With a touring band as seasoned as Slightly Stoopid, you know that any show at the Santa Barbara Bowl is going to be packed, loud, and above all else, an event. The boys from Ocean Beach once again proved their talent Sunday night as they kicked off the last leg of their “Everything is Awesome” tour.
Reggae group Stick Figure came out first to get the vibes going, a pseudo-farewell as the Expendables will be replacing them as the opening act for the rest of the tour. The Dirty Heads followed with a performance that displayed both their established prominence as a hip hop/ska punk band with favorites like “Lay Me Down,” “Sound of Change,” and “My Sweet Summer” and their diversity with the multifaceted epic “End of the World” and the Goonies-inspired “Sloth’s Revenge.” A remix of “My Sweet Summer” closed out the Dirty Heads’s set, and it was time to get Stoopid.
The sun was long gone by the time Slightly Stoopid took the stage. Fresh off their performance at the 2015 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, their Bowl show starts the final leg of a tour in support of forthcoming eighth studio album Meanwhile…Back at the Lab. Over the course of their 25-song set, fans were treated to multiple tracks off the new album, including the instrumental opener “Dabbington,” the keyboard-laden “This Version,” featuring an appearance by Roger Rivas, feel-good jam “The Prophet,” as well as “Hold it Down” and “Call Me Crazy.”
As expected, several spliffs were passed between the band and pit throughout the show, but the more eclectic facets may have been the duo painting to the left of the front stage, the Star Wars amp heads, the guest dog during “Anywhere I Go,” or the marriage proposal before “Nobody Knows.” Toward the end of the evening, the band welcomed reggae legend Don Carlos onstage to sing “Never Gonna Give Up,” “Just a Passing Glance,” “Baby I Like It,” and “Ababa John I.” Carlos remarked at one point, “These kids are making me smile,” a sentiment we can certainly share about the band, even though the 20-year veterans aren’t really kids anymore.