Date: Friday & Saturday, October 14th & 15th, 2011
Line up: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Feat. Miles & Kyle of Slightly Stoopid) & Vokab Kompany
Location: The Belly Up. Solana Beach, CA
Located just a couple blocks away from San Diego’s beautiful beaches, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe occupied both Friday & Saturday night at The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA. The weekend was billed as “Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Featuring Miles & Kyle of Slightly Stoopid). Opening up Friday night was the DJ set up of Crush Effect, with up and coming San Diego hip hop group Vokab Kompany, who would get things started for Saturday nights showing.
Saturday night proved to be a royal setting as the venue was treated to the royal presence of Prince Harry, who has been in southern CA as of late for military training. Apparently the Prince, who enjoys Tequila, was secluded upstairs in a roped off section enjoying Saturday night’s entertainment with friends. This wasn’t announced and no one knew of his presence till the next day, but Prince Harry arrived at the venue as early as 9pm and stayed till about 1:15 in the morning. We don’t know why Harry chose this venue on Saturday night, but we like to think it’s because the Prince just has good taste in music like the rest of our Pier community!
Also in attendance were contest winners, Rachel Halladay & Rick Brass who won FREE tickets from a contest that took place inside our Pier Community Forum (courtesy of Silverback Management). Rachel & Rick would agree that both Friday & Saturday night was jam packed. There wasn’t even room to clap in applause after each song, do to the number of people in attendance. Everyone standing shoulder to shoulder, sipping drinks filled to the brim and cheerful to the sounds, were not reluctant to give up their two by two standing square.
Karl Denson, a native of San Diego, CA and former member of Lenny Kravitz, asked Anders Osborne along with Kyle & Miles of Slightly Stoopid to sit in on a very unique weekend that kicked off Friday night with the live rendering of The Rolling Stones ”Sticky Fingers” album in its entirety. They played all 10 songs off the 1971 release that was The Rolling Stones first album of the ‘70s and the first release under the band’s newly-formed label called Rolling Stones Records.
Known for their funk & jazz, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is a 6 piece group consisting of multiple guitars, bass, sax & keys. They opened up Friday night with Karl Denson approaching the mic & saying ”This song’s about interracial sex” before diving into the album opener ”Brown Sugar”.
The band dished out individual solos on guitar, sax, keys, drums; jamming out a funky jazzy extension of the Stones popular album. Miles Doughty of Slightly Stoopid came on stage and performed the song ”Wild Horses” on acoustic guitar behind the Tiny Universe band. When the song ended the crowd erupted in cheers and you could see Denson lean in to Miles after the song where I read his lips telling Miles ”That was beautiful”.
Kyle McDonald of Stoopid then came on to help with the live rendering of the song “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”. Although Kyle was not in attendance Saturday night, he made his presence felt Friday night with his contribution on vocals & acoustic guitar. These were the only 2 songs from the Sticky Fingers set that Kyle or Miles was featured on. After Denson’s set on Friday Night, Slightly Stoopid actually came back on stage and performed 3 songs for the crowd as a treat with songs “Till It Gets Wet” and a cover of the song ”Over the Mountains”.
What made Friday night so unique, aside from the creative decision to do a live cover of a great album, was that there was no way of forecasting the age demographic from the night. It’s a 21 & Up venue, but no age range outweighed the other as it seemed like a well balanced night with music lovers of all ages.
Saturday night was a different story as it was a much younger crowd with the bulk of fans being in their 20s & 30s. Opening up the night was the San Diego hip hop group, Vokab Kompany. This group turned some heads Saturday night with their 7-8 member line up that consisted of 2 MCs & 1 Female vocalist backed by Drums, Bass, Keys, Sax & Violinist.
The group was promoting their recent album “Quit Sleep“, throwing copies out to the crowd and boasting their latest Southern Comfort commercial. Vokab Kompany can easily find themselves on tour with any one of the Reggae Rock groups in the community and stand out in a positive light with their original style of live hip hop. I was a little let down to hear that their album didn’t reflect as much of the live band sound that really went over well with the crowd. Live, it’s not your average 2 MC’s rapping over a DJ Spinning. These guys have a full band production with fast pace lyrics that intertwine between the 2 MC Vocalists & female singer.
They incorporate a bit of Dubstep, but display great stage presence with hilarious gestures & facial expressions that play act to the beat. The Violinist came dressed to impress as if he knew Prince Harry was in attendance, rocking a 3 piece suit with his long hair pony tailed in the back, jamming solos at the front of the stage, much to the pleasure of the sold out crowd.
Again, Karl Denson headlined Saturday night, only this time playing some of his originals along with a few of the songs they did Friday night from the Sticky Fingers album bringing Miles back on stage. Denson was also accompanied by Ron Blair of the original Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Saturday night to help with Vocals on the song ”Dead Flowers” which only added to the nights prestige. Fans also saw C-Money & De La of Slightly Stoopid to go with a whole lot of jamming and on stage collaborating.
It was a weekend of Royal proportions with a fantastic rendition of The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album, being surprised by a brief performance w/Slightly Stoopid & a shock that Prince Harry was in the house throwing back Tequila & cuttin up the rug to some killer live music. I’ll drink to that. Cheers!
– Article by: Mike Patti
– Photo by: David Norris
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Kyle & Miles of Slightly Stoopid showing some love to The Pier!