Damian Marley didn’t have anything to prove at his recent 9:30 club appearance.
And why would he? Jr. Gong, has an underground hit, a record-breaking album, a sold out crowd, and the Marley legacy at his side.
Still, the youngest Marley delighted his audience on a cold Thursday night in DC. Although he went on almost an hour after his opening act, prompting an eager crowd to applaud whenever his road crew would come on stage, he did not disappoint. His set draws from his recent chart-topping album, Welcome to Jamrock, as well as songs from his previous two albums.
The show started off with “Confrontation,” which is arguably the best song of the new album to begin with, mainly because of its deep-rooted buildup at the beginning. Of course, I was crossing my fingers for Bobby Brown to jump on stage during “Beautiful,” with some backup vocals by Whitney Houston, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
Marley and his band got the crowd jumpin’ with his renditions of “Move”,” “Khaki Suit,” and “All Night.” However, it was Marley’s encore had the song that everyone (at least his new fans) were waiting for, as he ended his set with “Welcome to Jamrock,” the title track from his newest album that had the crowd going wild.
The most curious aspect of Marley’s band was a member that me and my friends nicknamed “flag dude.” No disrespect to the Marley clan, but this dude’s job of waving a flag for an hour and a half might have been the hardest job of the show.
During his encore, Marley sang a medley of his father’s songs in addition to his own. It was a striking reminder that that his father’s legacy is not lost.
Stone writes for The Couch Sessions.