First to step on the Main Stage were Lloyd Parks and We The People Band, today backing band for the Pioneers. The two original members George Dekker and Jackie Robinson put up a solid show with all their main hits like Let Your Yeah Be Yeah and Starvation and some covers like Marley’s Three Little Birds.
“Me neva know the people loved the Pioneers so much!” was constantly shouted from the duo as the crowd followed their music with joy. “We bring you back to 1969, this is History of Reggae music” introduced Long Shot Kick The Bucket, their biggest hits and also the end of a very nice show.
Next on the biggest stage of Rototom was the Katchafire band from New Zealand. This big band of 7 elements brought to the audience a roots show of the kind that only a big band can create. All their most important tunes got played, from Road Again to Irie to Love Letter, probably the song were their love for harmonies s best expressed. Katchafire played for nearly an hour and concluded a show that had everyone dancing and skanking to their tunes with Don’t Frisk Me Down and Collie Herb Man.
After a brief band change, were the people were entertained by Freddie Krueger from Killamanjaro, the moment many were waiting for came with the arrival of Jah B, Bunny Wailer.
The Solomonic Orchestra invited him on stage on the notes of Rastaman Chant and his dancing entrance was welcomed with great enthusiasm by everyone. Armagideon, Boderation, Cool Runnings, just to name a few of his solo hits he played before going into the Wailers catalogue. Trenchtown Rock and Legalize It came first, then a long medley with among others Simmer Down and Stand Predominant opened the doors for Keep On Moving, on the notes of which he left the stage.
Bunny Wailer is simply a piece of history, a living legend and to be part of the magic show he created was a feeling we will not forget for a long time.
If Bunny Wailer was all about roots rock reggae, with the next performer we had a very strong change of pace, maybe even a bit too strong.
Since the sound check in the afternoon and the preparation of the stage with huge screens and the hydrogen tanks waiting to be used in front of the stage, we knew something seriously big was going to happen. When Walshy Fire, Diplo and Jillionaire stepped on stage, the biggest crowd Rototom has had so far simply exploded. The show Major Lazer creates is simply unbelievable for the power and the visual effects that creates. The three djs and their dancers definitely know how to entertain a crowd, and, as said before, the visual effects combined with the hydrogen explosions can only generate huge reactions from the crowd. The first part of the show was pure trap and electronic music, while in the second a bit more attention was given to the Jamaican’s influence with the voices of Chronixx, Sean Paul and Busy Signal resonating over the people. And of course the show could end only with one tune, the huge summer hit Lean On.
Major Lazer put up a real show, we just felt it was a bit out of place in the context of a reggae festival like Rototom, especially coming straight after Bunny Wailer and not on a night dedicated to more recent dancehall artists. Probably the best place to fully enjoy one of their show is a club and not the Main Stage of a reggae Festival.
As soon as Major Lazer ended their show, on the Showcase Stage an extremely talented and promising artist started her show, Flavia Coelho. Born in Brazil but living in France, this beautiful lady created a show were a mix of Bossanova and Jamaican sounds were put together to make what she calls Bossa Muffin. A show full of energy and quality music that truly captured the people. This lady has a bright future in front of her and if you don’t know her go check her out soon.
The other session we attended to properly close this third night at Rototom was at the Dub Academy, where Mungo’s Hi Fi with Charlie P and The Classic Wonder Veterans with Solo Banton went head-to-head all night long spinning big tunes on the magnificent Blackboard Jungle sound system.