Cypress Hill at The Vogue, Aug. 9


Cypress Hill

didn't disappoint any fans that packed the Vogue on a sweltering Monday night.

Their setlist mined the vaults of their catalog, and they kept the crowd

engaged. Sure, they might not have jumped around quite as much as they did when

they started performing nearly two decades ago, but they performed with as much

conviction as before, proving that a good song is transcendent of things like time and


Most of those

who attended have been along for the ride since the early years. A mostly

late-twenty-to-thirty-something crowd gave a lot of energy to the performers.

Sound problems plagued a good chunk of the set, eliciting some gnarly feedback

and making B-Real's vocals undecipherable, but the veteran performers stayed

professional, apologizing to the crowd while they were "getting the sound

right" instead of bitching out the soundman. Eventually things got dialed in,

though there was not much mid-range coming through.

It was a

little ironic that the Cypress Hill show was no-smoking (well, for cigarettes,

at least). But fear not, for the Hill has not outgrown their stoner roots. It's

not quite the outlaw activity it once was (it's practically legal in their

native Cali, now), but the four-foot bong the roadie brought out halfway through

the set got its own spotlight.

A sloppy

percussion solo from the usually reliable Eric Bobo fell a little short, although

the mere fact that there's live instrumentation along with the DJ is one reason

for Cypress Hill's stage show's longevity. Bobo made up for it later with a

better showing during a breakdown where he and the DJ traded Eights back and

forth. I guess he has to warm up.

Domestic duties

kept me from getting to the Vogue in time to hear the first act, Brad Real (I

bet he's glad he changed his name from B-Real), but I managed to catch the

entirety of the Mudkids set. Russ has been spreading the love and the spotlight

more and more, and newer hype-man Mr. Kenetic is the perfect addition to the

live show. His presence and cadence give him the aura of a star about to break

out. But to play the hypeman, he should probably learn more of Russell's raps

so that he back him up more meaningfully.

Russ is as

strong as ever, able to command an audience, seemingly having fun playing with

the delivery of his oft-complex rhyme scemes. It's nice to have DJ Elp-Mass

rocking the show with the group; their chemistry is strong. The lo-fi quality

of his beats is hit or miss, sometimes jumping out of the speakers, sometimes

sounding "muddy". What Elp-Mass has mastered is creating enough space in the

music for Russ to always do his thing and never get drown out.


Recommended for you