On such a beautiful evening right across the river, the lineup was stacked and the anticipation was high. All three of these bands by themselves would have drawn a huge crowd, but you throw them all together and no one wanted to miss this one. They could all be included in the soundtrack of my adolescence, and even to this day. I grew up breaking rules to these guys, and never skip the chance to catch a show of theirs. The Expendables kicked off the night with their magical blend of reggae, ska, and surf rock with their heavy break downs and smooth transitions. With a set full of songs from their newest album "Sand in the Sky" peppered with the classics everyone loves, they had the crowd grooving to the dreamy smooth reggae, and jumping around with the hard rock jam outs. At the end of the set, they were joined by members of Slightly Stoopid to help them go out with a bang on "Bowl For Two" with a little friendly competition of which side sings louder. Not to brag, but my side killed the other.
Up next was the Dirty Heads, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't pumped for this set. Last time they came through Omaha, Duddy B was in the hospital all day, and it showed on stage. They kicked off their time with "Franco Eyed" to get the audience going crazy from the start, and it worked like a million bucks. They kept the energy high early with crowd favorites "Burn Slow" "Up All Night" and "Neighborhood" and the sellout crowd that had shown up in full force was showing them all the love they could handle. They brought their chilled out reggae sound for the next few with "Your Love" "Stand Tall" and "Lay Me Down" with the entire venue singing along with. The hard hitting hip-hop style of "Check the Level" and "Hip-Hop Misfits" had everyone getting down and dirty in a way you don't see at most reggae shows. In the rest of the set, Dirty Heads played mostly songs from their newest album, with my personal favorite "Spread Too Thin" thrown in the mix. To end their set they played a heavy dubstep remix of "My Sweet Summer" that brought the entire place screaming and begging for more, just in time for Slightly Stoopid's turn.
To start off the headlining set, they started with the instrumental dub "Dabbington" to warm the crowd back up from the intermission. The heavy bass dub reggae style of Slightly Stoopid had the whole place shaking to its core. My backpack even fell off the edge of the stage from the vibrations. Through the entire show full off a mix songs old and new, they took us on a journey through the last almost 20 years of their music. Co-founders of the band, Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald, were showing off their true talents to the crowd by switching up on guitar and bass every few songs, and people were eating it up. Playing classics that everyone loves such as "2 AM" "This Joint" "Up on a Plane" and "Officer" kept us all hanging onto every note, even on the songs lesser known to the crowd. With a cover of "Champion of the Charles" by the Knockout Machines faded into my favorite "Don't Stop" I had to put my camera away and let the music take over. To end the night, Slightly Stoopid came out for the encore with "Collie Man" acoustic of course, "No Cocaine" and an absolutely killer cover of "Express Yourself."
With a show of 3 bands I've seen multiple times separate, I figured there was no doubt going to be one hell of a show, but all 3 bands played the best show I've seen out of each of them. For that reason, mixed with the pure nostalgia their music brings me, this will be a concert I will never forget.