Date: July 10, 2014
Line Up: Slightly Stoopid, Stephen “Ragga” Marley, G. Love & Special Sauce
Location: Marymoor Park, Redmond, Washington
As the Summer Sessions 2014 Tour begins, Slightly Stoopid continues a grueling nonstop tour schedule. The Ocean Beach boys are known for their ambitious summer road schedule with other big name talented artists and the Summer Sessions are no different as Stephen “Ragga” Marley and G. Love & Special Sauce join them this year.
As the sun shined over the Pacific Northwest, cars piled into the grass lot at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington. Although the show had an early start time, concertgoers were parked and sitting on their lawn chairs enjoying the beautiful day. Some bathed in the sun while others tossed Frisbees and footballs. All parking fees are used to improve the park and they enact a liberal food policy that allows patrons to bring something to eat. Marymoor is a perfect outdoor concert experience.
It has been nearly twelve years since I last saw G. Love & Special Sauce in concert with Jack Johnson at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, California. Not much has changed and the Philadelphia native still exudes a mellow laid-back demeanor with his catchy, feel-good tunes. Seeing G. Love in concert, even at a wide-open venue such as Marymoor, is almost like sitting down with him on the porch while he plays his funky riffs and soulful vocals for an intimate crowd. Slightly Stoopid’s horn section joined G. Love on stage for a brass accompaniment to close out his exceedingly enjoyable set.
Marymoor continued to fill up as people set up their chairs on the grassy knoll. The empty spaces in front of the stage filled up as beach balls began to bounce around through the plumes of smoke rising from various sectors of the park. It was the perfect afternoon for reggae music and the flag of the great nation of Jamaica was raised before Stephen “Ragga” Marley’s band began to jam.
A young boy came out on grabbed the flag and waved it proudly as Marley appeared on stage. “How are you doin!?” he yelled into the microphone with a resounding response from the audience. “Who here likes reggae music?” Marley asked to an even louder cry from the crowd. Every word from Stephen Marley is spoken with a cool, calm, and collected tone.
There is something in the soul of a Marley that emanates a unique positive force. A dedicated family man, whose children are developing into a new generation of musical Marley’s, Stephen’s entourage of little ones danced on stage along with his band waving the Jamaican flag.
The Pier found our way backstage in an attempt to snap photos from the band’s perspective. I took a few shots from stage left and scurried behind Marley’s drummer, Squidly Cole, as I snapped a few photos from stage right. I was able to get a few more off before I was kicked off stage as I was told only the tour photographer was allowed on stage. I dropped my head in sadness but took a few more pictures in protest. I enjoyed the rest of the show from a fan’s perspective and sang along to the Bob Marley covers that his Stephen performs so well. Twilight had arrived and the show was reaching its peak as Marley’s band sang their last song and the crowd waiting with eager anticipation for Slightly Stoopid to appear.
The scene was set and the sun was subsiding over the trees surrounding the amphitheater. The lights strung across the compound illuminated making Marymoor look like a cross between a small town carnival and a traveling gypsy camp.
Slightly Stoopid appeared and immediately began with a smooth medley of “Champion”, “Don’t Stop”, “Don’t Care”, and “2AM” while Stoopid’s horn section swayed back and forth in unison. They brought the heat right out of the gate and moved into “Til It Gets Wet”, a song known for making the ladies swoon and forget about the guy they came with. Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty became the center of everyone’s attention and brought the energy back up at the park.
The group played their classic tracks including “Somebody” and “Wicked Rebel”. Drummer Ryan Moran aka Rymo and Oguer “OG” Ocon on percussion remained the glue that kept this musical journey together.
As the bass line for “Sensimilla” rolled in along with the smoke throughout the crowd, a humble Washingtonian placed a joint on the stage and it was immediately picked up, lit, puffed, and passed back to the front row by McDonald. The girl Kyle passed it to bogarded the blunt for a while – Unnecessary cheba foul.
G. Love joined the San Diego band on stage and McDonald admitted, “We practiced this song once during sound check” and asked for forgiveness for messing it up. They proceeded to play the southern rock opera-esque groove, “Devil’s Door”, with the folksy addition of G. Love’s blues harp.
Doughty and McDonald executed a few of their signature guitar switches and Stoopid concluded with their hit “2AM” along with “Dancing Mood”, “Top of the World” and their reggae version of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane”. They waved to the screaming crowd and walked off stage.
A few minutes later Doughty strapped up his acoustic guitar and performed a beautiful version of “Mona June” before my personal favorite “Collie Man”. Stoopid ended their show on a high note with a unique rendition of the 1970s hit “Express Yourself” and they highly energetic “Tighten Up”. It was perhaps the longest and tightest Slightly Stoopid set I have seen in a long time.
The amazing show made up for the fact that NOFX and Cypress Hill weren’t on this bill, but will be joining Slightly Stoopid on select dates as they continue the 2014 Summer Sessions. Find a show near you and get stoopid.
Slightly Stoopid Set List:
1.) Medley (Champion, Don’t Stop, Don’t Care, Wickedz, 2AM)
2.) Til It Gets Wet
4.) Wicked Rebel
5.) Don’t Stop
6.) Anywhere I Go
7.) Don’t Care
11.) No Way Out
12.) Up On A Plane
13.) Underneath the Pressure
14.) Fat Spliffs
15.) Closer to the Sun
18.) Devils Door (w/ G. Love)
19.) Older Now
20.) Del Roy
22.) Dancing Mood
23.) Top of the World
24.) Leaving on a Jet Plane (John Denver cover)
25.) Mona June (Miles Doughty)
26.) Collie Man
27.) Hip Hoppa Blues
28.) Express Yourself (Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band cover)
29.) Tighten Up
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