The day was gorgeous this Saturday, September 11th, at the edge of California, beachside for sure. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about…San Diego.
A perfect mix at this line-up in Petco Park, where music lovers of all ages blended as one to enjoy incredible music artists flowing with those glorious sounds of reggae, and this began the day that would be spectacular indeed.
Boostive opened the show’s festivities, followed by The Elovators who got the crowd fired up for Don Carlos & Dub Vision Band. During Don Carlos’ set, the legendary reggae master passed the torch to humble young lion, Kailash, who came out and sang with fresh youthfulness, bringing audience members to tears with his uplifting voice. His vocals spoke to the soul while reinforcing confidence that good will overcome the forces of evil in this world and reminding us that our children are the future.
Following Don Carlos‘ impeccable performance was the masterful Thievery Corporation. Oh, and a fantastic surprise I will mention later in this article…especially for those into the groovy strokes of the brush! But back to the show. A visual highlight was the band’s bass player Ashish “Hash” Vyas, who slithered back and forth onstage like a hypnotizing snake banging out the bass lines as if he was both the Cobra and the Snake Charmer. Pure mind possessing indeed! Thievery Corporation is an outfit known for its multitude of talented singers, including Notch and Mr. Lif, and Natalia Clavier, but it was Racquel Jones who dominated the show, poetically gliding across the stage in a long flowing green dress like a true Rastafiri Queen. Commanding and mesmerizing the crowd as a lyrical coloratura, she melodically sang out “Letter to the Editor,” which resulted in a crescendo of enthusiasm that was passionately demonstrated by all in the crowd.
What came next? I’ll tell ya what came next—the headliners, Slightly Stoopid! They wasted no time rocking the audience right from the start with the ringing out of the first notes. They delivered a stand-out performance that was brilliant and with full force, along with top-notch supercharged energy that was transmittable to all in attendance. They kicked off their set with “Top of the World,” then launched fervently into “Officer.” They are known for always getting their crowd fired up, and on this performance, the place was burnin’. Clouds of smoke drifted by, so much so that as I looked around, some in the audience seemingly needed to part this ganja midst with their arms and hands to better see the stage. The high from the smoke combined with the energy was catching everyone.
There is an unmistakable unity that the band is famous for displaying, and once again, it was evident here. Stoney light show and vibrations abounded, all about love and respect. The crowd ricocheted that energy right back at them with a massive groove of love and adoration. Everyone was moving, some in unison and others individually dancing, with all having a wonderful time. Then Don Carlos came out to join the band, lending vocals to “Never Gonna Give Up” and “Just a Passing Glance,” a Don Carlos cover. They closed out yet another striking set with a brilliant delivery of one of my favorites, “Wiseman,” with young Kailash coming out to sing with them. This, I must say, and I am not alone, was a very, very beautiful rendition.
Now for the cool surprise—Dig this, and man, this was true dope! Live artwork by Jimmy Ovadia was ongoing with painting onstage while the bands performed. Jimmy spent time working on a new style for this epic night, over 120 lights were added to a double-sized wooden panel as he painted live during Slightly Stoopid‘s set. After the show, he shared some insight on his piece with me, stating, “It was exciting and challenging because it’s a fairly new concept. I’ve never done one that big live! Everything worked out great, and it was even strong enough to hold Kyle for a picture at the end of the night as he put it on the floor and jumped on top of it, balancing himself.”
Jon Phillips, the producer of Silverback Records, is always so down to Earth and ensures all of Stoopid’s fans have a great time. After the show, he gave me some insight from a manager’s perspective. “Having the chance to witness their growth from a three-piece of formative young teens playing house parties down the street to the talented entity they’ve become over two decades later…it’s been an absolutely epic experience for both myself and the band!”
A special night and indeed an ultra-cool experience to be at The Padres stadium in the bands’ hometown for the first total capacity local show in over two years. The backdrop of downtown San Diego seen within provided an iconic atmosphere for Ocean Beach’s favorite sons and their large posse of friends (Stoopid-heads) who came out in droves to witness the band in superb form.
Over the past twenty years, I’ve seen Slightly Stoopid at least a dozen or so times, and every show fills me with renewed excitement, fresh energy, and a most enjoyable high! This was another unforgettable moment of great sounds and vibes.