By Jessica Bishop and Melodie Ramey
Photos by Melodie Ramey
COLUMBUS, OH – Pulling up to a sleek, modern building in Columbus, through the parting of tie-dye clad kids, a sign reading “LC Pavilion, parking this way” was visible. Parking was in a $5.00 lot around the back of the building, but it was a short walk to the venue’s will call for the eager fans. Tickets were purchased quickly for those without, and after a brief pat down by the friendly staff, the crowd was on its way. The familiar concert smell of smoke, beer, and sweat greeted fans as they walked into the packed venue. It was filled with a mixed age crowd of neighborly folks who had nothing but love to give, and a drunken eagerness to dance.
The Expendables, a self described surf rock band hailing from Santa Cruz, California, took the stage first with a friendly vibe that put the crowd at ease, only to get them pumped up again with their song “Bowl for Two” off their 2004 album, Gettin’ Filthy. The band was exhilarating and heavily engaging. They even encouraged the fans to participate in a song war. The prize promised a win for both sides with a smoke out by the losing party. They thanked the crowed, and did a great job hyping up everyone for the next act.
Dirty Heads took the stage next with an ambience of chicanery as the lights dimmed, and blue smoke filled up the room. They emerged with a wicked and wylee style that was only equalled by that of their fans. Dirty Heads are a reggae, hip-hop, alternative band from Huntington Beach, California. They are a six-piece group consisting of frontmen Jared Watson (Dirty J) and Dustin Bushnell (Duddy B), alongside keyboardist Shawn Hagood, percussionist Jon Olazabal, drummer Matt Ochoa, and bassist David Foral. The drum kick banged out the beginning of “Franco Eyed”, a song off their recently released album, Sound of Change. The crowd roared as Dirty J jumped up and down on the stage with his typical vibrant, boyish energy. They played a few songs from their 2012 album, Cabin by the Sea, and then to the crowd’s pleasant surprise, “Check the Level” from their first album, Any Port in a Storm, filled the air. The fans bellowed out the lyrics straight from the heart, and danced so hard they made the room shake. This inspired the guys to feed off the energy of the crowd, and dance right along with a vengeance. Even several members of Slightly Stoopid were enthralled to join in on the fun. Next, the band proceeded to cool things down with “Phantom”, a hit from Phantoms of Summer, featuring an incredible flute solo by Andy Geib of Slightly Stoopid. They ended the set with their now traditional dance party, including playfully throwing water on the fans, signing t-shirts, and handing out hugs in the typical Dirty Heads fashion.
Slightly Stoopid took the final stage, opening into yet another colossal cloud of blue smoke, and beginning with a brief instrumental followed by “Officer” off their 2003 album, Everything You Need. The band comes from Ocean Beach, California, and combine the musical expertise of frontmen, Kyle Mcdonald and Miles Doughty, drummer Ryan “Rymo” Moran, percussionist Oguer “OG” Ocon, saxophonist Daniel “Dela” Delacruz, keyboardist Paul Wolstencroft, and trombone player Andy Geib. Slightly Stoopid, as a major touring band, are no rookies when it comes to fan pleasing performances with smooth bass lines and expert crowd engagement. The light show synced perfectly with every song, and when combined with their immaculate sound it made for an out-of-this-world experience. Kyle and Miles demonstrated their amazing musical versatility by switching back and forth between bass and guitar in-between songs. The band played new music from off of their album, Meanwhile…Back at the Lab, released just earlier this year in June. “Prophet” was one of those new songs which came across as a fresh new take on their Sublime inspired roots.
The combination of these three California pedigree bands put on a one of a kind show with an unprecedented take on the reggae and hip-hop genres. They all have an unsurpassed true passion for music that reaches their fans right down deep in their hearts and souls. It’s easy to tell there is a special kind of love amongst the fans of these irie style reggae rock bands on the Everything is Awesome Tour. A comradery was shown not too far from the hippie days among the bands fan groups, the ‘Stoopidheads’ (Slightly Stoopid) and ‘Wylees’ (Dirty Heads). These special fans came for miles around to support the show, and made up a majority of the crowd. They spread their good energy all night, welcoming newcomers in the pit one by one with melodious lyrical hugs. Any concert like this one has a strong vibe of love and oneness. A special feeling of fused excitement and peace made a combustible energized serenity in the LC Pavilion during the phenomonal performance that night. The fans spread the good vibes faster than they could pass the blunts. It felt like the beginning of a new world, a better world, starting right there in that moment, and there was no better place to be on this earth than with those beautiful Stoopidhead Wylees.