Alberto D'Ascola, or Alborosie, returned to San Diego touring behind his album, Escape From Babylon: To the Kingdom of Zion, in Mission Beach last Friday. More than 600 reggae fans came to Sound Wave to hear the Kingston resident perform. The 32-year-old, Sicilian-born, came on stage about 11:15 p.m. giving the impatient fans a lyrical dose of political and social issues plaguing the world.
The Shengen Clan band played the hit "I Rusalem" and it was received well by the mostly male crowd, yelling out the lyrics. Alborosie reminded the fans that he performed at the Tribute to the Reggae Legends this past February said, "I love performing in San Diego," in flawless Jamaican patois.
Wearing blue jeans and a black t-shirt and baseball cap with white tennis shoes, Alborosie had an impressive stage presence. Coarse-voiced Alborosie, toyed with the back-up singers, the crowd and showed off his dancing skills, while his thick, thigh length dreads swayed from side to side. A few lucky fans were brought on stage as Alborosie sang a verse of "Mama She Don't Like You," in a capella.
Alborosie thanked the crowd for the warm reception that he continued to receive, but also scolded them for not giving him "presents," in a herbal form. This led to him perform his break out hit, "Herbalist," causing a massive, uniformed head bobbing wave throughout the crowd. Continuing on the herbal theme, Alborosie denounced the use of prescription pills and cocaine as he performed, "No Cocaine."
Switching between roots, culture and doses of dancehall reggae, Alborosie belted out other hits including, "Money" and "Real Story." Alborosie performed the cover of Steele Pulse's "Steppin' Out," impossibly making it sound better than the original. Closing out the set, Alborosie asked the crowd for one favor, "To love and unite," while he began singing Bob Marley's "One Love." Fans weren't satisfied and wanted more and Alborosie obliged and performed an encore with the track "Kingston," truly making it one of the best live reggae performance this year.
Tribe of Kings sound system played the early tunes and kept the vibes going after the concert was over. Escape From Babylon: To the Kingdom of Zion was released earlier this year on Greensleeves and has climbed the reggae charts in U.S. Europe and Jamaica.