Cypress Hill at Concerts In Your Car – Live Review
Concerts In Your Car Presents: Cypress Hill, Ventura, CA, September 25, 2020
It’s been a minute since Friday night has meant anything with this pandemic. Concerts In Your Car is changing this. I told you a bit about this new concert experience in my previous write-up, but I am finding myself thoroughly enjoying these shows.
Just in case you missed my previous review for these new-ish drive-in shows, let me give you the briefing. The stage for Concerts In Your Car is a square with large LED screens on each side. Cars park on all sides of the stage to enjoy the concert, each vehicle is socially distanced a safe amount, and guests must wear masks when outside of their vehicles. Imagine though tailgating at a concert. Food, drinks, lawn chairs, and laughing with your friends. This is what you can expect. I have been able to talk to several patrons now who say they prefer this version of concerts actually. I still miss being in a sea of bodies moving at a show, but the drive-in version is something you need to experience.
Tonight’s show was the Godfather’s of left coast hip-hop, Cypress Hill! After 30 years, the band is still fantastic live. The last time I saw them was in ’95 or ’96. Geez, time flies… The show was sold out, cars parked on all sides of the stage ready to go. The crowd was cheering and chanting as the lights dimmed. Opening the set was DJ Lord (Cypress Hill, Prophets of Rage, & Public Enemy) on turntables. Lord was full of contagious energy, getting the crowd moving. I don’t know how many of you metalheads remember Lord’s ‘Metal Shrapnel Moshtape ‘; please check it out. The tracklist is gold! After a few minutes of a great intro set and getting the crowd’s dopamine (the feel-good brain chemical) flowing! The track from Lord dips and onto the stage comes B-Real (Vocals), Sen Dog (Vocals), and Eric Bobo (Drums) going straight into ‘I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That.’
The crowd was dancing and singing along through the whole set that included ‘Real Estate,’ ‘Weed Medley,’ ‘How I Could Just Kill A Man,’ and ‘Rock Superstar.’ B-Real (with his 6″ joint and marijuana leaf shades) and Sen Dog hit all sides of the stage, pumping the crowd up, and interacting with everyone on all sides of the stage. Throughout the set, Eric Bobo would go between his acoustic DW drum kit to his bongos and e-kit. The bongo e-kit combo was a wraparound kit that observers would come to understand later. Bobo would play the combo with his hands, even the hitting the cymbals with his hands, giving an almost Brazilian vibe, then run back over to the acoustic kit with sticks for the next song.
B-Real and Sen Dog kept the powerful and playful energy that I remembered from the ’90s, I stopped shooting for several moments at a time, just enjoying myself, and dancing and singing with those around me. And yes, the air was thick with smoke ::wink wink::. There is a battle between DJ and percussion about halfway through the set; I was stoked to see this was still part of the set. Bobo and Lord’s skills are phenomenal. Remember the wraparound bongo e-kit combo I mentioned earlier? This is used by Bobo and B-Real at the same time for a portion of the set! I sat at the side of the stage, watching them play, having fun, and occasionally hitting drums on each other’s sides.
I honestly cannot say enough in regards to how fun Cypress Hill shows are. Before I knew it, ‘Rock Superstar‘ was finished, which meant one thing. There was only one song left, but an insane and needed way to close out the night. ‘Insane In The Membrane!‘ Everyone had a smile on their face, everyone was dancing and singing; it was the type of enjoyment at a show that is hard to match. Some special guests were at the side of the stage as well, Chuck D of Public Enemy! And in the blink of an eye, the show was over. Cypress Hill acknowledged and thanked their fans over and over for their support and love. Fans cheered and chanted as the band left the stage, exiting through the crowd in golf carts back to the green room.
These drive-in shows are different from a typical show, but they are enjoyable. Let me take a moment for some real talk. This Pandemic has been hard on everyone. There has been a wave of depression with everything going on. One outlet people have always used to escape from life’s stress for just a few moments is music. I know people are skeptical about drive-in shows (I was one of them). I highly encourage you to go. Experience it for yourself. Music releases a chemical in your brain called dopamine, a chemical that is a mood booster! Friday nights and weekends haven’t meant much during the pandemic, but Concerts In Your Car have created an event that is not only safe but thoroughly enjoyable! I have something to look forward to again! Currently, they have locations in Ventura, San Diego, and Arizona. Lots of fantastic shows are coming up! Thank you, CBF Productions, for this concert series, for putting some industry folks back to work, for letting musicians play for fans, and for the mental break from the world.
(Review and Photos by Erica Vincent)
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