G. Love & Special Sauce and Slightly Stoopid at the Bank of America Pavilion on August 22

A review of G. Love & Special Sauce and Slightly Stoopid at the Bank of America Pavilion on August 22, 2007

, Contributing Writer

Since Dave Matthews Band broke out from a primarily collegiate audience with appealing pop-rock meets jam-band sound, many bands in the same mold have followed in their footsteps. Each of these “jamtastic” bands has fused various genres with their sound and consequently has built rapid grassroots fan bases. Two of the best examples of this are G. Love & Special Sauce and Slightly Stoopid, who teamed up for a co-headliner at the Bank of America Pavilion last Wednesday night. G. Love fused hip-hop and blues with rock while Slightly Stoopid mixed reggae and punk with acoustic rock for a show that kept a packed house of passionate and faithful followers on their feet for the entire show.
With their special connection to Beantown over the years, Boston bred/Philly natives G. Love and Special Sauce fittingly took the headliner slot at the Pavilion show. G. Love certainly has come a long way since he and his band got their start on the streets of Harvard Square, and as one of the house bands at The Plough and Stars over a decade ago. Still boasting a rabid fanbase here in the hub, the crowd went wild once the small, hat-donning, black trouser wearing G. Love took the stage.

The band is touring in support of this summer’s DVD documentary/live CD A Year And A Night. Wednesday’s Pavilion show spanned the band’s career with new material such as “Hot Cookin’” off 2006’s Lemonade, and a plethora of old favorites, including “Cold Beverage” and “Baby’s Got Sauce,” two songs from their 1994 self-titled debut album.

G. Love himself was in great spirits while boasting some solid bluesy guitar riffs and some harmonica funk. Bassist “Jimi Jazz” and drummer “Houseman” held down the rhythm while keyboardist Mark Boyce& added an impressive solo during “Steppin’ Stone,” a tune off Yeah, It’s That Easy. One of the shows best moments came during “Wild Side,” when G. Love and some of his “Special Sauce” freestyled for a bit. The band’s set was cut short (something G. Love would later admit on his blog) but not before an encore that saw G. Love joined by members of Slightly Stoppid and opener Ozomatil for an epic consortium on “Mellow Mood.”

Earlier in the night, California’s Slighty Stoopid kept the crowd energized with an entertaining set. Though the crowd was predominatly made up of G. Love admirers, it’s a safe bet that Slightly Stoopid won over more than a few new fans. Opener “Bandelero (Going Back to Cali)” started the night off right with the laid-back, summery tune that set the tone for the rest of the show. The tendency of reggae to be sing-songy is Stoopid’s trademark, and it was done in such a style that a novice listener could think they were at a slightly off-kilter Sublime show.

Sure, the band’s choice to wear Patriots and Red Sox apparel gave them an extra point in these hard-to-please Boston fans’ book, but the band also had more than a few songs that displayed their talents. Highlights from their set included “Ese Locos,” “Mr.Music,” “The Officer,” “Nobody Knows,” and humorously titled “Comb For My Dome.” The young crowd loved the rap that intermittently creeped into Stoopid’s songs, and the band’s generous use of horns, guitars, drums, and a wide array of other instruments made nearly every song segue cleanly into the next. The band closed out their set with “Nobody Knows,” complete with a powerful jam that let each member work their magic.

Overall, it was a beautiful night on the Harbor for some music that certainly gave off good vibes. For the young crowd on hand, it probably helped most of them forget that school is starting up in just a few short weeks.

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