Slightly Stoopid’s annual summer tour hits the Lake Tahoe Outdoor arena at Harvey’s on Friday, Aug. 4
August 1, 2017
Slightly Stoopid's "Sounds of Summer" tour brings the band to the outdoor amphitheater at Harvey's at Stateline on Friday, Aug. 4.
The band brings their positive vibes through reggae-style California surfer rock in celebration of summer and invites locals and visitors of Lake Tahoe to sit back, unwind and enjoy the party.
"We just want people to have a good time," said the band's drummer, Ryan "RyMo" Moran.
"Our music has always been about relaxing, having fun, having a drink, having a smoke, and leaving your worries at the door," he said.
RyMo joined Slightly Stoopid in 2003, after meeting the founding members and multi-instrumentalists, Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty.
"We were hanging out in 2002, and shortly after (their) tour their drummer left. They had another tour booked and invited me to play — everything just fell into place, the timing was right and I joined the band, that was 14 years ago, now."
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RyMo said he has been to Tahoe many times, visiting as a kid from the Bay Area and getting to ski, ride bikes, and hike during trips. He still likes to try to get a lake activity in while on tour, but says the band is most excited to see the local crowd.
"I definitely want to thank all the return-fans. I know it's cliché to say, bit it's true — we couldn't do this without our fans. We're very grateful for the people who've allowed us to continue for more than 20 years now."
Slightly Stoopid got their start more than 20 years ago when they met Bradley Nowell of the band Sublime, and were signed to his Skunk Records label.
"I wasn't in the band at that time but Miles and Kyle became friends with Brad from Sublime, they were playing punk rock and ska and a bit of reggae back then," RyMo said.
"They had the opportunity to jam with Brad and he signed the guys in the mid-90s, then passed away shortly thereafter, unfortunately."
RyMo said that was a huge step in their music career.
"Beyond just being a musical influence, that also really opened up a lot of doors for the band. They started getting on the road when they finished high school and never stopped, really; we've been on the road since the late 90s."
In addition to McDonald, Doughty and RyMo, Slightly Stoopid band members include saxophonist Daniel "Dela" Delacruz, keyboardist Paul Wolstencroft, trumpet and trombone player Andy Geib, plus special guest and "unofficial eighth member" Karl Denson on saxophone.
Each of the musicians are in charge of bringing their signature sound to the initial idea when creating an original song.
"Usually, we have something that gets the ball rolling: a drum beat or a guitar or bass riff or a vocal line that gets things moving in a general vibe," RyMo said.
"We'll start putting things down, recording and building off of it as we go. The last album or two we've actually gone in different groups and recorded at different times with different instruments to give (a) kind of a layered effect."
Though he doesn't have just one favorite song to perform, RyMo said the band gets a kick out of seeing people get a little crazy to their favorite tunes.
"I could pick 10 favorite songs but one is tough. I've liked playing all the music; really, there's not one I like more than another. Crowd favorites, where we start playing and people get crazy, those are my favorite because you know people are feeling it."
He said hits like "2 AM", "Collie Man", "Closer to the Sun," and "Ain't Got a lot of Money" are a few songs that really get the crowd pumped and get the energy up.
"I like playing the punk stuff quite a bit because it's crazy and people like to get nuts with it," he said.
In order to put on an awesome show, RyMo says the guys all have their different ways of prepping to go on stage. He likes to find a quiet minute to himself to breathe and focus on what he's about to do.
"Everyone has a pre-show ritua,l but I'd say everyone tries to go up there with the intention of putting on our best performance for 20 people or 20,000. We love what we do and we're out there to perform our best, put on a great show and have fans come back, fortunately they do year after year," he said.
"And for the folks coming to their first show, I hope they enjoy it, have a positive attitude, have some drinks, have some fun, let's do this."
Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.