The spirit of Bob Marley Day was out in full force Saturday as San Luis Obispo County-based reggae band Resination paid homage to the great reggae artist with its own versions of Marley’s classic reggae jams.
Resination, accompanied by fellow reggae artists The Kicks, and openers Ras Danny and the Reggae Allstars, revisited many of Marley’s more well-known jams while flavoring its own spin to make the music unique.
“We’ve been doing the Bob (tribute) shows for about six to seven years now,” said Vance “Noche Man” Fahie, who does vocals and plays guitar for Resination. “It’s a tribute to a great reggae artist who really got the reggae movement off the ground.”
“It’s great to be able to take advantage of these opportunities and relay his positive message, especially since we love playing for the people of San Luis Obispo so much,” he added.
All bands that performed were more focused on the roots genre of dub reggae, known for recurrent melodic tunes and heavy bass tones that permeate the music.
And while Resination did not have a horns section when the band first formed in 1999, the later addition of trumpet and trombone elements significantly furthered the band’s sound in terms of being definitive dub reggae.
Ras Danny and the Reggae Allstars featured a saxophone as the band’s horn element, which is unusual for a roots band with such heavy dub influences.
The inner “dub-ness” of the band was easily discernible, however, as the band’s sound could easily be likened to that of dub legends such as Barrington Levy. Ras Danny even went so far as to play his own version of one of Levy’s tunes – “Shine Eye Girl” – in the midst of his set.
The spirit of Marley could be felt throughout the venue during each band’s set, with not only Resination but also the other two bands playing their own renditions of Marley’s songs such as “Waiting in Vain” and sing-along versions of “Stir it Up.” Ras Danny and other performing musicians could be seen wearing Bob Marley attire.
“It’s pretty obvious that we’re big Bob Marley fans, with or without the day,” remarked Patrick Pearson, Resination’s lead guitarist who also does vocals. “Regardless of any event, we’re still going to be the first people to listen to and perform his music.”
“And it’s sort of a lucky thing that Bob’s birthday comes at the beginning of Black History Month,” Vance added. “We’ve done a lot of Bob Marley events on the Central Coast, and it’s good to be able to integrate them with Black History Month, although I prefer to celebrate the month all year and throughout my life. It’s all about going out and gaining life experiences.”
Marley’s presence was undoubtedly felt most in Resination’s set, with the band performing such hits as “Iron Lion Zion,” “Zimbabwe” and “Lively Up Yourself” in a manner that left the crowd cheering for more.
The most notable twist that the band put on Marley’s music was the integration of solos for each respective band member during various portions of the set. Another significant spin was the transitions from song to song, which were infused with dub elements that made the entire set seem to blend into itself, with no real halt in the music.
Resination took the stage around 11 p.m. and didn’t stop playing until last call at the bar, when staff at the venue seemed to realize that concertgoers wouldn’t leave until the music stopped.
The enthusiasm felt by the crowd was quite evident, with many patrons pushing their way to the front of the stage with drinks they had bought for members of the band.
After the band’s encore ended around 1:40 in the morning, female vocal contributor Raeme Miner commented that she didn’t even realize they’d been playing for so long.
“We were just feeling good. It didn’t even feel like we were playing for almost three hours,” she said. “We were just feeling the crowd, and the crowd was feeling us.”
And it is in such a manner of song that the great Bob Marley himself conveyed his messages of peace, love and happiness.