The Summer Sessions 2014 tour, which includes Tahoe Vista on Lake Tahoe’s north shore Thursday, celebrates diverse sounds of reggae-based music.
Stephen Marley, a United States’ born son of Bob Marley, stays true to his father’s roots-rock style. Opener Fishbone, formed in 1979, was a pioneer in the melding of ska, punk rock and reggae, which gained mainstream success with Sublime and its California reggae offshoots, including Slightly Stoopid, the Summer Sessions headliner.
While a fourth band on the bill, NOFX, could be a headliner in its own right, its style contrasts to the others.
So much of punk rock is the expression of angst. Aggressive. Strong. Forward. Music has been said to be the best therapy to what ails. Many punk bands dissolve after a short few years as all that music has healed the foundation for the angst. Only a few bands have the drive to develop new and creative reasons to uphold that energy. When the band as a whole has pushed through the initial drive to express its truth it has to find new reasons. So many groups turn to fighting within themselves as the members struggle to find that passion that fueled their original push.
NOFX seems to have moved through this turbulent inevitability by turning its angst on its ear and moved to sarcasm. NOFX has taken to making fun of itself, making fun of each other and making fun of everyone. Occasionally putting out a song that has strong political meat yet keeping an element of humor while not taking themselves too seriously.
What normally kills a punk band has in the case of NOFX given the band a reason to live. While always having new material to draw from as the political landscape is in continuous flux NOFX may be in for a long haul. High energy, aware of its roots and yet keeping fresh with the momentum of the industry.
Punk and reggae music have a commonality when it comes to making social and political statements, according to iconic reggae artist Jimmy Cliff.
“Punk music was the way to convey social messages and at the beginning of rap music, they used to convey social messages too,” Cliff told Tahoe Onstage editor Tim Parsons in a 2012 interview. “So I wouldn’t say reggae is the only way or the best way. It was the leading way I would say because it was the one to first do it and it continues to do it.”
While it has made several records in its more than a decade long career, Slightly Stoopid’s forte is live performance. Thursday will be the third time the Ocean Beach, Calif. band headlines an outdoor show at Tahoe. It performed in 2011 at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys and in 2013.
Fishbone’s frontman Angelo Moore is credited by Slightly Stoopid as an influence, and he appeared on the band’s most recent studio album. Fishbone released an EP “Intrinsically Intertwined” last spring.
Nicknamed “Raggamuffin,” Stephen Marley was 420 before 420 was cool. He was born April 20, 1972, one of Bob and Rita Marley’s three children. He has won five Grammy Awards, including Best Reggae Album in 2012.
Summer Session 2014
Slightly Stoopid, Stephen Marley, NOFX, Fishbone
When: 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15. Gates open at 4 p.m.
Where: North Tahoe Regional Park, Tahoe Vista
Purchase: Ticketfly.com and TicketWeb.com LINK
Details: No chairs. VIP on-site parking and Park/Ride Shuttle info here: http://www.showclix.com/event/PRentertainment