Oh Smokeout…that yearly festival organized by Cypress Hill that brings smokers together to unite with the glowing embers of what would love to be Woodstock. With blunts raised high, the patrons of this lovely event are the most mellow you’ll see all year, and for obvious good reason.
My journey started out on the long journey to San Bernardino to the NOS Events Center, which is actually perfect grounds for an event of this type, with several stages compacted, but not overcrowded, with food among easy reachings. While waiting hours on the 215 bridge, I smiled at the underage kids with blunts in their hands, getting out of their cars in the middle of the freeway to use the local hydroponics shop’s restroom on their arduous wait. From that alone, I knew I was among very entertaining people.
This year’s headliner was reason to believe that this would be one of the best shows of the year. Incubus led the way, with this being their only U.S. performance this year. While that was my cream of the crop, I had several other acts I wanted to check out.
I started the afternoon off with the always entertaining Atmosphere, of whom the rapping half of the dup limped out on a crutch. “You’ve got your crutch, and I’ve got mine!” he laughed, pointing out all the glassy eyed festival participants. He play his usual amazing set, with a live band as usual, and even asked the crowds permission before playing songs off of an upcoming album, whose name has not been revealed yet.
I got my second live look at Nas and Damien Marley at Smokeout, with another powerful, flag waving performance. It still amazes me how well the two completely different genres and background can mix together to make such a great album. They are one of the few groups that I think can put out and perform a single record, and have you feeling something new and great each time.
The night continued with great acts, but obviously the crown jewel was my first favorite band since my love of music arose, Incubus. The boys started out with the powerful buildup of Megalomainiac, and from there took everyone for a hell of a ride. Their set went everywhere from Make Yourself to their greatest hits album, Monuments and Melodies.
The best songs of their set for me however, were Look Alive and their new song, Surface to Air, before which Brandon explained would be on the new album Incubus has been working on. Pumped!
This was my first Smokeout, but damn sure not my last. Enjoy the gallery of my shots and see you next year!
Until next time my friends,