Editor’s note: Slightly Stoopid will return to Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena Saturday, July 2. Here’s a review of last year’s concert:
It was Tahoe Appreciation Night on Aug. 13, 20015, and Slightly Stoopid frontman Miles Doughty lit a spliff onstage and stepped into the crowd as the theme from “People’s Court” played in the background.
“We got more spliffs on the next episode,” the announcer said.
On June 30, Slightly Stoopid released its eighth studio album, “Meanwhile… Back at the Lab,” and then hit the road a week later on its summer tour, “Everything Is Awesome.”
But slightly after the spliffs’ spiff, the band made things clear with “No Cocaine.”
“… We don’t need no cocaine. We don’t need no ecstasy to ruin our brains. Only one thing sets us free – frees our pain. Talkin ‘bout the herb.”
There was a sublime feeling to the night. This summer, Slightly Stoopid unleashed a music video featuring never-before-seen footage of Sublime’s Bradley Nowell, and it debuted on Entertainment Weekly’s website. Nowell, who died in 1996, gave the band an early break when he signed the group to his Skunk Records label while members were still in high school. (To see video, click link HERE.)
Doughty wrote “Prophet,” the song in the newly released video, when he was 16. He performed it Thursday, noting “it’s a new song (playing) on the radio.”
“But I ain’t no prophet, to cure some damn disease. And would you help me anyway, if I was on my knees. I’m going through my time of change, in my time of need. And every little thing is gonna be all the same…”
Prophet or not, Doughty had the crowd responding to his opening advice, “Let’s rock this… tonight. Let’s get crazy.” Fans danced the night away, hands up on cue.
Nowell would have been proud of how the explorative band has matured, carrying the skunky torch for the white-boy reggae pioneer. Fueled by asphalt-shaking percussion and a tight horn section, Slightly Stoopid played reggae-flavored roots, ska, R&B and Eek-A-Mouse-style rap to go along with a straight-ahead punk song.
Before day turned to night, Stick Figure opened the show promptly at 6 p.m., as advertised.
Singer Scott Woodruff, whose nickname Stick Figure stuck, noted: “We’re all stoked to be here. Can we ask for a more beautiful night?” Woodruff hails from Massachusetts, but the band floats out a laid-back, So-Cal reggae vibe and has a four-legged fifth member, an Irie Setter named Coco, who was proudly sporting a new cap as the honorary road dog.
Woodruff had the crowd singing along with “Smokin’ Love” at the set’s close: “Small world we’re livin’ in, rock sittin’ stone. One life I’ve been living in, come on let’s go. I wanna get high, I wanna get low…” Coco smiled.
Dirty Heads then pumped things up with its upbeat, hip-hop flavored tunes that included fan-favorites “Lay Me Down,” and “Hip Hop Misfits.” They left folks wondering if more was yet to come with “My Sweet Summer (is gone).”
But in the end, after Slightly Stoopid closed and the smoke had cleared, those gathered left with smiling faces.
Related story: Q&A with Jacob Hemphill of Soja: LINK
Stick Figure opened the show at 6 p.m.