Smokeout 2012 at NOS Events Center, March 3, 2012

Categories: Weeeeeeeeeeed
Sublime with Rome IMG_8028.jpg Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver
Sublime with Rome

Smokeout 2012
NOS Events Center
March 3, 2012

Guerilla Union threw another successful festival in Cypress Hill's Smokeout 2012. The all day mind opening experience showcased a unique lineup with a wide variety of talented artists including hip-hop, heavy metal, dubstep, experimental, reggae and electronic music. Featuring three unique stages, Sublime With Rome headlined the Smokeout Stage with the support of heavy metal's Korn, Smoke out founders Cypress Hill, and hip hop sensation Wiz Khalifa. The Massive Stoned Garden was headlined by UK's Rusko's and a special performance with Cypress Hill and Travis Barker. Other supporting acts were Thievery Corporation, electronic superstar Wolfgang Gartner and the reunion of MSTRKRFT. The experimental hip hop Low End Theory fittingly headlined their own stage, the Low End Theory Stage with support from Daedelus, and Danny Brown.
Wiz Khalifa IMG_7815.jpg Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver
B Real of Cypress Hill

The Smokeout stage had big name acts that kept the masses happy as it was packed for most of the day. Though the crowd thinned out after Sublime with Rome's performance, many stayed to see Korn. Wiz Kahlifa came out performing hits from Rolling Papers, Kush and Orange Juice and Cabin Fever. With a back up band Wiz's performance sounded more crisp and a lot more electrifying. He sounded more like a psychedelic rock performer than a hip-hop artist. The Massive Stoned Garden was ravers' heaven, except the ravers weren't too high. After their long hiatus from playing together, JFK and ALP their highly anticipated MSTRKRFT reunion. It was a breath of fresh air to hear electro played to perfection. Rusko and the debut of Cypress Hill x Rusko keep the garden packed throughout the night. The experimental Low End Theory stage was exactly so. During Daedelus's set, the massive arena looked and sounded like a crazy acid trip. On the LED wall faces morphed and objects shifted shapes.

The crowd was unclassifiable--no hipster or bro overage. Herbal-essence filled the air and thus brought good karma thought the festival ground. Though there were top notch performances by the heavy Korn and a electronic music's Rusko and Wolfgang Gartner, the crowd was really tame. The crowd was so mellowed out from being stoned, there were no moshpits, shuffling, personal light shows, slam dancing or bro stepping -- what  does this say about weed?

The festival went well until the final act of the night Rusko was set to hit the stage. Technical difficulties arose, and the crowd booed as stage hands rushed to fix everything. After more than 30 minutes Rusko hit the stage . When all seemed well, the speakers went out as Travis Barker warmed up his arms. Rusko and Travis had a look of pandemonium written on their faces.  Another set back was when Wolfgang Gartner hit the stage the light guys didn't realize  was performing as MSTRKRFT was flashing behind him on the LED wall. B Real took the mic and announced, "This is the Late Night Shift." They performed two new songs and torn down the house with their new song "Light It Up."

Performance Highlights:

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa IMG_7730.jpg Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver

As Joints were rolling and heads were bobbing Wiz came out performing hits from Rolling Papers, a fitting touch for the smoke filled air of NOS events. After performing "Wake Up" Khalifa segued  into hits like "In the cut" "Never Been", "Memorize" and "Still blazing", from his classic mixtape Kush and Orange Juice. With the addition of a full band behind him, it gave Wiz Khalifa's performance a true festival feel. It took a one dimensional DJ set into a raw emotion journey. Chevy woods joined khalifa as the Taylor Gang brought a whole O to smoke with "Homicide" and "Taylor Gang" He showed of his salsa skills durning an awesome drum solo as an outro to "Never Been" When "On my level" was performed it sounded like wiz had the band Chevelle backing him. Kahlifa's fiance joined him on stage as he dropped to one knee and professed his love to Amber Rose, during "Roll Up". Wiz ended his set with a theatrical area sound of "Black and Yellow", It sounded like a rock ballad that had 420 fanatics going crazy.


Korn IMG_8214.jpg Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver

Korn's set was powerful and reinforcing for their new sound. They started off with 45 min of new material off of their latest album Path of Totality. This portion of their set showcased dark hard hitting hits with the influence of dubstep and an explosive production effort with an hypnotizing LED wall and light show. The So Cal based band showed that they still have more in the tank. Their light show was spectacular, but even the greatest light show could not out shine Feildy, Munky and Jonathan Davis's chaotic heavy metal performance.  As they closed the new era or Korn, they marched back on to the pitch black stage and transitioned to the ground breaking classics like, "Blind", "Freak On A Leash","Got the Life", "Falling Away From Me".Even with the fierce vocals, heavy riffs and stone cold breakdowns,  the crowd seemed too stoned to mosh. It was definitely one of the most tame crowd I have ever seen for any heavy metal band. -What  does this say about weed


Rusko IMG_8302.jpg Matt Oliver
Matt Oliver

 As the drunk Mad Hatter of wobble took the stage, he said, "No more set times, no more set times. We are staying till they kick us out".Rusko took the crowd on a future ship with lazar sounds and galactic Strobes lights.  He performed a futuristic remix of California love, with the setting looking like a wild ride from Fantasmic. Even with all the crazy lights and massive bass drops, this was not the rave crowd of shuffling, glow stick possessing party people. The true loyalist were at the front of the crowd dancing to every beat, but it was disappointing to see a somber crowd that was too faded to get down and dance to electronic music. Rusko kept his set going as he performed multiple mixes of "Somebody To Love (Skream, Sigma and Original Remixes)", "Everybody (Netsky and Original Remixes)" and "Hold On (Subfocus and Original Remixes) Rusko is a talented DJ and even though his drunken cross faded state, he mixed and transitioned to each song with perfection. The mixes sounded great, but they were all  drug out too long and lost their amazement. Nearing the end of his set the twitching, aerobic dancing DJ kept screaming "Fuck you Police, Fuck you security. You are going to have to drag me off stage" He laughed at the crowd by saying" Dubstep is from the UK (laughs), It's not from heavy metal.

As an encore, Travis Barker and Cypress Hill joined Rusko for the first ever Cypress Hill X Rusko set. B Real took the mic with an all white suit and announced, "This is the Late Night Shift." They performed two new songs and torn down the house with their new song 'Light It Up.'

Critics Bias: I think Cypress Hill and Travis Barker with Rusko should have performed on the main stage. It felt like an after house special performance. I'd understand if it was a underground show and Cypress Hill was a true special guest, but this was their freaking festival. I would have loved to see the whole festival get down to the Late Night Shift. Also: I mostly go to raves so it was a nice change of pace, and cool to see all types of music all in one day.

Setbacks: Technical difficulties, delayed set times, lineup organization and poorly organized lines; VIP, press, patient drinking wristband line.

Overheard in the crowd: On Korn's none moshing crowd - "This crowd is tame. I wonder what would happen if their was a festival influenced by cocaine."

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