Reggae dub rockers Slightly Stoopid returned to Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre last night to celebrate their 11th sold-out show at the iconic venue, playing a mix of old and new favorites for one of their best headlining shows to date.
Joining the bunch were reggae-pop artists HIRIE, Tribal Seeds, and Matisyahu, who have all joined Slightly Stoopid throughout the summer for their How I Spent My Summer 2019 tour, making stops at renowned venues and music festivals across the country. Slightly Stoopid has had quite the summer so far, including welcoming Bob Weir at BeachLife Festival, and selling out Red Rocks was just the cherry on top to complete the summer’s success.
HIRIE graced the stage at 6:30 p.m., performing 30-minutes of joyful reggae pop to the increasing crowd. The seven-piece irie pop group left the crowd in high spirits as reggae-roots group Tribal Seeds took the stage at 7:15 p.m. The early signs of the sunset paired perfectly with the reggae-roots sextet’s refreshing rock melodies over the venue’s mountainous rocks.
At the last half of dusk, reggae hip-hop project Matisyahu took over the stage to lay down some inspiring lyrics over beachy melodies. The Brooklyn five-piece kicked things off with two light reggae jams, then busted out their psychedelic “Driftin’” from their 2017 Undercurrent LP for the third song of the night. The group tranced the crowd with a hazy daze instrumental before Matisyahu layed down some downtempo beatboxing. His rhythm was accompanied by trancelike, airy guitar riffs by Aaron Dugan, and the band quickly took the beat to a crescendo thanks to a quick transition by keyboardist Yuki. The latter led into the upbeat “Sunshine” as the crowd sang along with Matisyahu’s “golden sunshine” lyrics while red, orange, and yellow lights beamed out as rays of sun. The band welcomed HIRIE up onstage for some smooth vocal accompaniment, and as the final chords were struck in the final song, Matisyahu signed off with harmonizing vocals and a “peace, peace” to the crowd.
Slightly Stoopid strode onstage at 9:30 p.m. sharp, just as the sun was completely dipped under the horizon and Denver’s glowing city lights beamed in the distance. The band celebrated with the crowd, announcing their 11th time selling out the venue and started their 90-minute set with their reggae jazz “Wicked Rebel”. The skull visual projected on the stage’s screen mirrored the projections on the side of the venue’s rocks, and the band slipped into “Fat Spliffs” to spark up the chill vibes for the evening.
After a nice spark up, Slightly Stoopid went into their fan-favorite “Officer”, harmonizing with the crowd in the lyrics “let’s get this party started”. After hiding for the whole night, the moon wanted to join in on the fun, and it rose up to the right of the stage beaming golden light onto the venue. After going into a dreamy beach melody, the guys went into the beach party jam “Hold It Down”, mixing the tropical party anthem with some traditional horns by saxophonist Daniel “Dela” Delacruz and trumpet and trombone player Andy Geib.
“Officer” – Slightly Stoopid
[Video: Live For Live Music]
Miles Doughty took fans to a beach far away with his relaxing vocals in “No One’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, laying down some smooth jazz before the guys took things back up in their funky “Devil’s Door”. Red lights swirled about the stage mixing with the fog, jamming out as Delacruz and Geib led the chorus with their horn melody. The night’s highlight prevailed as the band started into a tribute to Tom Petty in “You Don’t Know How It Feels”. The band passionately covered the musical hero’s folk-rock song with a reggae mix, adding in some harmonica flare by percussionist Oguer “OG” Ocon. A sold-out show in Colorado, especially Red Rocks, should be not wasted, and the band took full opportunity to light up and celebrate, firing up a three-ounce spliff to kick off “The Fire Below”. The crowd swayed as the band celebrated 20 years performing at the mountainous venue, and started into their sultry “2am”. Mid-way through, Trinidadian reggae singer Marlon Asher, aka the “ganja farmer” came onstage for some traditional reggae vocals in his “Ganja Farm” mashup, leading the crowd into a back-and-forth harmony of vocals. Slightly Stoopid threw it back to 1998 in their “Too Little Too Late,” washing the old-school surf jam over the crowd. After a shoutout to the band’s friend Justin Clarke in “Struggler,” Slightly Stoopid brought out HIRIE for a take on the love tune “Mona June”. Originally recorded with Angela Hunte, HIRIE added in her pop-dub voice to uplift the crowd into a swaying dance, matched by soulful horn chords by Delacruz and Geib.
“You Don’t Know How It Feels” (Tom Petty Tribute) – Slightly Stoopid
[Video: Live For Live Music]
For the last bit of the show, Slightly Stoopid went into the deeper reggae jam “Anywhere I Go” for some edgy dub beats, and went into their “Closer To The Sun”. Kyle McDonald and Doughty fast-picked the opening melody, and the venue lit up as the lights went out filled with lighters and phone lights. Slightly Stoopid ended their “best f****** Saturday show and dream they ever could have” by inviting their team onstage to celebrate the show in high spirits surrounded by those who helped them get there. A huge cheer brought the band back on for a three-song encore, this time, bringing out all the musicians from HIRIE, Tribal Seeds, Matisyahu, and Asher onstage for a huge reggae jam, finishing off in light spirits in “Till It Gets Wet” for some fun dancing to the band’s funny cylindrical lyrics.
It’s quite a feat to sell out Red Rocks, and Slightly Stoopid has proven that with hard work and dedication, 11 sold-out shows can be a reality. The reggae rockers gave one of their best performances to date to celebrate the love and success they’ve earned over the course of their 20 years playing the historical venue. Slightly Stoopid continues their tour at Spain’s Rototom Sunsplash on August 20th and Austria’s Afrika-Tage Festival on August 21st, before heading back to the states for Reggae Rise Up, Cannabis Cup, Dry Diggings Festival, and Wonderfront Festival. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website.
Below, you can check out a full photo gallery of the show courtesy of photographer Conrad Meyer.