TVD Live: Ziggy Marley at City National Grove of Anaheim, 10/24

It’s been over 8 months since I’ve seen a live show and Ziggy Marley’s performance at City National Grove was just what the doctor ordered on a crisp Saturday afternoon in Southern California. In the 35 years I have been attending / covering live shows, I have never attended a drive-in performance. However, I was eager to give it a spin with a few hundred of Ziggy’s closest friends in the shadow of the historic Anaheim Stadium.

Nederlander Concerts pulled out all the stops to ensure guests were safe, secure, and well taken care of through the 2-hour event. Concert goers were able to scan a QR code assigned to their parking spot for food, drink orders, as well as restroom queuing located within the main building. You could tell from the moment you entered the parking lot that these folks were serious about state and local Covid protocols and they translated nicely from start to finish with zero impact on the fans or their live music experience.

After a short and incredibly cool set by Los Angeles based, Rhythm Child, Ziggy Marley took the stage around 3:00PM and performed a condensed “Children’s Set,” comprised of songs from his recent release More Family Time as well as hits from Ziggy’s critically acclaimed 2009 Family Time LP. In addition, fans were treated to two Bob Marley and the Wailers covers including “Three Little Birds” and encore “Lively Up Yourself.” Ziggy sounded amazing as always and that incredible smile lit up the parking lot in ways that you wouldn’t be able to understand unless you were actually there.

The highlight of the afternoon for me was when Marley brought up a handful of kids to the stage during “Ziggy Says.” It was 100% interactive on stage as well as throughout the audience—families dancing near their cars while singing along with Ziggy. For me, the kids set checked off all the boxes and then some, versus a traditional Ziggy Marley show (which by the way was slated for 7PM that evening.)

Being a live music snob, I must admit that going in I had low expectations for my first drive-in show. Walking out, I can unequivocally say that the experience I partook in at City National Grove was truly exceptional and in a league of its own. Not only did Nederlander knock it out of the park from a prep, organizational, and safety perspective, but one of a kind performances by Rhythm Child and Ziggy Marley hit home runs on Saturday afternoon. If this is the future of live music for the not so distant future, I’m in.


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