Slightly Stoopid has an amazingly dedicated and loyal following. How else can you explain thousands of fans showing up to see them in 105 heat at the Mesa Amphitheatre on July 8, 2016. And if it was 105 degrees, imagine how hot it must have been packed into the mass of people in front of the stage. And Slightly Stoopid were troopers, because if it was 105 degrees, imagine how hot it must have been under the stage lights.
Slightly Stoopid is touring in support of its 2015 release Meanwhile…Back at the Lab. While Slightly Stoopid has it roots in punk, ska and reggae, it’s live show has more of a jam-band feel to it. Songs that may have been original released in one genre have morphed and evolved over years of being played live with layers of depth and complexity added over time. It’s also a sound that lends itself extraordinarily well to a laid back summer evening with a few beverages. While there front of the stage was packed as it usually is at a show, many fans were entirely content to lay back on the amphitheater lawn and take in the vibe.
The band is like a well-oiled machine. Slightly Stoopid tour relentless and are clearly quite practiced performers. Despite that, the show felt fresh and the band has a sustained energy throughout. Their set consisted of a nice mix of songs from the most recent album and material that has kept their fans coming back for the better part of 20 years.
Reggae mater Don Carlos made a special appearance for three songs during the middle of the set. Don Carlos has performed with Slightly Stooped on and off for at least the last five years and has recorded with Slightly Stoopid. Don Carlos layers a fun vibe on top of what was already an entertaining show.
Review and photos by Greg Cohen
All photos © Greg Cohen 2016