Dressed in a military khaki uniform complete with dog tags, 14-year old reggae prodigy Javaughn had the honor of his short life to open for Stephen Marley on the Oct. 4th concert at the Temple Bar. Soldiering in service of Marley, Javaughn performed a three-song showcase in front of a hardcore reggae fan base. The young lad exhibited the stage presence of a seasoned veteran, reminiscent of Jackson Five era Michael Jackson in his raw ability to marvel and work the crowd. Singing â€œRich Quick Mentality,â€ a song in the vein of 60s pop reggae, and socially conscience new single â€œSanta Claus,â€ the Jamaican singer appears to have a bright future. Javaughn still has years to mature his voice, but it is clear his time spent performing in front of an enthusiastic audience is not ephemeral.The Temple Bar drew the usual reggae suspects: Rastafarians and wannabes, Indie 103.1 DJ Native Wayne, reggae proselytizer Roger Steffans, Peter Tosh drummer Santa Davis, the odd Jeff Spicoli look-alike, everyday music lovers and even a fan from Argentina. All were there to see the torchbearer of the Marley legacy, Stephen â€œRagamuffinâ€ Marley.
Of all the talented Marley siblings, Stephenâ€™s voice most resembles that of his father. Stephen Marley doesnâ€™t seem to carry any burden of comparison but instead approaches his audience with limitless energy and a radiant smile. Stephen simultaneously set a pace for his own artistic merit and unique sound while paying tribute to his father and the principles of Rastafari by continuing the tradition of â€œsongs of freedom.â€ With a tight backing band and infatigable flag bearer whipping both the Flag of Judah and the crowd into a frenzy, the young Marley played a mix of Bob Marley classics, including â€œBuffalo Soldier,â€ â€œOne Love,â€ â€œIron, Lion, Zion,â€ and â€œThree Little Birds.â€ The setlist also featured songs from his debut solo album Mind Control, such as the title track, â€œLonely Avenueâ€ and â€œHey Baby,â€ all received by the audience with rapturous response and appreciation. â€œTraffic Jam,â€a single that has garnered some mainstream attention because of the Snoop Dogg remix, also fell upon familiar and eager ears. A Santa Monica concert in an intimate venue seemed to have more the spirit and applause of a stadium. Stephen Marley emanates pure joy and is able to shine, distinguishing himself among a genre that is synonymous with his father.