Damian Marley at the Fillmore

Damian Marley Lights Up the Fillmore in San Francisco

in SF Concert Reviews by

Stepping into the Fillmore last night was the equivalent of walking into a marijuana dispensary. Wafting smells of reefer hovered throughout the venue the moment I entered to check out the Damian Marley show and lasted throughout the entire night, which gave me the munchies even before the show began.

Hey, I wasn’t complaining and neither were the thousand or so fans that had shown up for the performance by one of the many talented offspring of the legendary Bob Marley. There is a total of 11 of them and each is as talented as the other. Damian is the youngest and thusly has found a way to keep his sound current by partnering with many rap heavyweights throughout his career to give an urban feel to his form of Reggae. He’s currently on tour promoting Stony Hill, a solo record that took the Rastafarian with the 6-feet-long dreadlocks an impressive 12 years to put out.

Last night, after a long introduction — which included a rasta man running feverishly across the stage with a Kingston flag — the man of the hour finally came out and performed a string of songs that had the crowd bopping up and down, and side to side all the way into the night. The place was sweaty, smokey and completely packed. In fact, some unlucky few were stuck outside the hall on the tip of their toes trying in vain to catch a peek at the performance. Surprisingly, nobody was complaining, they were much too busy enjoying themselves for that.

It was a memorable night marked by catchy grooves and poignant political commentary meant to shake things up a little, in what seemed like a direct attack to today’s political climate. For the crowd in attendance, it was a chance to witness someone with a very famous last name carry the torch for the new generation. Now, how do I get the smell of ganja out of these clothes?

Photo courtesy of Louis Raphael Photography

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With a discography that includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.