I went to a Marley Tribute and a Messenjah concert broke out! And no, I am not complaining!
Robert Nesta passed away in 1981 and everywhere, somewhere there is an annual homage paid to the King of reggae, like we are prone to do with Christmas, Halloween and Valentine’s Day. These concerts are a given. Bob’s lyrics and music touched so many who grew with him and for the generations after it is still about a level of consciousness fused with sense of equality for all. Those lyrics will be important to this planet fifty generations from today and unfortunately just as relevant.
Props to the House of David Gang who played backing band to Marcia Brown, Papa Levy, Ms. Carol Brown as well as to King Selah who did the usual sing-a-long Marley tunes that many were able to jam to. The band was totally prepared and executed well and was totally appreciloved by the Lee’s Palace audience. As a Marley tribute band for the night, they thoroughly entertained all of us.
I have been around for a while, so I have seen Messenjah then and Messenjah today. Even though some familiar faces were missing, the concept of performance, attention to detail, still awesome harmonies, deep, deep deep dub within their tracks as well as theatrics in their performance definitely set them apart from anyone performing reggae in Toronto today!
As I walked through the venue, the artists from other bands or as well as solo artists who were present, that I spoke with felt exactly the same, watching this veteran band.
Messenjah took the title!
Truth be told it might have always been theirs after all these years! After a 16 year absence they returned with a heavy BANG and it is my hope that they will continue to do more work! This is the standard that we were all used to back in the day with names like IBADAN, Tatix, Kidd Rasta & The Peacemakers, The Arsenals, The legendary Sattalites of course and a few others! Everyone strived to “bring it” on the nights of performance. What I watched at the side of the stage, I realized then what was missing from the Canadian reggae scene. That standard!
Thank you Messenjah for “bringing it” and I do look forward to your next performance and for all of the striving reggae artists out there, please mark that date on your calendar and attend the show and learn what the standard is. Most of you do not possess it because you do not know what is expected.