Tour Diary | Slightly Stoopid | Part One

Today we kick off a series of direct-from-tour dispatches from Slightly Stoopid drummer Ryan Moran, aka Rymo. Rymo checks in from the first series of multi-act dates that Slightly Stoopid is currently headlining at venues across the country.

Hi Friends,

Rymo here to keep you up to date on the Kickin' Up Dust Tour featuring Slightly Stoopid, Atmosphere, Tribal Seeds and The Grouch & Eligh. Well this month sure flew by. We are off to a great start as we have just wrapped up all of our West Coast and Mountain Region dates. First of all, let me just tell you that Atmosphere, Tribal Seeds and G N E have been absolutely KILLING IT every single night. It's been a real pleasure to watch these dudes deliver on the nightly. Really fun.

So I will give a brief play-by-play of the run so far.

Show 1: We started in Albuquerque, NM at the Sandia Resort Ampitheater, which is an outdoor venue that seats about 5,000 people. The show started without incident and the crowd grew. After Atmosphere finished his set, some really nasty weather in the form of lightning threatened a delay and possible cancellation...the organizers actually emptied the place out for about 40 minutes while they figured out what the weather was going to do. We got to play. Thankfully we took the stage a bit late, but had a great set... Strange omens aside, we were off and running and were excited.

Show 2: We were off to Mesa, AZ to play the Mesa Ampitheater, which is another great outdoor spot. We were fearing 120 degrees of pounding sun, but were greeted with overcast and mild weather. Kyle and I actually did an insanity video outside.

Show 3: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Irvine, CA - Ah yes, the chaos that follows us grows as we get closer to home and Irvine is just an hour from San Diego. So we all had tons of family and friends coming to hang out and celebrate. My wife surprised me and showed up early in the day with our newborn daughter. We had Surfside Catering on the scene providing epic tacos and fixings backstage, along with tons of beer supplied by our friends at the Lagunitas Brewing Company. What better for a SoCal show? The show went off well, and we had a blast having a few friends sit in. Angelo Moore of Fishbone, Don Carlos, I-Man, and of course Karl Denson on tenor sax. I felt great about the show. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the entourage and all of the entertaining that goes on. I feel like we are still able to maintain our focus on playing a great show... Woke up in a parking lot in Vegas...not the Hangover movie type scenario, we've got another show to do!

[Photo by Sterling Munksgard]

Show 4: Vegas at the Cosmopolitan Pool - The Cosmo is beautiful. A new casino right in the heart of The Strip. My room actually overlooked the Bellagio fountains and Paris casino. I found myself at the pool with Jafada (Don Carlos' manager), Pinkus (our agent), Dela and C$. We had a few beers and cocktails and lunch. After sound check I went and chilled in my room and rested up. The show was mental. There were people out front of us like a typical show, but also behind us and on our sides. We had a few technical problems but no one could tell but us (hopefully).

Show 5: The Santa Barbara Bowl - One of my favorite cities in the U.S., Santa Barbara is a coastal city in central California. Paulie and I woke up early and got a ride to the Boys And Girls Club. We did some jamming/teaching for a non-profit organization called Notes For Notes. We showed up to a room of talented 13-17 year olds in a recording studio. There, we hung out, listened, performed and spoke about our experiences as pro musicians. Hopefully we opened some eyes to the possibilities of becoming a professional player and what it takes to get there. We got back to the venue, and straight to the juicer! I brought one out this tour and it's been a hit...apple, beet, carrot, ginger! We had a quick sound check and straight in to a meet-and-greet put on by our friends at KJEE. Tribals kicked off the show and delivered their usual polished, clean set of tunes. Atmosphere rocked the crowd and had the whole place going off. They were good and warm by the time we got up. So fun. The following morning a few of us flew home for a couple days off with the family....

[Photo by Sterling Munksgard]

Show 6: Montbleu Casino in Stateline, NV - Nothing is quite as beautiful as South Lake Tahoe in the summer time. Crystal blue water, pine trees, mountains, fresh air and lots of sun. I was feeling good and decided to go for a good long bike ride. Fifteen miles later I came back to find C$ prepping for the nightly fiesta and bbq. The show went nuts as we saw another sold out crowd. We played a fun mix of tunes that night. We have been checking out the requests from Facebook and trying to incorporate as much of that stuff as possible. It keeps things fresh, for us and the audience.

Show 7: The Greek in Berkeley, CA - This is a hometown show for me. I was born in San Francisco and raised in San Rafael. Berkeley is just a 20-minute drive from both. I used to go to see Cal football games in high school. Now we are headlining The Greek! Awesome. One of my favorite venues. I saw Primus here, also Stone Temple Pilots, Butthole Surfers and more. Some serious legends have played this place - The Dead, Santana and beyond. It's a mind-blowing experience to play for 10,000 lunatics in a place like this! The crowd was unbelievable, and I think we played one of our best shows yet. The highlight was having Del Tha Funky Homosapien and Bukue One freestyling over one of our grooves. We also had The Grouch & Eligh sit in on "Just Thinkin" too and they absolutely killed it. They have very different styles and contrast each other well. Next spot...HOME!!

[Photo by Sterling Munksgard]

Show 8: Sleeptrain Amphitheatre in San Diego, CA - The pinnacle of Slightly chaos is the hometown show! They are also the most fun! We had Surfside Catering for about 800 of our closest friends and family. It was nuts. After our meet-and-greet with 91X, doors opened, and the backstage area started to buzz...literally. Fortunately we had a few quiet spots so we could catch our breath. The taco cart was going, the backstage bar was going and most of the band guys were out cruising with friends. It's a great feeling to receive the love that we do. We work really hard touring 6+ months a year, and to come home to a party like this is really gratifying. Thanks to all the locs. You know who you are! We had Don Carlos come up on a few songs and wreck it. Super fun to back him as a band. He's been a huge influence on us from the beginning. Days off at home...

Show 9: Cuthbert Ampitheater in Eugene, OR - There are some great running and biking trails that parallel the Willamette River. I took a nice run in the 95 degree Oregon heat. Yep, 95 degrees and sunny in Oregon. The Northwest is beautiful and a favorite for the whole band. We have lots of friends there and the fruits are gree-e-e-en. The show went off and we sold the most tickets we ever have in Eugene that night. The weather was absolutely perfect - 75 at night. Once again, the crowd was nuts with plenty of goodies being passed around...

[Photo by Sterling Munksgard]

Show 10: Idaho Center Amphitheater in Boise, ID - We played this place a few times over the years with Snoop and Cypress Hill on separate tours. It's an interesting venue - basically a huge field next to a rodeo arena. Karl, Paul and I did Insanity in the morning. Those videos are tough. Even if you are in good shape, they kick your butt. The weather was like 90 degrees and super sunny. Our buddy Walt of REVOLUTION VODKA invited a few of us to his friend's pad on a lake outside Boise. Dela and I went and took out the stand up paddle boards for an hour. It was all gravy until the board I was riding started taking on water and I almost sank in the middle of the lake. Good thing I can swim and am not afraid of catfish!!! We then ate some bbq and headed back to the venue. The crowd was going off. Our friend Jared of the band HED P.E. came out with his family and hung out with the boys.

Show 11: The Great Saltair, outside of Salt Lake City, UT - This club is on the banks of the Great Salt Lake and the banks are huge. From the venue to the actual waterfront is something like 400 yards of salt-encrusted earth. After another juice and insanity session we did sound check to make sure everything worked. The Salt Lake crowd never disappoints. They show up and are ready to get crazy...and they did...and we did...the highlight of the night was playing a Nirvana cover - "Territorial Pissings." Always a good mosher. That's it for now...

Stay tuned for more meaningless babble from yours truly,
Rymo

[Published on: 7/31/13]

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