2007 02:53PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Rich Lieberman

Nice review! Love this line: As the house light dropped, the haze of smoke was so pungent that it literally singed one's nostrils and sent your lungs into an uncontrollable frenzy for a taste. - classic

kaiserbun starstarstar Wed 5/30/2007 08:56PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
The1AndOnlyDJCT starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/30/2007 10:03PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I saw them in D.C. and it was an amazing experience, I've never seen the whole crowd so into a performance before.

Joshtafari starstarstarstarstar Wed 5/30/2007 11:25PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Joshtafari

Reggae Rising here we come!!!
Peace, Love, Unity, Respect

maze920 Thu 5/31/2007 08:07AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

maze920

i think jr. gong is a nickname given to him by the people around him, not a marketing idea. respect to all people exploring their creative impulses, and outgrowing the shadows of their past.

foadser Thu 5/31/2007 12:10PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

World's most expensive bob marley cover band. $25 in 2003 at the orange peel. don't even want to know what it costs now.

soulink starstarstarstarstar Thu 5/31/2007 02:36PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

soulink

I always find it interesting how any topic involving reggae, Bob Marley and Rastafarianism always seems to bring out the ignorance in people.

grunzy Thu 5/31/2007 05:27PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
O1Roggae Fri 6/1/2007 09:51AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

O1Roggae

Stephen is the most underrated of the Marley brothers and he deserves to the credit he has been receiving for his new album, which i think is amazing. He sounds just like bob at times, last time i saw him i got goosebumps all over

O1Roggae Fri 6/1/2007 09:58AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

O1Roggae

5 grammys by the way whoever hates on stephen is ignorant

bluenotez Sat 6/2/2007 01:24AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

bluenotez

this sounds like a sweet time... Damien always throws it down and gets people super hyped. His energy is always high.

as for the nickname, he got it from being around his pops and having all of bob's friends say things like "look out, here comes little jr. gong". read that somewhere.

one love!

bobbydougal starstarstar Mon 6/4/2007 05:38PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

check, the wailers are the most expensive bob marley cover band. HEY FOADSER, the wailers and stephen marley are around the same price, no more then 30. plus with damian marley there they have plenty of solo material that wasnt made by bob. get your head out ya a$$

grunzy Fri 6/8/2007 11:04AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

http://www.grunzychannel.net/id20.html

video of Steven and Jr Gong video from Golden Gate Park (Green Apple Festival)