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ROTR reviews 2017 ?

Posted by eric v 
ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 15, 2017 10:50PM
Hadn't really seen any reviews of ROTR this year (I've seen a few about Dezarie), but wanted to know what people thought of this year's festival; performers, etc?

I wasn't there and was just curious

Be well, thanks,

Eric V
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 15, 2017 11:55PM
I'll chime in. I only saw 2-3 acts per day as I spend most of the day lounging in the shade or in the water, but was listening to the live stream a lot when not in the bowl.

As stated before, Dezarie was the best! I hadn't seen her play in almost 10 years, and she definitely didn't disappoint. She raised the vibes of the whole festival and gave a moving performance, and I had tears down my cheeks at one point. Absolutely stellar!

After Dezarie raised the vibes, Lutan Fyah came on and gave a strong set! I thought his band was very good too, better than I expected, I just wish he didn't sing so many love songs (not my thing). I look forward to catching him again if he tours the area.

My next favorite was Assasin/Agent Sasco. I don't know his music too much, but he's a very good lyricist and seems like a humble guy. He sings a lot about real-life issues and everyday struggles, and I think many can relate to that. As he openly admitted, he hadn't rehearsed much with his band (Detour Posse) and they weren't at their sharpest, but he made up for it with his lyricism. I wish he had the backup singers he had in his 2016 Rototom performance (check Youtube) because they added a lot to his music!

Warrior King gave a nice performance Saturday afternoon, I always love his vibes. Junior Kelly also played Saturday and had a lot of energy, almost too much energy as many of his songs were played at a high tempo! Still, I love his music and was nice to hear him run through his catalog, especially the song Juvenile which I've always liked.

Kabaka Pyramid played both Thursday & Friday. Thursday was a DJ gig with Walshy Fire and I didn't catch it, but it sounded good on the radio. Friday was supposed to be with his band Bebble Rockers, but for some reason they weren't onstage with him and he did another DJ gig with someone I don't know. Lyrically he was very good but honestly it was kind of forgettable as I was hoping to see him with his band. (Does anyone know what happened to Bebble Rockers that evening?)

I also caught Stick Figure on Friday, and they were o.k. I guess. The whole Cali Roots style just isn't my thing, it just doesn't feel like authentic reggae. Still they are probably my favorite from that genre, their lead guy is pretty talented.

I turned in early on Saturday night as I had no interest in J Boog or Slightly Stoopid. Neither of them appeal to me & I don't think they deserved the Saturday night headlining slots.

Acts that I didn't catch live but liked what I heard on the radio were Natali Rize and Marla Brown. I'll definitely catch them next time they're at a festival. Also missed the Thursday night showcase featuring Luv Fyah, Army, Jahdan Blakkamore, etc. I listened on the radio and thought they rushed through everyone but Jahdan, it would have been nice to hear more from Army & Luv Fyah because both sounded good on the radio. The Sly & Robbie showcase on Sunday was o.k., but after Dezarie and Lutan it was kind of anti-climactic.

All in all it was still great times on the river and we're blessed to have this festival back in its rightful place!
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 16, 2017 12:04AM
I thought attendance was light, there was a nice crowd there saturday night, but not too crowded. Thursday night was a bit of a let down after last years smokin hot evening. I liked all of the acts i saw but can't say any lit me on fire. Nice meeting rootsthroughsidewalks and hearing his band, Altar Tones! Enjoyed RockerT, ate during Irie Rockers, checked out the Woven Roots cavalcade of stars. I just want to know why Army got like two songs. Walshy Fire was not my thing so i listened while i walked back to camp next door, any time you hear 'Wake Up And See' it's a good time.
Friday was better, Nattali Rize was the best i've seen her, the new jamaican band is awesome. Perfect was also good as usual, i like his crew. Had a conversation with one of them about 'giving' backstage, one of the highlights of the weekend for me. He had a great story about ice cream in jamaica. Kabaka Pyramid's band did not make immigration, so he played again with another DJ. I enjoyed it, i like Kabaka. Then i left because Stick Figure does nothing for me really, and i heard afterwards that Assassin was vegas reggae.
Saturday started with Culture, and then Nkulee Dube. To hear all those Culture tunes was a blessing, Kenyatta sang what he said was his favorite Culture tune, Calling Rastafari, a highlight for me. Nkulee Dube is special also, i could listen to her sing all day. I had listened to 'Do you feel irie?' several times in the week leading up, so when she played it i went nuts. Inside anyway. Always a pleasure seeing Toho on bass. I enjoyed Ibibio Sound Machine. Warrior King again didn't grab me, don't know why. Ken Boothe didn't make immigration, i listened to Jr Kelly while eating and leaving, and he sounded very nice. If i had stayed for j boog and that last band, i would have felt more than slightly stupid. I heard J Boog was much better than Slightly Stoopid, who were rude to boot.
On sunday i checked out Ojo de Buey, they were very good. Gotta listen to the tapes. But then i got all my cameras running with full batteries and empty cards, cleared my mind and focused on Dezarie. It had been seven years since she's been to the bay area. Clearly i am not neutral, but i also thought it was the best show i've seen in some time. Then i checked out Lutan Fyah, who i like alot, and though i thought of Dezarie for half of his show, it was really good. For Sly and Robbie with the ladies i sat in back with some friends and then split, what i heard made me wish i was in the pit videotaping though.
So all in all, because of the Dezarie show, i would say brilliant job. No one else booked her, right? There were some slow points in the weekend for me, not all unwelcome, but i had a great time. ROTR is a lot of walking around and exhausting but! Personally i would rather see more roots and less cali or reggae rock.

Love that reggae!
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 16, 2017 04:06AM
nomo - Assasin is definitely NOT "Vegas reggae"! Whoever told you that is straight up wrong. He is dancehall though, with a rootsy twist, so maybe that's why they called him "vegas". Some people just don't understand dancehall, imo. If you listen to his lyrics though you'll see that he sings/chants about everyday struggles living in Jamaica. He seems like a humble and gracious guy to me, and his delivery reminds me a lot like Buju Banton. Check out his song "Stronger" and see if you think it's "Vegas reggae", whatever that is...
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 16, 2017 04:12AM
First off, it was an amazing weekend at the river chilling with friends and fam. I should note that I was in and out of the bowl all weekend and missed several artists each day and most of Sunday as I was spinning and chilling at the beach all afternoon.

Thursday's showcase with Woven Roots and Fam was great, I thought Jahdan & Winstrong put on notable performances. Kabaka & Walshy were on point and Walshy ran a nice reggae vibe set that was unexpected and appropriate.

Friday really got going when Nattali Rize took stage, this was my fav performance. Dude from Raging Fyah was on keys and band was tight. Perfect & Chalice Row Krew killed it, Perfect is an animal on stage, dude knows how to put on a show. As noted Kabaka's entire band didn't make due to the new requirements and inquiries involved in our increasingly difficult visa program. Yaadcore came from Jamaica to cover and he is Protoje's personal DJ. He has a unique style of backing artists and the set was top notch for those that can appreciate a good sound system set. Assassin was really good, better than when I saw him on the Jamrock Cruise. Zeb was on drums and I was freaking out about how good he was playing.

Both Saturday and Sunday I was too all over the place to report and having way too much fun. I heard the late night was amazing, but once again I proved to be to old for that.

Can't wait for next year. Def four days again for me.

Positive Vibrations w/DJ Treez | Tahoe's Reggae Show | Thursday Nights 10pm | 101.5 FM KTKE | truckeetahoeradio.com
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 17, 2017 12:13AM
Dezarie. She was the only reason I went this year, as the line up in my opinion -was not heavily steeped in Roots music. I wish they didn't get waved off and let them play an encore-they were ready and Ron threw his ax on but Spliff said no. She's an angel on earth in human form.

Ken Boothe, it's disappointing how strict the INS can be allowing people to come work in the USA. Not much to say about Sly and Robbie-they are Reggae and always put on a solid show. ALL the Ladies put on strong shows.

I skipped Slighty Stoopid and later someone told me it was boring.

4X4 camp never really filled up and was kinda empty till late Friday when more people showed up, I woke up on Sunday and a lot of people already had left.(more than usual)

I have been going since 1997, Benbow,Reggae Rising,Dimmick,Richardson grove. I have never seen so many children and little babies, it was nice to see the next generation of festival goers.

After this year, I hope ROTR makes it back next year.

OH! And I saw 3 fist fights.FIrst time I seen a fight at Reggae in 20 years-damn you slightly stoopid.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2017 12:16AM by Ras Matches.
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 17, 2017 05:16AM
Slightly Stooped = Wack. I really don't think they deserve to be headliners, but I also realize bands like them & Rebelution are the ones that sell tickets these days. It's a bit of a conundrum, because I do want the festival to continue and succeed. I also think the immigration laws make it tougher to pull in good headliners from abroad. Wouldn't it be great if they could get Busy Signal out there? Anyway, I sure do miss the days when bands like Burning Spear, Alpha Blondy, Bunny Wailer, Steel Pulse, etc. were the headliners...
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 17, 2017 05:37PM
please enlighten me as to what "Vegas Reggae" is.. like Mr Vegas or like Las Vegas.. I am confused.
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 17, 2017 05:40PM
PS Slightly Stoopid is not my favorite.. BUT if they were your boys or your friends from college you would think they were dope. So many times we judge bands by their fans.. no they aren't a reggae band but they would be the first to tell you that.
Re: ROTR reviews 2017 ?
August 17, 2017 07:02PM
I had a great time as always, wasnt too hot and even though the lineup wasnt particularly impressive there were many highlights.
Assassin and Lutan Fyah were on the highest level when it came to performing, Kabaka, Dezarie, JBoog, and Warrior King were also good but not on that level. Warrior king was held back by his sub par band so wouldve been much better with a dj, Kabakas set with Walshy was very entertaining but he saved certain tunes for the performance on friday with yaadcore, had he crammed all of the tunes into one set it wouldve been spectacular. Slightly Stoopid was better than expected but still not as entertaining as they were back in the 90s when opening for sublime and no doubt. I left after lutan so cant comment on the "I Threes" with S&R, I was also sad to miss Culture due to unannounced schedule change and Ken Boothe due to visa issues. The late night at south and center beach made up for the lack of solid performers on the main stage with many artists putting in work with our local superstar selectors. The river being so full made the days much more enjoyable since there was limited on stage entertainment during the day other than some exceptions. More than anything it was the annual pilgrimage to see friends and family that I dont often see and theres more value in that than any dollar amount. Hopefully next year they shorten the festival and fill the lineup as budget issues were constantly brought up over the weekend by nearly every coordinator I spoke with.

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