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Show Review: 311 & Cypress Hill Bring it Down in Chicago

311 and Cypress took over the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago last night. The lakeside venue played home for thousands of weed-heads as Cypress Hill got things goin’ with their stoner rap.

“Insane in the Membrane” and “Hits from the Bong” had the crowd whippin’ out blunts, bowls and brownies for a celebration of the herbal essence. The 4-piece act is pretty damn solid for a rap group. B-Real, DJ Muggs, Sen Dog and Eric Bobo use live processions and some ill turntable skills to hype their audience up. Of course, weed gimmicks were in the house as well, as Sen Dog stopped the crowd to remind them today was a special day; they are witnessing the highest man on earth in B-Real.

311 hit the stage to their devoted audience. I met people who had been to 30+ 311 shows, which is cool because stats like that are usually reserved for the jam scene. I’d listened to these on and off for the past 8 years, but never had the opportunity to see them live. I’ve always heard about how good of a show it was also, so they had a lot to live up to.

I gotta say, they really did live up to the hype. It was a really tight show; a great performance put on by 5 friends who really love playin’ some music together. Nick and SA share vocal duties and feed off each other’s energy very well. SA is probably the funkiest dude I’ve ever seen live. His dance moves had me cracking up in the best possible way.

Musically, they busted out a bunch of the tunes I was hoping I’d hear. Kicking things off with “Down” definitely got things going properly. “All Mixed Up,” “From Chaos,” “Amber,” and “Beautiful Disaster” were definitely some highlights of the evening. The group was tight in delivering the classics and a few rarities to the Chicago faithful.

The band ended with “Creatures (For A While)” and I went back to my 14 year old self. The whole crowd was bouncin’ around as the band fed off our energy and we fed off theirs. If you have the opportunity to catch the Unity Tour, please do it.

Setlist:

Transistor Intro Down Feels So Good Prisoner Rock On From Chaos All Mixed Up Homebrew Tribute Applied Science (with Chad Drum Solo and Full Band Drum Line) DLMD You Wouldn’t Believe 1,2,3 Sunset In July T & P Combo Bass Solo (with Coda) Amber What Was I Thinking Nutsymtom Beautiful Disaster Encore: Freak Out Jackpot Creatures (For A While)

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