Let me start off by saying that I have not known Slightly Stoopid very long and unfortunately had not heard all of the songs they played in Berkeley. With that being said, Slightly Stoopid is one of the best bands I have ever seen live. Their music ranges from reggae to punk to blues to hip-hop and the band knows how to get the crowd involved and change up the songs to make them really something special.
The San Diego natives took the stage at the Greek Theater and started the night with an instrumental song that highlighted all the genres we would hear for the next couple of hours. The band mixed blues, punk, and reggae into the first four minutes of the concert. Slightly Stoopid really got the party started during the next song, “Officer”, as they let the crowd sing out the chorus, “Let’s get this party started, until the break of dawn.” And boy did the party get started. Punk track, “Ain’t No Reason to Go” followed, and the mosh pits opened up. This song was one of the first times we got to see the bands raw talent. As drummer Ryan Moran was banging perfectly in time on the drums, and bassist Kyle McDonald slid up and down the bass, guitarist Miles Doughty was shredding on the guitar.
As if we hadn’t seen enough different genres in the first 15 minutes, Slightly Stoopid brought a new one into the show, ska. With a bouncy beat and some catchy trumpets and saxophones from C-Money, DeLa, and the special guest Karl Denson, the band changed the moshing crowd to a dancing one within a matter of seconds.
Soon after, something happened that I had never seen before. McDonald and Doughty switched instruments. They both played an equal amount of guitar and bass throughout the night, and they were both great no matter what instrument they were playing. They would normally switch around every five songs, but I caught them once switching instruments in the middle of a song. This was one of the many occasions that night that demonstrated this bands unbelievable talent.
Slightly Stoopid then played some of my favorite songs, “2AM” and “Closer to the Sun.” These songs are great on the album, but what made the night at the Greek Theater so incredible was Slightly Stoopid’s ability to make their songs something different when played live. During many of their songs, they would give their trumpets and saxophones time to solo, walk out to the edge of the stage and slap hands with fans while singing, and bring out special guests. Reggae legend Don Carlos and rapper Shwayze, made many appearances during the show and really added a lot of energy to the night.
After an hour and a half of music, Slightly Stoopid left the stage. The crowd went crazy and demanded more. After waiting patiently for what seemed like an eternity, trumpet player C-Money took the stage by himself. He played a few well-known notes that ended with the entire crowd yelling, “Charge.” The band started the encore with one of their calmer songs, “Open Road.” Then came my favorite song of the night, “Wiseman.” The band broke it down half way through and covered Bob Marley’s “Roots Rock Reggae,” and brought out Don Carlos to sing a verse all in the same song.
At the end of the night, it was hard to not be happy with Slightly Stoopid’s set. Even though I was not familiar with all of their songs, I still had a great time. The wide range of music, a crowd full of energy, and these San Diego boys’ ability to entertain made this concert unforgettable.