Saturday, May 14, 2011
Concert review: Slightly Stoopid and Subrosa Union at Palladium Ballroom (May 13)
Even if you're not a fan of reggae, Slightly Stoopid's punk-infused reggae can win you over.
What’s expected at a Slightly Stoopid show is a worry-free evening with dancing and fan love to go around. Normally, these fans are of legal drinking age and can drive themselves to the show. At the Palladium Ballroom show on Friday night, the majority of the large room was filled with young teenagers using the show as a social hour.
As teenage squeals became a regular occurrence, Subrosa Union tried to capture attention on stage. The Austin-based rock group saved their newest single, a cover of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love,” for one of the concluding songs. They’ve sped it up considerably, and surprisingly, taken out a lot of the fundamental reggae beats that support the famous track. It works for just another cover, but making a statement with the song just didn't happen.
Dumpstaphunk (go ahead and read it again to get the full experience) tried their hand at entertaining the short attention-span crowd. It took a while. Their funkified bass lines and blues-inspired songs were not a segway into Slightly Stoopid. But this New Orleans band should get more credit than their name suggests. They played off of each other, taking guitar solos when possible; and they performed for themselves, if for no one else. Dumpstaphunk took full liberties with a long set, helping amp up the crowd towards their conclusion.
As the room got smokier and louder, the mood got mellower. Slightly Stoopid has built a sizeable fan base. The punk rock group came together in 1995 (when most of the audience was born), and was able to play with one of their biggest influences, Sublime. Sixteen years and six albums later, the energized and humorous group tours regularly.
If you haven't been to a Slightly Stoopid show, think Beastie Boys plus Sublime, and add in a trumpet and a saxophone. These guys rock hard live. Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald balance the front man role nicely; one has a steady flow -- similar to Matisyahu -- while the other sings the stories. Not only did they substantially cover their catalog, they also covered ODB’s “Baby I Like it Raw.” The classic dub style echo effect came through in “We Don’t Wanna Go,” drawing out the reggae sounds they’re known for. Despite the underage trend, Slightly Stoopid helped transform a normal Friday night into a mood enhancing, dance-inspiring, peaceful summer evening.
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