When it’s 4/20, and Cypress Hill is playing at The Fillmore, you kinda know what you’re gonna get.
We walk in to a hazy room full of the expected crowd and an unexpected opener, Literates. Apparently all of that weed smoking led the organizers to forget to post any info about an opener. I’m surprised that all of the stoners are so on time. Literates, from LA, prove to be quite capable, though the crowd is too busy tokin’ it up to care. Their DJ has a killer mohawk.
There’s not much to set up for Cypress Hill, but it takes about an hour to get them out there. By then, the room is encased in a cloud of smoke. They open with a few newer songs, to a lukewarm reception. I am reminded of how amazing and distinctive B-Real’s voice is; I haven’t faithfully listened to Cypress Hill in many moons, as my stoner days are long behind me. But III: Temples of Boom used to be in heavy rotation for me- I loved the Middle Eastern influences in that album, and felt that it was full of less overt pot references.
Then the energy lifts as much as it can with this mellow crowd as they move into the classics: Hand on the Pump, How I Could Just Kill A Man, Insane In the Brain.…at some point, joints start flying onto the stage. B-Real makes a promise that he’ll smoke all the joints at once at the end of the show, except for the blunt since he ‘doesn’t smoke blunts no more’. He would go on to forget that remark. They announce that they are going to blow something up, and minutes later I realize that a giant Buddah holding a pot leaf is inflating on stage. It took me awhile to see it- it was half inflated by the time I was able to see it through the smoke. I was starting to look for exits in case the alarms went off. Cue Hits From the Bong. Then cue a 6 foot or so long bong from which the percussionist takes a massive hit. Then cue a huge joint that B-Real will smoke for the rest of the evening, from which he will take hits instead of breaths between rhymes. How this is possible I will never know, apparently weed smoke has replaced oxygen for him. I am happy to hear Illusions, and for a few minutes I’m 15 again. The show wraps up with (Rock) Superstar, and we all know that is the end. Empty bags of weed litter the floor, and everyone’s eyes are so squinty and bloodshot that they couldn’t see anymore if they tried.
After a long wait while bottlenecked at the stairs, we got our free posters and some much needed fresh air.
Cypress Hill performance: 7.5/10
Literates performance: 6.5/10
venue (The Fillmore): 7.5/10
value ($41.50/ticket): 5.5/10
Great footage of the Buddah, Hits From the Bong, weed, the smoke, etc. from haightbum