Photos and Review : Jennifer Fry
And the livin’s easy…….
Sunshine, a nice breeze, and warm weather are a perfect combination for those outdoor summer concerts. Last night at Merriweather was one of those perfect summer evenings, combined with sounds of guitar and vocals of reggae music. Slightly Stoopid brought their summer tour to Maryland which also included Sublime with Rome, The Movement, and Atmosphere.
The party started early at 5:30pm Friday, much earlier than most concerts begin at that venue, so traffic getting in that evening was scarce. This was a nice way to beginthe evening since traffic can be crazy around rush area in the DMV area. Parking garages around the area are easy to locate and access. You can apply for a free parking pass when ordering your ticket.
The Movement started the party opening the show with the song “Siren” that has Stick Figure featured on the album version. A nice crowd started to accumulate in the pit for the early concert start. Some concert goers decided to face the lines in merchandise to purchase the popular concert poster designed by Owen Murphy. Many also took the opportunity to grab some food and drinks since they came directly from work. The Movement includes musicians Josh Swain as lead vocalist, Jason Schmidt as bassist, Gary Jackson on drums, and Matt Goodwin as keyboardist/ multi-instrumentalist.
A nice drum intro begins the catchy song “Elephant”, as well as some nice instrumental trumpet melody. Matt Goodwin on the trumpet is a sure-fire talent for the group. His instrumental pieces add a nice touch to the songs, and he has an amazing stage presence. Captivating is more like it. It was hard to not watch him and the energy he was bringing. Josh’s voice is clean and crisp and is heard belting out their most popular tune “Take Me To The Ocean”. A tune most reggae lovers will know as soon as it comes up on their playlist. The song brought good vibes to the crowd that was growing as the set went on. They continued their set with songs such as “Break in the Glass”, “SOS”, and “Mexico”. The group really set the stage in energy for the evening.
As the sun began to set, more people started to fill the pavilion. Atmosphere, consisting of rapper Slug and music producer Ant took the stage next. This musical group is a hip hop duo from Minneapolis that formed in 1996. They have released 12 studio albums and ten extended plays. The stage setup was unique with a huge booth for two DJ’s, that also had a mesmerizing light feature on the front of it that changed with the music. The set was a nice addition to the lineup for the night. It was something a little different that added some positive “atmosphere” to the show. The show started with the song“Okay”.
Singing about real life and positive messages. Okay is a gentle reminder that you will be okay in life, no matter how you get there or adapt. Someone from the crowd mentioned in a fan group online that they had a moment during Atmosphere’s set where everything seemed to just click in their mind, and they just relaxed and had a good time the rest of the evening. Atmosphereis out there bringing realism to the audience. Atmosphere’s set continues with some more songsincluding “Sunshine”. While life can be hard sometimes, you can appreciate the little things that make life great. Again, keeping it real in real life situations. Some more songs from the set include: “The Best Day”, “Puppets”, and “Yesterday”.
Sublime with Rome took the stage as the evening started to turn darker with skies filled with stars. A perfect summer evening in Maryland. The band came out playing 3 favorites right away including “April 29, 1992”, “DoinTime”, and “Wrong Way”. By now most of the crowd has gathered in the seating area and people can be heard belting the band’s lyrics through the pavilion. Many in the crowd were spotted wearing the popular Sublime sun shirts in various designs.
The sounds of guitar shreds filled the night air as Rome played “Pawn Shop” to a more than enthusiastic crowd. Eric Wilson could be spotted doing his thing on the bass and keyboard, while wearing his funky glasses and cool hat. Slightly Stoopidjoined the band on stage to perform “Cool and Collected” which seemed to be a huge favorite among the crowd. The band ended the evening playing favorites “What I Got’, and “Santeria”.
Slightly Stoopid’s stage setup took me right back into the college dorm days of neon lights, skull blowups, and flashy deep colored lights with a stunning visual displayon the back screen. What I wouldn’t give for it to be 2003 again. These were the years I first started to listen to the band, and this show took me right back to those days on a nostalgic trip to younger times.
While the setlist didn’t include all the older music, it was a nice music mix of older songs, newer, and some surprise covers. Slightly Stoopid’s shows are carefree jam sessions to the latest degree of energy and crowd interactions. The beginning of the show started with “Officer” with the lyrics stating,“Let’s Get This Party Started”. A great introduction song to get things moving and swaying in the audience. Special guests that came on stage included Rome, Chali 2NA, and Slug. The two main men, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald, were often seen switching guitar and bass between songs.
They often reacted with the audience back and forth, a nice touch to keep the party lively. It was very hard to not relax and just jam out to the music being played. The song “2AM” is an example of an upbeat perfect mix of musical instruments including percussion, guitar, bass, saxophone, and trumpet. My personal favorite of the night was the song “You Don’t Know How It Feels”.
A Tom Petty cover that was a brilliant music mix that would have done Tom proud. Some more songsof the night include “Up On A Plane”, “No Cocaine”, and “Closer To The Sun”. They ended the night with an encore of” Black Vapors”, “One More Night”, and “Intergalactic”.