"Their Only Message"
May 27, 2005
By Jessamyn Cuneo
Calling all skateboarders: Last night was your scene. Slightly Stoopid, a punk/reggae group with a large surfer-skater following, played at the Palladium in Worcester, MA. The group is on tour to promote their newly released album, Closer to the Sun.
There were approximately 550 moshing fans in the audience, and these kids were all about the band's funky jams, ultra fast-paced and jumbled lyrics. During the entire concert, only one line rang out loud and clear: "Smoke some weed!" Every time that lead singers Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty sang out their mission-statement, it was followed by a chorus of shouts that made the small, half-empty venue seem filled.
The number of skateboarders in Boston and surrounding towns is growing by the day. Where were you all? Couldn't find the show? Well, that's understandable, because the Palladium is a venue that you won't find too easily, (beware of the White Hen employee who says the venue's an hour away when it is five minutes down the street!) Just the perfect attitude to show why Worcester has no future in promoting concerts, until it changes its back wood mentality. Finally, after an hour ride through the rain, you'll meet the salesman at the Palladium who by all accounts should be selling hens instead of tickets, and after all that gas used up by trekking out to Worcester, the $10 parking, and ticket pricing, the show has pretty large expectations to be met.
For the rough-and-tumble skaters that managed to find the place and cough up $18 for the show, Slightly Stoopid did seem to fulfill their expectations. They were having fun skateboarder-style, forming a circle with a "pit" that was actually just them all shoving each other from one side to another. It looked like a swarm of skinny white bees. Miraculously, no one was hurt throughout the show, which by the looks of the crowd was a major disappointment!
Slightly Stoopid's sound is hard to pinpoint. They don't seem to adhere to any certain structure or format, which is, to them, probably staying true to their whole "free" mentality. They have been signed with Skunk Records, an independent record company, since they began playing together over a decade ago. Slightly Stoopid likes playing what they want, and they openly voice their refusal of the conformity involved with signing with a major record label. They are also very active in the fight for legalization, by sending the message at every show to "smoke some more weed."
Drummer Ryan Moran held down the rhythm with impressive precision. Sometimes Kyle would rap over furious guitar chords and staccato beats. Occasionally they would let the reggae kick in, Miles would sway a little, slow it down, and for a minute you would forget the chaos that was pouring from the speakers only moments before. While other reviewers have placed them alongside bands like 311 and Sublime, they come across more like 311 trying to sound like Sublime.
Bradley Nowell, the lead singer for Sublime, discovered Kyle and Miles when they were 16 and were just entering the music scene. Since then, Slightly Stoopid has been playing up to 200 shows a year, traveling the country and surfing whenever they get a free chance. The group did emit an oceanic energy; ebbing, flowing and crashing. They suck you in and then spit you out. All in all, they were a piece of the waves-far, far from the shore out in Worcester, MA.
Stoopid's main message "smoke some weed" was firmly communicated
to their fans at the show. Their hyped-up vibe was shared with the many supposed
Bob Marley-loving fans who actually tremble when next to a real Rasta. For
anyone with the spirit of the surf in you, make sure to check out their next
concert. Otherwise, you'll be the only one left high and dry.