The Main Stage opened with Easy Star All Stars and their 10th anniversary of Dub Side of Moon. The Rototom date was the last of their European Tour and they couldn’t ask for a better audience. Lots of people attended the first show of the night and the band answered; delivering almost all the songs from their first album, with Money and Stepping Pon The Rastaman Scene standing out. They also drew from tunes of their other works and concluded their show with Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
The second guests on stage were the French Reggae band Wailing Trees, winners of the Rototom European Reggae Contest that guaranteed them a show on almost every big festival in Europe. This band has a very unique sound that mixes Roots Reggae with Jazz and soul music and they showed they could perfectly fit on the Main Stage of such an important festival.
While Wailing Trees performed their tunes from the EP Selon Ma Nature, on the Dub Academy Area Addis Pablo and Ras Jammy aka Suns of Dub showed their class in a session that saw also the presence of Micah Shemaiah, Infinite (these two are entertaining the Dub addicted since day 1) Exile Di Brave and the omnipresent Kabaka Pyramid. The session went so well that Kabaka had to shout out “We are in Jamaica now, it feels like Kingston here!”
The Dub session was amazing, but at 11pm we all headed back to the Main Stage for the one of the most anticipated shows of this year’s Rototom; Chronixx and the ZincFence Redemption band.
At his first presence at Rototom the son of Chronicle didn’t disappoint and performed one of the best shows of the Festival. Perfectly backed by the band, Chronixx started the show with the powerful Alpha & Omega and Start A Fyah, before showcasing part of his easy listening tunes like Smile Jamaica and Ain’t No Giving In. As said before Kabaka Pyramid is omnipresent here at Rototom, and showed up also on the Main Stage for Mi Alright and Selassie Souljahz (in which Chronixx showed his versatility deejaying Sizzla’s part with total confidence).
The pace of the show increased tune after tune and reached its peak on the magnificent Here Comes Trouble that saw Jesse Royal and Jah9 sing their cuts of the Rootsman Riddim.
During Chronixx’s final tunes, Alpha Blondy made his way to the press area. The legendary artist from Cote d’Ivoire spent some time with the media answering a few questions. When we asked him what are his thoughts about the Gaza situation that’s what he replied: “I had the opportunity to go to Israel many times, the University of Haifa created a scholarship, the ‘Alpha Blondy scholarship for Peace’ and they give that scholarship to one Palestinian student and one Israeli student. I’m against war, and I’m against the bombing of Gaza and I’m against the launching of rockets on Israel. I deeply think that this is the time for the Palestinian and Israeli authorities to find a solution and to stop the bloodshed that have been going on for too long, for seventy years. Once I was there I asked the people I met to make a very cynical addition: how many Israeli and Palestinian died over the 70 years? When you make that addition you realize that it is time for guns to stop and to make the people talk. This war the Israeli and the Palestinian are going through is not just for them, it’s for the world. I do not understand why Jewish and Muslims are killing each other, people should understand that a Muslims don’t have the right to kill a Jew, and a Jew doesn’t have the right to kill a Muslim, and a Christian doesn’t have the right to kill a Muslim, a Muslim doesn’t have the right to kill a Christian and so on, and that’s because all of this is written in the Book.
“I hope deeply in my heart that the day will come when the Israeli and the Palestinians will realize that too many generations have been sacrificed, and that the children have to protected and that peace is a must. Peace today is an obligation!”
Half an hour later on stage the Solar System band introduced themselves on the notes of Jerusalem, and Alpha came out for what will definitely remain as a crucial show. Some of tunes of his latest album Mystic Power were played, like Hope (which in the studio version was done in combination with Beenie Man). The Gaza issue theme came back a few times during the concert, as an introduction first to Crime Spirituel and then to Peace In Liberia, and Alpha played also Politiqui, Cocody Rock and all his most famous tunes. At the end of the show the band came back on stage for an instrumental version of The Heathen, with every musicians showing off their class, and the last two songs: Wish You Were Here and Brigadier Sabari.
Alpha Blondy performed incredibly well and touched many with his words and for this we thanked him.
As always the night was full of vibrations and music on the other stages, with the Soweto band from Barcelona at the Ska Club and Raphael with vthe Eazy Skankers in the Showcase Area.