Friday night: it’s a night that brings such joy, such triumphant pleasures to the general population of the world. More often than not, work is placed on hold until the unwelcoming sight of Monday. With work on hold (listening to hogwash elevator music) comes the surplus of relaxation, unwinding attitudes, and recreational endeavors, all of which were witnessed at the world famous Greek Theatre this past Friday night provided by none other than Cypress Hill and Thievery Corporation.
“Wait… Did you just say Cypress Hill and Thievery Corporation in the same sentence?” I sure did. What. In. The. Hell? The two being on the same bill may seem rather odd, yet upon further inspection both groups were able to combine their respected fan bases for a night of pure satisfaction.
Lighting up, sparking up the night (pun intended) were the hometown heroes in the platinum-selling group Cypress Hill. Walking on stage with a sense of authority and a massive blunt between his fingers B-Real made sure the audience knew whom they were. “This is our back yard LA! Let’s do this right. I need you all on your feet right now,” said B-Real. Quickly after the pep talk the song “Can’t Keep Me Down” started blasting through the PA system making the remaining room in the venue instantly become occupied. At one point during their set B-Real and his partner Sen-Dog had a battle for the better side of the audience. B-Real initiated the challenge by telling DJ Muggs, who spins the beats, to cue up the track. As soon as DJ Muggs pressed play the song “Jump Around” by House Of Pain started, turning fans on the right side into a bunch of wild rabbits for all of twenty seconds. Next it was Sen-Dog’s turn at the left side of the audience. Now, in all fairness Sen-Dog should have kept within the genre of hip-hop like B-Real did but nope, he was going for the rock: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. Sen-Dog won.
Following the battle came a blitz of familiar Cypress Hill tunes such as “Dr. Greenthumb,” and “Hits from the Bong.” Closing out the night the group played one of their most famous tracks to date, “Insane in the Brain.”
When trying to define, trying to identify Thievery Corporation it becomes rather nerve-wracking. Are they trip hop? Lounge? Electronica? Downtemp? Chill-out? Uhhhh yes. Yes they are every single one of those great genres mashed into one.
Starting out in the summer of 1995, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton went on a mission to create one of the greatest DJ-ing duos in the history of mankind. And guess what, they did. If your first time seeing the individuals from Washington D.C. was Friday night I couldn’t have been happier for you.
First off, you might have been surprised to see more than two people on the stage performing. Heck, at one point Thievery Corporation was eleven men and one woman deep! You see, even though Thievery Corporation only has its two primary members, Rob and Eric, they both love performing with a complete band. Atheistically, it’s all sorts of gorgeous. The sounds from each instrument somehow don’t overlap or trump each other – it’s like they’re all waiting in line patiently at the DMV and if they scream or yell out they’re outta line for the day, and frowned upon by everyone.
Furthermore, the group has a different vocalist on almost every other one of their tracks. From Gigi Rezenda to Gunjan, the band played close to a two-hour magnetic set that featured some of their super hits such as “Marching the Hate Machines,” “Culture of Fear,” and the megahit “Lebanese Blond.”
Even though the likelihood of Thievery Corporation and Cypress Hill heading out on a world tour is slim to none, we’re still reminded that each group has loyal fans, and even the oddest of couples can deliver the most dynamic energy. Both artists put on sets this past Friday night at the Greek Theatre that will be remembered in the minds of many.
Words & Photography: Timmy Farmer