San Bernardino

Roll up, roll up... [a]Cypress Hill[/a] and friends go to pot...

[a]Cypress Hill[/a]’s third annual ‘Smokeout’ lures tens of thousands of kids to San Bernardino, the sullied centre of Southern California‘s inland empire, with over 40 bands/DJs playing on four different pot-themed stages (‘Stoned Garden’, ‘Home Grown’ etc) tonight.

Before [a]Cypress Hill[/a] themselves take the stage well after midnight, Xzibit, Gang Starr and Redman with Erick Sermon serve as a warm-up, giving fans time to pack out their pipes, and the acts a chance to establish the day’s mantras, namely ‘smoke weed’, ‘throw your hands in the air’ and ‘let’s see some titties’. Ahem.

Punkers Pennywise take a different tack to the heavily hip-hop/Adidas-rock oriented bill, letting the booming bass rest for an hour or so and trotting out covers of the Beastie Boys‘Fight For Your Right’ and Nirvana‘s ‘Territorial Pissings’ amid a pool of their own material.

It’s apparent even before the explosion of confetti and pyrotechnics that marks Limp Bizkit‘s arrival onstage that the Florida fivesome are the evening’s featured attraction. Sticking fairly closely to the set they’ve toured over the last year, Limp Bizkit open with ‘Hot Dog’, a new song that sounds more like a woozy medley, with verses nabbed from Nine Inch Nails and Ice Cube over an uncertain melody, than any actual composition, with standard covers of George Michael‘s ‘Faith’, and their retread of House Of Pain‘s ‘Jump Around’, a nod to DJ Lethal‘s former band.

A stellar set from System Of A Down includes several new and as-yet-untitled songs.

By the time [a]Cypress Hill[/a] come out, with B-Real, Sen Dog and DJ Muggs backed by a cracking full band, playing favourites such as (you guessed it) ‘Hits From The Bong’, the amount of money spent within the confines of the fairground on weed and munchies to that point equals the combined yearly Gross National Product of Madagascar, Luxembourg and Djibouti.

Hardly a world-changing day, but then again, the point of ‘Smokeout’ is pretty much written on B-Real‘s T-shirt: ‘Fuck ’em if they can’t take a toke’.