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Live Review: High Tea with Cypress Hill

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 00:00
Published in Underground News

Oct 17th, 2018
by Bella P Cuffley
photos by Ryan Johnson

“I want to get high, so high!”

The opening line from Cypress Hill’s 1993 song ‘I Wanna Get High’ is a sentiment simple enough that even a bunch of adolescent misfits, such as my friends and I at the time, could understand that it was a battle cry worth rallying around.

It was a battlecry for a war between Reagan-era propaganda and truth. A war between stubbornness and creativity. A war between the establishment and the unestablished, and Cypress Hill was at the helm, bongs and blunts all ablaze.

Now, take a weed addled quantum leap to October 17th 2018 at Fortune Sound Club and it was hazy, very hazy, yet still clear. We have won the battle.

This night marked the long awaited “freeing of the weed” in Canada and what better way than a headlining performance by the godfathers of the cannabis legalization movement; Cypress hill. In recent years frontman B-Real has been working with DNA Genetics, an equally important player in the cannabis industry, who alongside Canopy Growth were the big sponsors of the show.

The slogan of the night was “we were all there on day one,” an ode to those who have been championing cannabis legalization all along.

Outside the venue there was an unintentional orderliness to the tangled string of committed fans. Everyone maneuvering to the unavoidable dose of nostalgia billowing out from beneath the marquee. Once inside our anticipation was met with the opening acts; Dj Kookum and DJ Marvel Of The Freshest. 

Through the hippie fog I heard tales of magical tokens that were as elusive as Easter eggs; but once found would grant you entry through the rabbit hole into a secret room in the venue filled with doughnuts, candy, and make believe. If you were lucky enough you might have even caught a glimpse of a live interview with High Times Magazine. 

The set list was full of classic songs you would expect to hear including “How I Could Just Kill A Man,” “When The Shit Goes Down,” and the opener, “Weed Medley,” which strung together such hits as “ Dr. Greenthumb” and “Hits from the bong.”

They also played contemporary hits like “Put ‘Em In The Ground” from their newest album “ Elephants on acid.”

Released at the end of September, the 21-song album is the first new release from Cypress Hill in eight years. It also marked the return of DJ Muggs, the producer behind seven of their albums, recreating the quintessential sound fans have come to expect from the group. 

The last song of the night also came from the new album. “LSD (outro),” an extended mix on the thirty seven second interlude that mingles trumpeting elephants and haunting circus piano for the perfect come down from a truly psychedelic experience.

However, it was the second to last song, the timeless hit, “Insane in the Brain” that was the pinnacle of the night. The house erupted with a plume of smoke and everyone danced towards the stage like the floor was on fire. It truly felt like I was back with my teenage friends watching Cypress Hill during the height of their commercial success.

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