Stephen Marley in Santa Barbara

Stephen Marley, Slightly Stoopid & Snoop Dog

Blazed and Confused at the Santa Barbara County Bowl
Words and photos by Jan Salzman

July 12 was a very hot, triple digit day in the San Fernando Valley and a trip up the coast to The Santa Barbara Bowl was a promising adventure The day’s show included MickeyAvalon, a white rapper with very explicit lyrics, the very conscious Stephen Marley, famed rapper Snoop Dog, and Southern California’s own Slightly Stoopid. This was the “Blazed and Confused Tour” and whether they were “blazed” or not, there was some fabulous music being played.

Stephen Marley bounded onstage, with his young son as the flag bearer flashing the colors of Rastafari, to his father’s song “Punky Reggae Party.” His next two songs from his Grammy-winning album were “Chase Dem” and the title track “Mind Control.” His high pitched, rough voice thrilled the crowd with every note. Steve often pointed the microphone to the packed audience to let them fill in the lyrics to his songs. Sometimes he played guitar, sometimes he took it off to grab the mic and reach closer to his audience. He was joined onstage by Spragga Benz for the chat in “Iron Bars” and Julian Marley also passed through for several songs, including the closing, with the Bob Marley classic, “Could You Be Loved.” Continue reading