With Cypress Hill and Collie Buddz
Sunset Cove Amphitheater, Boca Raton
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Saturday night, two of popular music's most outspoken advocates for smokin' out, Slightly Stoopid and Cypress Hill, drew a small herd of stony surfer types to the western edge of SoFla civilization for a 420-friendly par-tay. Our headliners, Slightly Stoopid, flowed seamlessly from deep dub grooves into thrashy punk
offerings with the grace of an experienced unit. Their music does not
push any boundaries, but it is reliable. Theirs is a big, positive
sound, strong enough to carry all who are willing to go with it into
high party mode.
Preshow storms created a swampy parking-lot scene, appropriate to the venue's location -- practically in the Everglades. The crowd for the sold-out concert only filled the venue about halfway, but the rain was out of the way by showtime.
Cypress Hill had the crowd going early. Hands were waving in the air through sporadic puffs of thick smoke as the group's signature hard-hitting grooves boomed from the speakers beneath the spit-fire raps of Sen Dog and B-Real. The group was energized and rocked out a set full of hit songs, hits of weed, and bouts of pot-head preaching. After closing with "Rock Superstar," the legends left the stage, and without pause, the DJ kept the music pumping and the party rolled on. No intermission, really.
The atmosphere was more of a gathering of like-minded people than your typical concert. The attire was "surf-casual," the people were young and tan, and the attitude was SoCal. Slightly Stoopid has been written off repeatedly over the years for being a Sublime rip-off band. It seems to be closer to the truth to say that Sublime was so impactful that a scene has grown out of its contribution, and a concert from a band so greatly influenced by them as Slightly Stoopid is as much an occasion to rejoice in the spirit as it is to appreciate the band itself. When the DJ played "Santeria" and the crowd went nuts, it became clear that the presence of Sublime was being celebrated rather than shied away from. Due respect was given.
The energy was high when Slightly Stoopid came onstage. Throughout the first half of the set, the crowd was lively, and the fun was flowing. About halfway through, though, all but the core group in front of the stage seemed to go dead. Maybe the rain had soaked into peoples' bones. Maybe the underaged booze guzzled before entering the venue was wearing off. Maybe the tons of weed being smoked was combining with these factors and leaving the people listless. Whatever is was, there was little crowd response for the second half of the show. The exceptions to the nonparticipation came in the form of hoots when the band would talk about "sensimilla" or "pussy" between songs.
When the band finished its set and left the stage, the speakers went quiet for the first time all night. After a few minutes went by, a hypeman came out to work up the crowd for the encore: "When I say 'Slightly', you say 'Stoopid'"; "When I say 'get high', you say 'fucked up'", and the crowd came back around with enthusiastic responses. For the finale, Slightly Stoopid and Cypress Hill took the stage together, sharing mic duties and multiple spliffs that were passed around stage and out into the crowd. "When I say 'four', you say '20,'" chanted B-Real. The show ended with an adaptation of the classic "legalize it" refrain, updated for the 21st Century: "...then we will vaporize it."
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Better than: your typical "tea party."
Personal bias: I am a fan of wet lawns and dank grass of all sorts.
Random detail: Walking back to the car through the parking lot, I began thinking about how I may sum up the scene. Eventually, the phrase "Lots of skin, lots of weed" came to mind, and just after having the thought, a shirtless dude right next to me screamed "I like titties and drugs!"