Concert Review: Slightly Stoopid
By Juan Barragan
Sleep Train Amphitheatre
July 20, 2013
Tucked away at the end of Interstate 8 is one of the most unfrequented beaches in San Diego: Ocean Beach. This hidden jewel is home to much talent, and its residents cannot go a day without listening to a live band somewhere, even if they tried. One of the most successful acts to come out of Ocean Beach is Slightly Stoopid. San Diego’s love for reggae music has allowed this band to establish a loyal following that will pack any venue to capacity when given the opportunity. The show at Sleep Train Amphitheatre on July 20th was no exception. This band, on their Kickin’ up Dust tour with Minnesota Hip Hop group Atmosphere, put on a very special show for their hometown fans.
With the sun already set, a cloud of smoke hovering above the pit, surely contributed by the Rastafarian members of the audience (and those who took up the Rastafarian lifestyle for that day), the intermission’s entertainer asks the audience, “Are you ready to get stupid with Stoopid?” The crowd gleefully affirmed the proposal, and the band took the stage and opened with “Don’t Stop”, off of their newest album, Top of the World.
Slightly Stoopid gave the audience what they expected: a perfect combination of their old material and their new material. No matter what song they performed, the audience had a beat to dance to. The horn section, most notably C-Money on the trumpet, showcased the bands ability to incorporate catchy horn riffs to every song. What makes Slightly Stoopid one of the best, not only in San Diego but in California, is their ability to shift genres from one song to the next and still keep the crowd’s energy alive. This was most notorious during their song “Ska Diddy” where a chunk of the pit went from swaying back and forth to skanking and moshing in the blink of an eye.
The highlights of the show started near the middle of Slightly Stoopid’s set. The crowd was treated to the presence of a Jamaican Reggae legend that’s been in the music business for more than 40 years. His name is Don Carlos, and he made a guest appearance to sing “Marijuana”, to the delight of the crowd. Other collaborations that took place later included Atmosphere right before the encore began, and finally Tribal Seeds on the very last song.
What makes Slightly Stoopid so successful is their ability to connect with the crowd on a variety of issues through a plethora of songs; whether those songs are about love and positive vibes, or the injustices of today’s political system, or the activities and past times that are associated with reggae music, Slightly Stoopid has a song for it all. That’s why when they started the last song on their three song encore; they dedicated the song “No Cocaine” to everyone and the crowd erupted in cheers of approval.
Recommended for your ears is Slightly Stoopid’s Top of the World which was released in 2012 and was critically acclaimed by the San Diego Union Tribune. After listening to this album, it is clear why Ocean Beach is an incubator for talented musicians. Some forms of reggae influenced music are what can be commonly heard emanating from the local bars in that area, each of which saw Slightly Stoopid at some point in the bar’s lifespan.