Damian Marley – The Road to Stony Hill
The “Road to Stony Hill” Tour appropriately named in reference to Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley’s upcoming and long-awaited 4th studio album, Stony Hill, was a small intimate tour playing much smaller than normal size clubs that are not typical for Jr. Gong’s popularity. Kicking off in Boston on 9/16, the coast-to coast relatively short tour included stops in seven cities in just twelve days. The result – a wonderfully intimate high energy series of sold-out shows for fans to get up close and personal with Jr. Gong.
Since Island Stage Magazine is now officially based in Denver, Colorado we thought it would only be appropriate to cover Damian Marley’s tour in Boulder, a large university town located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, about 30 miles from Denver. What we didn’t know is that the the Road to Stony Hill would take an unexpected, yet pleasant twist in Colorado. Just a few days before the show, Damian Marley announced a partnership with Tru Cannabis in Denver – cleverly branded Stony Hill of course! The Stony Hill reference may be unfamiliar to some; however, it is an area of Kingston, Jamaica where Damian grew up and can clearly be seen to many as having a double entendre meaning as well.
Back to the show – the concert took place at the historic Fox Theatre located across the street from the University of Boulder. Fans arrived early and by the time the show started it was packed to its capacity of over 600 people, yet it felt spacious inside with its high ceilings and elevated sides to give everyone a clear view of the stage. The good vibes of this theatre not overlooked by Rolling Stone magazine which recently ranked the Fox Theatre as the 4th best live music venue in the US, a distinction well deserved.
Dj Rassarella kicked off the evening’s vibes, followed by surprise guest DJ Shinehead accompanied by DJ Papalotl aka Butterfly. They easily kept the good vibes flowing with crucial vinyl selections further enhanced by Shinehead chanting on the mic to entertain the growing crowd.
Finally it was time for the band to take the stage and kick off the live music performance with an instrumental version of Concrete Jungle. Sky High then introduced Ghetto Youth International Artist Black Am I to the stage to perform a few of his conscious and uplifting songs featured on the Set Up Shop compilation CDs that are well known to a majority of the fans: Black Am I, Modern Day Freedom, and In the Ghetto; overall, an excellent opening to the final set of the evening.
Once Sky High introduced Jr. Gong to the stage, it was boundless energy commencing with the ever powerful verses of Confrontation, the lead single on Welcome to Jamrock. Perhaps it was the excitement of the upcoming album, the launch of the new Stony Hill Dispensary, or just the mere fact of being in the Rocky Mountain High state, or even a combination of all three; however, it was abundantly clear that the entire band was in high spirits with plenty of smiles and explosive energy abound from everyone throughout the evening.
As expected, Damian’s set of approximately 17 songs included popular selections from each of his albums and a few Bob Marley classics. He also gave Colorado Reggae fans a taste of his new music performing Nail Pon Cross, the lead single from his forthcoming album leaving fans looking forward to hear much more from Stony Hill which is expected to be released in January. Jr. Gong’s encore included his version of Get up Stand Up, Road to Zion and ended with Welcome to JamRock, mixing in a bit of Hard Work at the end to cap off the night, leaving fans elated to have been part of the Road to Stony Hill journey.
A few days after the show, we made a stop at the new Stony Hill Dispensary. The modern yet casual retail space has a beautiful view overlooking the Mile High Stadium, home to the Denver Broncos. A wide array of cannabis related products are available from chalices to buds to edibles as well as Damian Marley Stony Hill branded t-shirt merchandise with friendly and knowledgeable staff on hand to assist you with your purchase.
Our top 5 things to do and see in the Mile High City.
Spectacular Scenery – Fall is a wonderful time to visit the area as the Aspen Trees turn to bright / vivid colors of yellow, and orange and we understand red as well. These are not the vibrant colors I’m used to in New England. The Colorado colors simply light up the landscape!
A vibrant music scene awaits – Historic small music clubs and some of the best outdoor concert venues including the Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Did we already mention that Marijuana is legal in Colorado?! Make sure to follow the state rules and stay legal. We also highly recommend checking out the new Stony Hill Dispensary in Denver, pun intended! Note: To enter a dispensary you must show a government id to prove that you are over 21 and then due to Cannabis laws any purchases must be made in cash.
If you are a football fan, be sure to also check out the Denver Broncos at the impressive Mile High Stadium while you are in the area, which by the way is located right across the street from Stony Hill Dispensary.
A trip to Colorado in winter months would not be complete without a visit to one of the nearby Ski Areas, all within just a few hours drive. At the time of our visit at the end of September,the snowcaps were already in sight.
Enjoy the Slideshow!