Garrettsville, Ohio (July 6, 2018) – It was sunny, temperatures were in the seventies, and a slight breeze was in the air. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor concert. It was tonight that the School’s Out For Summer 2018 Tour featuring Slightly Stoopid, Stick Figure, and Pepper was going to happen. The setting here at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park has everything you could ask for considering such performances tonight.
The ledges were created when the Earth’s tectonic plates shifted, carving out the scenic Nelson Ledges‘ rock formations during the Ice Age. The Nelson Ledges was an operating rock quarry in the late 40’s and 50’s until one fateful day in the late 50’s when mining equipment opened up one of several natural springs on accident. Within days the 30-acre quarry filled up, creating the magestic area visitors see today.
Abandoned by the company, the Quarry was soon visited & inhabited by the locals, free-loving hippies & bikers, who came with their painted buses, motorcycles, free spirits & hopes of settling down. Unfortunately, they were in for a rude awakening. Thinking they had created the perfect paradise, officials caught wind of too much fun going on, gates were put up, & the Quarry was closed. Eventually, in 1972, the land & Quarry were purchased by a young man who established the foundation of the campground that we see today. In the years that followed, it has become even more of a hot spot for scuba diving, camping, swimming, sunbathing & of course cliff diving. ~Nelson Ledges Quarry Park
Times may have changed, but the tie-dye and free spirits were out in full force today. Many of those in attendence were camping in the park nestled away in the woods that surround the old quarry. A canopy created by the tree tops shaded those that had pitched tents underneath. Some campsites were simple, some campsites were adorned with colorful ornamental items and all varied as you traversed the web of roads and paths to get from one end to the other. One campsite even featured a full Rick and Morty Virtual Reality tour which was powered by a distant generator.
The park had plenty to offer visitors just in the natural wonders, but vendors also lined the area around the stage and beach. They offered a variety of clothing, there was a general store, various food vendors, art vendors, and much more. This creative group of fans were busy throughout the day and evening entertaining themselves and others with soccer balls, hacky-sack, frisbee, hula-hooping, and various styles of poi, just to name a few of the activities. Many live paintings were also taking place from noon to sundown throughout the area.
Splice-Magazine tried to cover as much of the activities as possible throughout the day, and we hope these photographic galleries help you feel it as it played out, full of the colors that filled the day and throughout evening. This day was about much more than just the bands on the schedule tonight. Although the bands performances were all steller, it would not have been the same without the love and positive vibes that were experienced throughout the park. Join us through our trip and allow yourself to experience it with us.
Pepper was up first on the three-band-bill. The Kailua Kona, Hawaii natives (now residing in San Diego) have the natural ability to bring their Hawaiian vibes to the masses. With the evening ready to be filled with various styles of reggae rock and dub, Pepper pulled out all the stops to get the crowd gathered in front of the stage. Kaleo Wasman (Guitar/Vocals), Bret Bollinger (Bass/Vocals), and Yesod Willams (Drums/ Vocals) kept the music flowing as the patrons that were not pressed up to the front of the crowd, danced, hooped, and enjoyed themselves as the sunlight bathed their skin and the music permeated their ears.
Pulling from their 7 album catalog, they played cuts from Kona Town (2002), No Shame (2006), Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations (2008), Pepper (2013), and Ohana (2016). Their free flowing jam style performance was the start of what would continue throughout the evening. Kyle from Slightly Stoopid made his first appearance on stage about halfway through Pepper’s set. As the set continued, Kaleo was even talking with the crowd, asking what the front row wanted to hear as they veered away from any setlist they might have had in mind. There was a nice highlight in their set, when they broke into a reggae infused partial version of This Love by Pantera, as a tribute to the late Vinnie Paul.
As the evening continued it was just about time for Stick Figure. Prior to the band entering the stage, Cocoa The Tour Dog, made her way to the stage’s front. The crowd was delighted and had anticipated her arrival, with some fans even providing the Australian Shepard with canine toys. Cocoa has been on tour since 2013, after Scott Woodruff aquired her from a rescue.
Stick Figure was ready to pick up right where Pepper left off. With albums full of songs written, played, recorded, and produced by Scott Woodruff they had plenty of material to draw upon. Scott impressively does all of the studio work, including all instrumentation, on the albums. This approach has paid off for Woodruff and the 2015 release Set In Stone entered at number one on the Billboard and iTunes reggae charts.
His melodic writing styles sets Stick Figure apart for their counterparts a bit. Their stage show is basically void of a set list as the band improvises transitions and interludes to create a mostly continuous set similar to a jam band.
Scott Woodruff (Vocals and Guitar), is joined by Stick Figure’s touring musicians that include KBong (Keyboards and Vocals), Tommy Suliman (Bass), Kevin Offitzer (Drums), and Johnny Cosmic (Percussion and Guitar). Besides playing a few songs from Set In Stone, the San Diego natives blazed through most of their popular singles with a highlight being their breakout hit Smokin’ Love.
With 6 total albums in their collection, they have plenty of material to keep things fresh for the Figureheads. The jam band style can be frustrating for a journalist trying to track all the songs, but it is an absolute delight to lose yourself in their joyous grooves as they weave their songs together with their improvisations.
Based out of Ocean Beach, California, Slightly Stoopid was formed by multi-instrumentalists Kyle (Bass, Guitar and Vocals) and Miles (Bass, Guitar and Vocals). They have assembled a superb group of musicians that include, RyMo (Drums), OG (Congas, Percussion, Harp, and Vocals), DeLa (Saxophone), Paul W (Keyboards), and Andy (Trombone) to round out the group as we saw them at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park tonight.
They have many notable guests that will join them from time-to-time on tour. Some of those guests include – Karl Denson (Rolling Stones/Greyboy Allstars), Don Carlos, Chali 2na (Jurassic 5) and Rashawn Ross (Dave Matthews Band). We were lucky enough to have the one-and-only Chali 2na join Slighlty Stoopid on stage for two songs tonight. To the delight of crowd, Chali 2na performed Just Thinkin’ (2012) from the album Top Of The World and Higher Now (2018) from their upcoming album Everyday Life, Everyday People, about two-thirds of the way through the set.
Just like the bands prior, Slightly Stoopid followed a jam band style, sometimes playing just pieces or portions of some songs not listed. It is the style that fits the tour as well as the fans and venue. There were some songs that were better recieved than others based on familiarity, but for the most part the entire evening stayed in the pocket of reggae rock and and did not wonder off too far from that. As the stars came out once the sun went down, a cool breeze entered and you could smell the aroma of this outdoor festival fill the air. As Slightly Stoopid and Stick Figure played the final song, fireworks were in the sky over the water. It was a perfect finish to a great day. Nelson Ledges Quarry Park is an absolute wonderful place to catch a show, and our only regret – we did not camp here the entire weekend.
Slightly Stoopid’s Setlist
1. School’s Out (Alice Cooper Cover)
3. Up On A Plane
4. Hold It Down
5. Devil’s Door
6. Too Late (unreleased)
7. Don’t Stop/Don’t Care
8. If You Want It
9. You Don’t Know How It Feels (Tom Petty Cover)
11. Fire Below (unreleased)
12. Del Roy/2AM
14. Just Thinkin’ (Featuring Chali 2na)
15. Higher Now (Featuring Chali 2na)
16. Castles of Sand (Featuring Pepper)
17. To Little To Late
18. Never Give You Up (Don Carlos Cover)
19. Come Around
20. Medley of Songs
21. No Cocaine (eaturing Stick Figure)