After the Swedish Hultsfred festival bankruptcy last week, most of the artists were scattered in the wind. But the bankrupt festival’s best booking – Nas and Damian Marley – went to Stockholm and Gröna Lund.
Damian Marley’s father was on the same stage 30 years ago and played a record audience of about 32.000. When Nas and Damian Marley enters the stage on their first joint visit it’s not quite as many. But that doesn’t prevent the distant relatives from tearing down the place together with a live band, two backing singers and a flag waving rasta for almost two hours.
They kick start the show with As We Enter, the best track from their joint effort and live it becomes even more powerful. And the up-tempo tunes are the best, for example Nah Mean, where they get into a mean groove, or in Dispear, where the duo gets the whole crowd jumping up and down to a hardcore dancehall beat.
In addition to songs from the Distant Relatives album, Nas and Damian Marley does medleys of their own material. Nas does two such sessions, while Damian Marley only does one. And that’s symptomatic for the evening. This turns out to be Nas show.
He performs his own material with fierce intensity and in their joint performances it’s Nas that shines the most. Damian Marley disappears next to Nas. He’s timid and seems shy as he stands in front of thousands of fans. But sometimes he shines, for example in hit song Welcome to Jamrock and in the Bob Marley cover Could You Be Loved, which is performed in a furious pace. The whole crowd has their hands in the air and when Nas enters into the song it explodes.
The duo certainly made a powerful performance. But it was Nas show. From beginning to end.