The Set List
by Brian Washburn
I am not even remotely discrete about the fact that I am not a fan of the whole American rap/rock/ska/reggae music genre. You know, the one made famous by white kids across America trying to emulate Bob Marley?
Sublime might have about a bazillion fans across the nation — mostly stoner hippies — but I have to say I’m not one of them. Sublime is not the only band in this genre. They just popularized it.
One of Sublime’s main proteges stopped by Fayetteville to play to the American reggae/ska/punk fan base last week. I was a bit skeptical about attending Slightly Stoopid’s show at George’s Majestic Lounge, but after two hours of nonstop party music, I have to say, my skepticism was put to rest. In fact, I was downright impressed.
The California six-piece band — guitarist/bassist/vocalist Miles Doughty, guitarist/bassist/vocalist Kyle McDonald, drummer Ryan Moran, percussionist Oguer Ocon, saxophonist DeLA and trumpet player C-Money — took the stage amidst a sold out and hazier than usual crowd.
The band’s sound is nothing original, nor is it anything to write home about, but Slightly Stoopid’s live show is a sight to see.
While McDonald and Doughty have their own unique voice in the band, it’s really no different than any other voice in the American reggae genre. It is fun to see them switch instruments with one another in between songs and, in some instances, right in the middle of songs. It was also a nice breath of fresh air to see the band switch more frequently during the concert between their signature reggae/hip hop sound to a hardcore punk jam that would have opened up mosh pits at any other place but George’s.
Though Slightly Stoopid did put on a remarkable live show filled with excitement and American/Jamaican sing-alongs, it was the always great crowd at George’s that really made this concert one of the year’s best so far. While many would suspect the attendees would be more “out of it” than Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman (which some were), fans jumping up and down in the front of the stage and singing along to their favorite Stoopid jams never stopped.
It really is true that a concert is better if the crowd is into it. The six-piece played all crowd favorites, including “Officer,” “Collie Man” and “Bandelero.”
The guitar work and vocals do add much of the base to Slightly Stoopid’s sound, but it is the solid percussion during the live set that really puts concert goers in the mood and gives the band its spice.
Moran’s spot-on drumming gives the sound the backbone and Ocon’s side-percussion, including bongos and other various percussion instruments, gives the band the sound fans want. Though the percussion is well put together, the bass lines perfected by McDonald and Doughty are the backbone for the live set. It gives Slightly Stoopid the funk every band in the same genre is striving to copy. The Slightly Stoopid live show is something music buffs should not pass up.
Final Thought: George’s Majestic Lounge has been hitting hard this year so far with spectacular and mind-blowing concerts from the likes of Stoopid and Citizen Cope. I’m just praying this will continue (which it should) through the remainder of the year. Sold-out concerts in a college town, is what life is meant to be.