Tales From The Road 2016 – Cypress Hill – 25th Anniversary World Tour : The Ogden Theater – Denver, Colorado 4/19/16

Once again, the touring season is upon us. We’ve been off for some months, which was a good thing so we were able to all recharge and be with our families. At the same time, the “itch” to get back out there and start playing live again was starting to happen, at least for me it was.  This isn’t just another touring season, it’s the 25th anniversary of Cypress Hill as a band. This is a very big milestone I think in anyone’s career to fulfill. One never knows what things can happen or how long things will last.  This isn’t a career full of guarantees. To also know that you’ve shared that much time with the same people is kinda crazy to be honest. This has been my family when I’ve been away from my own. There are certain things that you are able to experience together that you may never experience with your friends and family back home. It turns out to be much more than sharing a stage at that point. So, I would have to say that making it this far & to be able to have any kind of anniversary at all, is a big accomplishment. This tour for me is a tour of accompliment more or less. To be able to say that we’ve made it this far and who knows, maybe we have a bunch of years left but if it had to end here, we would’ve accomplished alot in 25 years but don’t worry, I believe we still have more to go.

Our story starts here in Denver, Colorado where Cypress Hill has the first show of the tour. I flew in from Buenos Aires, Argentina and the rest of the guys had arrived earlier from Los Angeles. I had a very long flight with me having to stop in Dallas, Texas.  I would rather arrive the day before a show but sometimes, things don’t always fall into your desired plan. I did arrive early enough that I could take a nap but jet lag hit me in the afternoon. That wasn’t before me and the rest of the guys went to a couple of dispensaries to get stocked up for the night.

 

Cypress Hill chilling at Native Roots Dispensary

 

Big shout outs to both Native Roots & MMJ for hooking us up. After a big smoke session, it was time for that nap. Luckily for me, we didn’t go on stage until midnight. If I had one more rest day before the first show, I would be all good but I knew that this show was going to be a bumpy one for me. Just so you know, no matter how I’m feeling, I’m putting my all into my performance and even making some mistakes, I refuse to give a performance that’s not 100%.

I didn’t get a chance to see any other the other acts on the bill but from what I heard, everybody had a good show. Now it was our turn!!  I was starting to get amped up at this point even though the jet lag was trying to work against me. Once the adrenaline kicks in, I’ll be all good. The dressing room was ultra smoky from the many joints going around. Colorado being legal seems to be working out exceptionally well.  I have to say that the 25th anniversary tour is going to be a very smoky one.

 

The Uzi Blunt

 

The promoters wanted us to start smoking at midnight since it would officially be 4-20, so we hit the stage at that time and we were blazing!!  No matter how much we have off from doing shows, we always know how to lock in with each other. It takes some time to be able to do this. Even with adding some new songs and routines that we really didn’t rehearse but only talked about seems to go on without a problem. We may notice the mistakes but the fans never seem to which is a plus for us.

The crowd were live and very stoned. With clouds of smoke in scattered places around the crowd & the smell of different strains of weed, I guess it’s the only proper way to bring in 420. One thing about performing for really stoned people is that no matter how hype the song is, you don’t see any mosh pits, crowd surfing, or too many people jumping.  I can totally understand where they are coming from. Why kill your buzz by doing all that strenuous stuff?? Haha!!  In any case, we gave a good show for the first one of the tour and the crowd loved it!! We will be really tight after we have a couple of shows under our belts.  I would say the best thing about all of this is that The Hill are back out on the road and I’m looking forward to the new adventures that await us during this 25th anniversary tour.

 

Our tourbus a.k.a. “Home”

 

“Tales From The Road” – Gulfport Music Festival – Gulfport, Mississippi – 5/10/14

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As always, when we all meet up at the airport, it always feels the same, like we are picking up right where we left off no matter if it’s been 3 months of some downtime. I think within 5 minutes, we are all laughing or clowning at something. Even after all these years of touring, we can still all have fun and we still have a chemistry with each other. I think that’s very important especially when you’ve been doing it as long as we have. No matter what job you have, you have to have some kind of fun.

We had to fly first to Dallas for a layover, then off to Gulfport.  B was asking me if we had ever been there before.  I know we played Mississippi in the 90’s but asking me an exact and date from that time can be a bit difficult.  We arrived at night and it was storming very bad.  Because of the storm and winds, both Sublime with Rome & 311 weren’t able to perform.  I was hoping that we wouldn’t get rained out too. There wasn’t really too much to do at the hotel but chill out and gamble since we were staying at a casino.  Since I don’t gamble very much at all, my plan was to just chill out and get some rest after a little herbal nightcap.

I’m glad that we had a 4:30 lobby call because to be honest, I was feeling lazy and still a bit tired. I’m usually the “much too early bird” so to have a bit of time to chill would be something anybody would be a fool to pass up.  I got a knock on my door but it wasn’t from the front door. It was coming from the side door.  It seemed that my hotel next door neighbor was B and we had those adjoining rooms so it was just like the early days. The herbal upliftments from the Dr. were right next door. In any case, it was about that time to head to the venue.

On The Way To The Gig

We got to the venue and went into the trailer they had for us and preceeded to get comfortable.  With the occassional worker sneaking a pic with us, we were just chilling out until it was that time to go to work.  A couple of the guys had some of the catering which I heard was really good.  Some southern style cooking isn’t too bad at all but it can clog some arteries too.  I don’t eat heavy within 2 hours of the show because with all the adreniline, my stomach starts doing things and I don’t want to “up chuck”, which I’ve done before so I’m going by experience.

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It was now time to hit the stage and it seemed that the crowd was pretty hyped to see us. This festival had a lot of good acts like Ludacris, The Violent Femmes, Kid Rock and many more. Looking at the weather, it was looking good so no worries about having any cancelation of our show.

The crowd was into it from the beginning and that energy is always great to feed off of. Julio G., who you all should know by now is our touring DJ, said that the crowd were one of those type crowds that you had to build up & he was definitely right. By mid show, they were nuts.

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Now, here is the part of the story that gets interesting and a bit funny. During our show, we have our weed medley part, as many of our fans already know. During this part, the head guy of the police dept. went up to one of the stage hands and said this, “who’s responsible for this band here??” The stage hand replied, “I believe he’s on stage.” The officer than said “well, someone has to tell these motherfuckers that this ain’t Colorado!!” The officer then heads toward Dougie who is my drum tech & stage manager. Dougie goes to the officer and then the officer says, “I’m gonna say this as nice as I can. If he sparks that joint up one more time, you & all your buddies are going to jail!!” Dougie responded with a firm “No problem”. Dougie let B know and it was all good but they did keep a watch on us for the rest of the show. Be it a stage prop or not, they weren’t having any of it. First of all, none of us are trying to go to jail and we will always respect the laws and wishes of the venue in regards to smoking but there are just some places that it ain’t going down like that. I believe Mississippi may be one of the last if not the last state to ever legalize medical marijuana and the cops weren’t trying to let everybody get high in that way. In any case, there were no more problems with the police and the show was great. As a matter of fact, a couple of the lawmen came by our trailer to takes some pics. We were hoping it wasn’t a set up of any kind. Well, we didn’t stay around for too much longer after our set so we just packed it up and went back to the hotel. Since we had an early lobby call, I definitely wasn’t trying to hang out too late and I don’t think anyone else was either. With the next day being Mother’s Day, none of us wanted to miss that flight back home.

One the flight home, I didn’t notice until we landed that we were flying with Pat Benatar, who if you don’t know is an 80’s rock icon and she has many hits. While she was sitting right in front of me with her husband, he had looked more familiar to me than she did. I thought he was from one of the groups at the Gulfport festival but it turned out to be her husband Neil. Anyway, while we were at baggage claim, both B & Dougie said “yo, that’s Pat Benatar!!” Even though I never owned any of her records, I know her hits!! We had to grab a pic with her. Not a bad way to end out the trip!!

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Thanks to all the fans that came out to the festival and rocked out with us. Hopefully it won’t be another decade before we get back out there. Until the next time…

Eric Bobo

Bobo’s Blog – Grammys 2014 Recap

 

Hello to everyone & I hope all of you are well.  I’m finally going to write something that has nothing to do with a show or tour, not to say that’s something bad but it’s just something that I’ve never done.  I guess I had never wanted to use this platform to write about other things besides my tour life but I think this year will be different as far as that’s concerned.  It also keeps the blog fresh because even though it’s cool to read about the shows and the stuff that happens, it can get a bit stale if there’s nothing different to write about in the tour.  With that being said, here goes my first “blog commentary” and it’s going to be my opinions on the recent Grammy show.

As a young boy, I always watched the Grammy’s as I’m sure many of you did as well.  There was one year that a good friend of the family invited me to go with him to the Grammy’s.  This was the year that Michael Jackson won his record Grammy’s for the “Thriller” album.  I remember the energy in that room like it was yesterday.  The thing that made that night complete for me was me making my way to Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.  I was one of the few people who they let get to MJ.  I got him to sign my Grammy program on his picture in the back.  I have this program at my mom’s house for safe keeping. I remember my next encounter with Grammy was when I was rehearsing with my band I had while I was at U.S.C.  We were rehearsing at the house of Oscar/Grammy winning songwriter Randy Newman.  If you don’t know him, make Google useful for you.  Well, as his son Amos, who was helping us at the time, was showing us around the house, I noticed a Grammy award that was on a table. It was his Grammy for the soundtrack to the movie “The Natural” starring Robert Redford.  I remember holding that Grammy in my hands and from that moment on, it was a goal of mine to win one.  My next Grammy moment was when Cypress was nominated for Best Rap Song with “Insane In The Brain”. Actually being there, walking the red carpet and actually living a dream was incredible to me. The Grammy academy has asked us to perform that night. At that time, CH was a bit more rebellious than these days and thought that performing on the show would be wack and in some ways “selling out” so we declined.  They then asked Digable Planets to perform their song “Cool Like Dat” and guess what….they won the Grammy!!!  How strange was that??  Now this isn’t to say that Digable Planets didn’t have a good song but I think that the majority of people, us included, thought that we had a better shot at winning then them. Thinking about it later, had we performed on the Grammys, would we have won?? I don’t know if you see where I’m going with this but I’ll continue.  

This year’s Grammy’s was very interesting because of the artists nominated. There are always the favorites and the popular opinion of who will win and who should win.  This year in the hip hop/rap categories, the big front runners were Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore w/ Ryan Lewis.  Both came out with strong projects yet appealed to the different sides of hip hop.  With Kendrick being nominated for I think 7 awards and to get completely shut out will always be a mystery to me.  With Macklemore winning 4 awards has caused some discussion about what the Grammys are considering hip hop. Macklemore is doing hip hop but its more commercial and maybe more pop-ish but isn’t Eminem doing the same kind of thing?  Is it the true fact that we are having a renaissance of white rappers & producers that are making big noise and holding the hip hop torch more than ever?  I don’t think that’s anything to get all bent out of shape about.  I think this is all about the popular vote.  It’s true that there are people in the academy who only know what is “popular” as opposed to what’s bubbling underground.  The only thing underground about Macklemore is that he released his album with no major label but he had a song that made his presence even bigger with doing something that hasn’t been done in hip hop and that’s make a song like “Same Love”.  With hip hop being the most homophobic in respect to lyrical content to other genres of music, to have a song like that was not only huge but great timing in light of the advancement of legalizing same sex marriages across the U.S & the world.  In relation to Kendrick Lamar, he is a lyrical beast and his album is incredible.  He should’ve won at least one Grammy because he definitely deserved it.  I mean, almost everyone expected this but there was also people saying that Macklemore will probably win but I think they were basing that on race.  

Now, with all that being said, I’ve heard both albums and as I give props to Macklemore as an MC, the album as a whole isn’t as good as Kendrick’s in my opinion but I do see why that “Same Love” song took Macklemore over the top.  It’s a powerful song and it’s really what the academy looks for even though it’s all politics at the end of the day.  You can see in the production of their performance of that song on the Grammys with having 33 straight and gay couples being married and having Madonna up there with Queen Latifah. It was over the top and it’s what will stay on the lips of many people for weeks to come but what will stay in my mind will be the performance of Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons.  This performance is what, to me, the Grammys should be all about.  A celebration of music and strong performances without extra filler. This is a perfect example of a good collaboration with a powerful performance. The Grammys will always have a “popular” vote within it’s members and I know this as I was once a member of the Grammy academy N.A.R.A.S. 

 

Kendrick Lamar & Imagine Dragons Grammy 2014 Performance

 

There are many great artists who have never one a Grammy and are loved all over the world.  Many have been robbed of a Grammy because of the popular vote and I know that feeling all too well.  Everyone will have their opinions, likes & dislikes about the awards and that won’t change for the years to come but my only request is that the categories be more defined. Maybe there should be a hardcore hip hop Grammy award because a song like that won’t have a chance against a hip hop/pop song and we will always have a debate on whether the academy knows what hip hop is or not.  Other genres are included with this too.  Rock, Latin music & hip hop are all in the same boat with the academy putting different versions of one genre into one.  I guess the only thing one can do is go and support your favorite artists and not worry about who wins or not.  As much as I would love to win a Grammy, my music won’t be based on what’s popular and “hot in the streets”, it will be based on my creative vision and what comes from the heart because real will recognize real.

 

Until the next time………..

EB

Tales From The Road – Cypress Hill’s “Insane In The Mente” South American Tour – Nov. 2013 – Pt. 2

Medellin, Colombia – Nov. 23

I think that after the fiasco in Bogota, we were ready to move on to the next spot even though we were worried about if the show in Medellin would be a repeat of Bogota.  We were assured that things would be much different here. I guess we will see what happens.  In any case, we were anxious to see what Medellin was all about.

Driving into Medellin was really nice. You drive down the mountain then the whole city appears.  From what I hear, it’s a up and coming city as far as business and tourism.  I can see what they mean because it’s a beautiful city. We eventually got to the hotel and we had a little time to chill out before soundcheck.  You know we were all going to the soundcheck to make sure things were right from the beginning.  Once we got there, we were so relieved when we saw all the right equipment.  At least we had a better start than Bogota.  We got back to the hotel and got to relax a bit before the show.  Got to get that power nap in, ya know??

It was about that time to meet in the lobby so we can head to the venue. There were a bunch of fans waiting outside for us to sign stuff and take pics. The hotel security are no joke because they aren’t letting anyone pass unless they show their credentials that they are staying there.  A cool thing that happens from time to time is when the fans take their time to make something for you.  Usually it’s a drawing or something like that but it’s cool to recieve.  Here is a pic from a fan that also wanted us to sign it.  He obviously was keeping this and not giving it to us.  

Of course, we were all a bit nervous on how the show would be and also we were waiting on updates about the girl that fell off the stage in Bogota but we were ready to give the fans a good show.  We got to the venue and the place was packed!!  They were just about as loud as they were in Bogota.  We knew that if the sound and equipment held up, we would have a great show.  

I must say that the fans in Colombia are off the hook!!  There were mosh pits, the crowd singing the lyrics very loud and when we did “Yo Quiero Fumar” which for all you Gringos is “I Wanna Get High” in Spanish.  Our Spanish album “Los Grandes Exitos En Español” went platinum in Latin America and it’s almost as popular as any of our other albums.  I think we should do another one.  In any case, the crowd were live!!  If the show went like this in Bogota, I think that would’ve been one of the livest shows in our career with this show a close second and that’s no disrespect to any other country that we’ve been to but you also have to understand that Colombia has been waiting for close to 20 years for Cypress Hill to go there after many attempts. So many people came up to us telling us how long they had been waiting for the day we would come.  Their enthusiasm and excitement reminded me of how blessed we are as a group to be able to create that feeling with people all around the world.  Hopefully some footage from this show will surface somewhere.  After the show, we didn’t have to worry about a hill to climb for our van so we just chilled out in the dressing room for a little bit.  Plus we had the next 2 days off, which was very much needed

In Mr. Escobar’s Crib Edited Version

The promoters had hooked up some activities for us on our day off and one of those was to go to one of Pablo Escobar’s luxury apartments and have a little tour.  Now this isn’t the typical tourist tour thing so we were lucky that the promoter guys knew the person that now owned the apartment.  They now rent it out for parties and things like that.  Of course I knew of Pablo Escobar but for as bad as he was, he did do a lot of good for the young and poor there in Medellin.  I don’t want to go into any kind of history lesson here about Escobar’s pros and cons but I never in a million years thought I would be there in his house and getting a chance to sit at his desk.  If that desk could talk…

After this one in a lifetime experience, we all went to eat then headed back to the hotel.  We had another day off so some of the guys went out and a few of us stood back in the hotel to just chill out and get some drinks at the bar. Before you knew it, it was back on a plane for the last show of the tour.  All in all, Colombia was a great place and despite the problems at the Bogota show, the people were great and so were the fans.  Also, big ups to Sullen Colombia for hooking me up with a little bit of gear.  On to the next one…..

Sao Paulo, Brasil – Nov. 27

On The Streets Of Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo has always been a cool city to me and the fans have always been great.  It’s been a while since Cypress has come down here.  I think the last time was during our tour with the Deftones in early 2011.  Another thing that I enjoy here is the food.  You can’t go wrong with some Brazilian food!!  In any case, we arrived in Sao Paulo ready for the last show to be done with because almost all of us were getting sick or already was like me.  Both B & Sen were resting up so I was the one to do the press.  It was going to be quite easy because it was only a radio interview which was about 5-6 blocks away from the hotel so we didn’t need to worry about a car or traffic.  

It was time to head to the radio station and I had a couple of the production people with me.  One would serve as my interpreter.  The station was primarily a rock station as there really aren’t any stations that play a big amount of hip hop.  Cypress has always been lucky in that respect because of catering to both genres and that was before we started doing stuff with a band and doing more rock stuff.  What was also cool was that both radio hosts knew of my work with the Beastie Boys and when I came down there with them in 1995.  The Beasties were actually the first American Hip Hop group from the U.S. to perform there in South America with Cypress being the second.  The interview was quick and painless so after taking a few pics with the staff, I headed back to the hotel to get some rest before the show.  

It was about that time to head to the venue for the show.  This place was pretty big and it looked like it was just about sold out.  There were a few dj’s and mc’s that were on before us but the crowd kept chanting whenever they could “Cypress Hill, Cypress Hill”!!!  Before you knew it, it was that time to go to work.  Here is a little bit of how it went..

                                         Cypress Hill Rocking Sao Paulo

The crowd was great, the sound and equipment was working correctly so we couldn’t ask for a better time than that.  All the people who were helping us out were great as well.  With that, I would say that the tour was a success with a few bumps in the road but we made it through.  I hope next time, we are able to do a more extensive South American tour with adding Chile, Argentina & some other countries as well.  We will be back for sure!!  Even though we didn’t end the night like this, it’s worth noting that we always have a tradition of going to a Brazilian steakhouse whenever we are there.  Needless to say, we had some good food so I shall end this story with this pic from that steakhouse.  

Thank you South America!!  Until the next time………

Tales From The Road – Cypress Hill’s “Insane In The Mente” South American Tour – Nov. 2013 – Part 1

Hello everyone and first and foremost, Happy 2014. I hope you all brought in the new year with family & friends.  It has been a little minute since I’ve written for my blog, which isn’t something I’m particularly happy about, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to write a bit more and not only write when I’m on the road.  Plus, I enjoy sharing my stories with all of you so with that being said, here we go with the first entry for 2014.

I’m going to do this entry a little different then my usual way by making a basic overview of the tour and not break it up into individual stories for the 4 shows. So, it will be done in two parts. Lets see how this comes out and please feel free to let me know if you like it like this or not.

Quito, Ecuador – Nov. 21

In The Air Intro

I’m always hyped up to have the opportunity to perform in a country I’ve never been to before. I have travelled and had the pleasure of performing in a lot of different places throughout the years but it’s cool to still get excited about going somewhere new.  All the times Cypress Hill would tour in South America, we would just hit Chile, Argentina & Brazil and the other countries would lose out.  We’ve done press conferences in South America where jounalists from all over the region would come and the one question we would always be asked is, “When are you coming to _________?”  So, after 20 + years, we will be having our first show in Ecuador. All i can say about that is it’s about damn time!!

We arrived at the airport and even the security were going crazy that we were finally there.  They all had their cameras and were taking pics when they should’ve been working.  They did help speed the customs/immigration process for us so I guess, they were working after all.  When we got out toward the vans that were waiting for us, then it became a little chaotic with the fans that were outside. They were even giving us herbals right there at the airport. It was a great feeling looking at how excited they were that we were there.  Some people were saying they had been waiting for this moment since they were young teenagers and when they said that, you saw in their eyes how serious they were.  We finally all got in the van to leave and we basically had fans following us the whole way to our hotel.  It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does, it gets crazy.  Since we arrived late in the evening and we had a press conference in the morning, we all pretty much just went to sleep.

We all met downstairs in the lobby to do the press conference which went smoothly. We were also inducted into the Quito Star Walk Of Fame, which is their version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame & we each put our handprint in the cement except for Julio G.  All he could put was his thumb because there was no more room.  Even though none of us have any lineage to Ecuador, it was great to be honored like that in another country.  Next time we go there, I would love to see where they put it.

It was time to head to soundcheck which was about an hour away from the city.  Now here’s the thing, Quito is at a very high elevation, double that of Denver, Colorado. What this means is that the air is thinner and it’s very easy to get tired much quicker because of the elevation.  For people that are used to it, no problem but for the most part, it’s a bit of a struggle.  I’m glad that I had asked the promoter a month before going there to provide oxygen tanks for us because we would need them for sure especially me (Thanks for the tip Flor!!).  In any case, we got through soundcheck with no problems and was looking forward to doing the show.

The crowd was hyped and ready for the show.  I had to say I was a bit nervous but only because I was worried that I would pass out because of the elevation.  I paced myself for the first few songs to see how I was feeling.  I needed the oxygen right after the 3rd song.  Performing like this wasn’t fun but I had to do what I had to do. Besides that, the show went off well and the crowd loved it.  Right off of stage I needed oxygen bad as did Sen Dog.  The crazy thing was us having to hike up this hill all sweaty from the show to get to our van. Surrounded by security, the fans were able to tell when we were going so they all raced up the hill to meet us.  The last thing I wanted to do was deal with a big crowd of people when I’m trying to get my breathing together.  We made it in and headed straight back to the hotel.  All in all, our first show in Ecuador was a success and the fans had a great time.  We definitely will return.  Next stop is Bogota, Colombia, which we were all looking forward to going.  It has been years that promoters have tried to get CH there so now the wait was finally over but nothing could have prepared us for what would happen at the show in Bogota.

Insane In Quito

Bogota, Colombia – Nov. 22

It’s been a long time coming for us to perform in Bogota.  From some of our peers that have been there, they have always said that we need to go there to perform and that we have a lot of fans there.  After many failed attempts with coming here, we finally have made it!!  We didn’t know what to expect when we arrived as far as how the fans would get but surprisingly, it was much more mellow than in the airport in Quito but maybe it was because people were at work or school when we arrived.  For me personally as well as the other guys were really looking forward to our first show in Colombia.  Like I mentioned, for many years we’ve had offers to come here but obviously it didn’t pan out.

We didn’t have a lot of time at the hotel because we had to make it to soundcheck. When we got there, that’s when it all started to go wrong.  First of all, all of the back line equipment that we had asked for was all wrong.  Wrong turntables, incomplete percussion gear, the sound system was real janky and it seemed like no one knew what they were doing.  One of the promoters was yelling at the stage hands for not having the equipment right.  I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to play at 100% because of having half of my set up.  Needless to say, we never got a chance to do a soundcheck.  We were assured that I would have the rest of my percussion gear and that the turntables will be as we asked for. But, to quote the group Onyx, “wa-wa-wa-wa-wait it gets worse!!!”

We went back to the hotel and soon found out that the main promoters didn’t have the rest of the money for CH.  Now, if you know anything about doing tours or shows especially outside of the U.S., the promoters pay a deposit before you leave then settles out the rest before the performance.  It seemed that the people that were thought to be the main promoters weren’t and with 6,000 waiting fans, a decision had to be made on what we were going to do.  Things got so bad that the police got involved with telling one of the promoters that if CH didn’t perform and a riot happened, the promoter will be taken to jail immediately.  Crazy pressure, eh??  To tell the truth, there would’ve been a serious riot where people would’ve been hurt or possibly killed.  This is something that would be hard to carry over our heads, so an executive decision was made by B & Sen to go do the show. We then left to the venue with a police escort.  The tension in the air was crazy.

When we arrived we went straight to the dressing room where there was a row of police that you had to go in between to get there.  The concert at that point was going well with no problems, but I guess that those “problems” were waiting for us to get onstage.  We finally hit the stage and the people were going bananas.  We started the first song and the sound problems began.  Now, we aren’t the type of group that if the sound goes wrong, we stop the show because sometimes the sound men need a minute to get everything under control.  In this case, mics were cutting in and out so we couldn’t hear any vocals, the levels on stage were all over the place & eventually the whole power went out.  I mean not just the stage but even the lights in the tent. I’ve never done a show that when the power went out, it meant the power in the venue too.  Now it was getting a bit chaotic on stage because everyone was trying to find out what was happening.  We had just gotten thru 1 1/2 songs when this happened. We were in the dark for about 35 minutes but we all stayed on stage.  This was a very crucial time because the fans could’ve gotten restless and started to get crazy but as long as they saw us up there and not giving up, they were all cool.  Finally, the power went on but with no light show on stage, just one light.  It was like doing a punk rock show.  We got the show started again but the sound was horrible and I was losing power in my mics so by the time the show was over, I had about half of my set up which is essentially what I started with in soundcheck. The worse thing was that a woman fell off the stage and suffered a fractured skull and a broken wrist.  There wasn’t even a guard rail on stage to prevent this. It easily could’ve been any one of us. Luckily, she survived but she obviously could’ve died. That thought was the worse for all of us. It was a disaster all the way around. Even with all of this, the crowd loved it.  I think they appreciated that we stuck it out until the end and not stop the show, which is what we should’ve done with all the problems that were happening but you have to think, a lot of these people have been waiting years for this show and to just give up on them would’ve been a bad look on us.  This is strictly my opinion though.

Mayhem In Bogota

Right after the show, we again were rushed with security to the van that was waiting for us.  We again had to hike up a hill to get to this van.  Now, we were all full of sweat, it was cold, and we were rushing to beat the crowd that was headed straight to the van.  There was already a crowd by the van when we got there.  I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was get in the van, which I had to fight my way through. I was feeling a cold coming and all this madness wasn’t helping. Anyway, we all got in the van and took off.  It was a struggle to leave out of there because of our van being surrounded by the fans.  They had to call the riot police to surround the van.  This was crazy and dangerous!!

The good thing to say about all of this is that all the reviews of the show in the paper slammed the production for doing a terrible job but gave us props for being professional and going thru with the show.  They hope that we will return to Bogota to be able to give a proper show.  Well, one thing is for sure, we will never do anything with that promoter ever again and if he was smart, he should go into hiding.  He qualifies as a “janky promoter”!!  Rest assured Bogota, we will come back and give you all a proper Cypress Hill experience.

Stay Tuned for Part 2!!!

 

Tales From The Road 2011 – Scout Bar – Houston, Texas – 11/19/12

Houston is a cool spot, not as big as Dallas but things are going on down here. The majority of times when we’ve played in Houston is during the summer time when it’s crazy hot so it’s nice to play here with normal temperatures. We arrived there in the early afternoon and we were staying the night so we had some hotel chill time. There’s also bus chill time but sometimes the king size bed wins over my bunk in the bus. That’s understandable, right?? Anyway, I stayed in my room until about 6pm when our tour manager Enas sent over a “runner” from the venue to get me from the hotel. I don’t know if some of you know what I mean by a runner so I will explain real quick. A runner is a person assigned from the venue to be there to do little errands or get things that the band may need or want. Now, maybe some of you are thinking that they are the ones who can also score the herbals for the band. That isn’t the case but that’s not saying that they wouldn’t help you if you asked but it’s not really the norm to go that route.

We were playing at this venue called the Scout Bar and from what I heard, it was a medium sized place but it is a popular spot to see shows according to what i heard. Dougie, my drum tech, told me that the sound for me wasn’t going to be the best because of not having a subwoofer. I’ve played on the wackest equipment with the worst sound, the objective is still the same, we got to rock the house no matter what. B, Sen & myself then had an Instore signing to do at this smoke shop called BC Smokeshop. It wasnt too far away from the venue so that was a cool thing. This smoke shop had some nice pieces. It seems that the new wave of glass blowers are really doing some different styles. At the end of the day though, the piece can look good but it needs to smoke good. After we got back, I got a nice power nap in before the show which is seeming to be the norm for me now. Maybe I’ve gotten too used to those Latin American “siestas”. As long as I wake up with enough time to get myself together for the show, it’s all good. It’s when you wake up and you have to be on stage in 5 minutes is when you have to worry.

It was about that time to hit the stage and we were ready for them. It’s crazy that it’s really been this long that we hadn’t headlined our own tour in the U.S. We have been on other bands tours, which is cool and it’s fun, but the fans that come see us aren’t getting the full CH experience since we are usually doing a 45-50 minute set when our full set is 90 minutes. So it’s great to finally be able to give our fans stateside the full show and reconnect with our U.S. fans. We have felt the love throughout the tour so far and the crowds have been giving it up. Personally for me, the weed medley is one of my favorite parts of the show and not because I get a smoke break. The flow with the songs are on point and the crowd loves it.. Julio G. hooked that up and it’s been winning every night and every where. All in all, we had a great show & we have got our tour groove back. I’m hoping that it doesn’t take another few years before we do our own show here in Houston.

After the show, we didn’t really hang out at the venue for long. We got back to the hotel and some of the fellas went to the bar. I just got showered up then chilled out. How exciting, right?? We didn’t have a long drive so I could get some good rest. Well, thanks to the fans in Houston and we hope to return soon to rock for y’all.

Next Stop: Austin, TX.
www.Eric-Bobo.com

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Tales From The Road 2012 – House Of Blues – New Orleans, Louisiana – 11/18/12

It has been a while since we’ve played here in New Orleans. I think the last time was for the Voodoo Festival some years back. It is the first time since Hurricane Katrina that’s for sure. I was anxious to see how the city was coming along since the hurricane. I have been here plenty of times with both Cypress & the Beasties and pretty much all of those times, I have been faded on my ass, walking down the famous Bourbon Street with a Hurricane, which is the local drink, in my hand. I’ve always had fun in this city so I am hoping to see things getting back to how it was. We were arriving there on a day off so we had some time to chill and check things out. This time, I wouldn’t be faded off my ass in a drunk sense since I don’t really don’t drink much anymore except for some red wine and I don’t think I’ll be hitting Bourbon St. since in my opinion, Bourbon St. is much more fun when you are drunk. Like I said, that is just my personal opinion.

We get there on a nice day and we are staying in the French Quarter. Things are up and running of course but there were still a lot of places that were still closed from the hurricane. The other cool thing is that we were walking distance from the venue, which means more chill time at the hotel. I didn’t do too much of anything and I think it was the same for everyone else. We had our usual smoke session but on days off, everyone is doing different stuff like walking around site seeing or at a restaurant or movie. Since nothing really eventful happened on the day off, let’s just jump to the day of the show.

The House of Blues in New Orleans is probably the smallest out of all the HOB’s in the U.S. This isn’t saying that it’s not a cool spot but I’m just saying this for description purposes. I’ve seen a couple of shows here like Buddy Guy and Jill Scott and its a good sounding venue so I was amped for the show. To start off the day, I met up with Julio G. to get some breakfast. Now, I didn’t expect that this particular breakfast would renew my love for pancakes. I haven’t had pancakes in at least a year & 1/2 and I have been on a different diet but I wanted something different from what I was always having. All I got was a half-stack and they were incredible!! I knew I was in trouble with the pancakes after that. Julio was saying the same thing so at least, I wasn’t alone in this. After breakfast, we caught an upliftment session then I just chilled in my room before I walked over to the venue. Can’t beat walking 2 blocks to your job, eh?? I missed out on the House of Blues grub though.

The place was pretty smoky when I got there. Action Bronson was on stage and the people were giving it up for him. I only watched a couple of songs before I started to get myself together for the show. I havent really gotten a chance to chop it up with Action Bronson but in Atlanta, I was hanging out a bit in his dressing room with The Alchemist, who was out doing some of the shows with him since they just dropped a new mixtape/album colaboration, which I would highly advise you all to get it and it’s free. Since Action Bronson is a certified chef, I was hoping he was gonna cook something up for the tour. We will see what happens with that. Basically, all there was to do was hit the stage, which we did at our start time of 10pm.

New Orleans was alive for the Hill especially with the fact of us not having our own headlining show there in years. We came out strong and I think that we are finally getting back into our stride. I don’t think the crowd had any clue that our show would be that solid. We would like to think that as a band, we aren’t just giving you the same walking back & forth across the stage and stopping in the middle of the first verse to “rewind it back” type of show. Even back in the early days when our show wasn’t as fine tuned as it is now, the one similar thing between then and now is the onstage energy. Now, the show is cohesive, the energy is maximum and the smoke clouds are as big as ever if not more!! Also, having DB killing it on the lights, even the look of the show is on point. I also think that tonight was a tight show for us because there were bearly any musical mistakes on our part. I mean, there’s a bunch of times where we are making mistakes all over the place & the crowd doesn’t even know it. We laugh those off when we get off of stage but the objective is to always perform at your best and learn how to recover from your mistakes before it gets too noticeable to the crowd. In any case, we did rock the show!!

We didn’t stay too long after the show. A few of us just walked back to the hotel instead of waiting on the bus. We had a nice long trek ahead of us and we had a 4am bus call. Yes, you read that right but it’s not as bad as it seems. The thing that you have to be careful of is going to sleep and missing that bus or lobby call because the bus really doesn’t wait when we have a schedule to keep but we are all pros so that kind of thing happens on the minimum. Big ups to the fans in New Orleans for being live and for the support throughout the years. Best believe, we will be back!!!

Next Stop: Houston, Texas
www.Eric-Bobo.com

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Tales From The Road 2012 – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, Georgia – 11/17/12

The road to Atlanta from Tampa was about 8-9 hours and again we would just have day rooms so after a couple of truck stops to refuel and have those necessary bathroom breaks, we drove straight to the venue. We played this spot when we were on tour with Slightly Stoopid a couple of years back. Being that the name of the venue is the Tabernacle, I don’t know if it originally was a church or what. By the way it looks on the inside, it looks more like a place for plays and concerts. We arrived there early and the crew waited for the working crew of the venue to get there so they can start with the load in. A few of us walked a couple of blocks to this breakfast spot to grub while the rest stayed sleeping. I will add to all of this that it was really cold in Atlanta so I wouldn’t be spending too much time outside. My whole day basically was on the bus until it was show time. This is like when you are in your house all day in your pj’s and just watch tv, get on the Internet, eat and smoke, if that is something you do. To some, this would seem boring but in my opinion, this is a welcome chill out time when you are going at a crazy pace as we do at times.

On the bus, it’s funny sometimes to look around and see everyone on their iPhones. This crew is a bunch of Instagram addicts and by no means am I excluding myself but it is true. I think the social media is at an all time high with the Hill but this isn’t something that is new. Back in the 90’s, both B and I would write tour journals called “Soldier Stories” and it would be featured on our website. What was cool about it was that you would get two different stories about the same day. You can say we were blogging before blogging was popular. It just seems natural to start doing this again with all the social media that can reach millions of people around the world through text, pictures & video. So with the crew & Instagram, it’s interesting to see different aspects from the same trip because not everyone is doing the same thing. Unfortunately I’m the only one writing the tour journals this time around but B is always posting things on Socialcam, Instagram and of course BReal.tv and the rest of the crew also does stuff as well. We really didn’t have plans to hang out in the dressing room before the show so we got all the food & drink from the dressing room and brought it on the bus. So with college football on tv, music, food, herbals, drink, herbals, games, instagram, twitter, herbals……you get the point. It was a “stay on the bus until show time” type of day.

It was about that time to hit the stage, which has been around 10pm every night. Atlanta has always been a good spot for us and we stop here just about every U.S. tour we’ve done. We came out strong and the crowd was alive. We didn’t change up the set too much but the set is pretty strong. It definitely was very smoky too. I can’t say that there were any standout moments but all in all, it was a good show for us. Before I forget to mention it, I finally got a chance to watch Action Bronson’s whole show. He has some bangers for sure and he sounds the same rapping live as he does on record, which is a big plus. I think once he gets the road experience and puts the show together a little tighter, it will be 100%. I can only imagine what his show would be like with a DJ that’s cutting and scratching as opposed to one pushing play and stop. No disrespect, but a hip hop show ain’t 100% without a true DJ. In any case, it was a good night but we had a long drive ahead of us so we didn’t really hang around for too long. Big ups to Atlanta for always coming out and supporting the Hill. We will be back soon to rock with you guys again!!!

Next Stop: New Orleans, Louisiana
www.Eric-Bobo.com

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Tales From The Road 2012 – The Cuban Club – Tampa, Florida – 11/16/12

We didn’t have to leave Orlando to Tampa until 12pm since the drive wasn’t too long. We basically went straight to the venue since we wouldn’t have hotel rooms until after the show so we could shower up. The last time we were here was just a few months ago with Sublime but it’s been way too long since we’ve had our own headlining show here. For some reason, it’s been years since we’ve had our own shows here in Florida so these shows are like a reconnection to our fans in the Sunshine state. I think this whole tour is a reconnection with our fans in the U.S. since we’ve been touring everywhere else for the past several years and have only done festivals or be on someone else’s tour in the U.S. during this time.

We only had day rooms for today since we weren’t staying in Tampa. If you don’t know exactly what day rooms are, basically they are hotel rooms used as pit stops so you can shower, handle your business and be clean. This works out when you have a long drive and you wouldn’t be getting to a shower until many hours later or if the venue doesn’t have a shower. I mean, 9 guys after a 90-minute show with no shower before heading out to the next town could be toxic for everyone on the bus. Cypress ain’t that funky!! Since there wasn’t too much to do, we all just kicked it on the bus and endulged in the herbals.

After the last show in Orlando, I was expecting another live crowd in Tampa. Like I had said in the last story, Orlando was gonna be a hard crowd to beat but I wasn’t going to not give Tampa a chance. From what I was hearing, they were ready for the Hill and we were ready for them We came out blazing and they were real receptive. One thing that I noticed was the amount of smoke that was hovering over the crowd. Now, for those who don’t know, Florida is a state that really doesn’t take too kindly to marijuana and just getting caught with a little bit could be a bad situation. It seemed that the minute we took the stage, people just started lighting up. This isn’t to say that this is something new for people to be lighting up for a Cypress Hill show but for example, for the people in the front row, at least half of this row started lighting up at the same time. That was definitely a funny sight to see. It was like this was the moment that they’ve been talking about all week and it was finally happening.

I was still feeling sluggish during the show. I mean, I did my job but I know when I’m on point and so far, I haven’t been. I can be honest with you as I’m honest with myself when I say this. I think I’m in the “thinking about it too much” stage and not letting it flow. We had a good show nevertheless and we have found our stride again. It really never takes us that long anyway. One thing that was really working were the dubstep songs. It seems that Florida likes their dubstep. We usually do just 2 of the songs from the “Cypress X Rusko” EP but since the reception was so good, we hit them with another one. By the time we got to “Rock Superstar” they were going nuts!! I think that this crowd was a bit too high to start off crazy like Orlando did but they sure ended out strong. Like the saying goes, “it’s not how you start the game, it’s how you finish!” or something like that.

After the show, it was off to the day rooms to shower up and get ready for the long ride. Tampa was a good show and our time in Florida was great. Hopefully we won’t be away for so long. For some reason, I think we will be back sooner than later.

 

Next Stop: Atlanta, Georgia

www.Eric-Bobo.com

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Tales From The Road 2012 – Plaza Live – Orlando, Florida – 11/14/12

We had a few hours drive to Orlando so we left Miami around 12pm. We weren’t on stage until 10:45pm so there was a lot of time to chill out for a bit. Orlando has always been the city of Disney to me but this time, we were staying on the Universal Studios side. This of course brings tons of tourists but there are some cool peeps and good fans out here. We’ve always had a good show here and I really wouldn’t expect nothing less this time around. We arrived in the early afternoon and as soon as we got to the venue, there was a car waiting to take us to this in-store signing at a smoke shop. With the laws in Florida about weed, I didn’t expect to ever do a signing at a smoke shop much less go to one. This shop had a whole room full of nice glass pieces. As for the signing itself, it wasn’t too long at all. We took pics with the smoke shop crew and the people that came for the signing then we were done. There was a guy who came to the signing that told us that he had something “special” for us to smoke. We went to the back of the smoke shop which basically was a big field. It was kinda trippy but we were all good. I have to say that Florida has some nice herbals going on. After we were done, we headed back to the venue and chilled out until it was show time.

I was still feeling kind of sluggish but it wasn’t as bad as in Miami. I guess I just shouldn’t take the time off from practicing my drums even though we will take time off of touring. With me keeping this in mind, I think it helped me snap out of this feeling. Plus, this was only the second show of the tour so I shouldn’t feel anything more than that we are just warming up. In cases like this, you just have to be positive and let it flow. When we got back, I took a nap that maybe was a bit too long but it helped. It looked like the whole crew was focused tonight. Before you knew it, it was show time!!

Right from the beginning, we came out like left off from the last tour. We were tight all the way around and the crowd was alive! Midway thru the show, I knew that this particular show would be one of the best shows of the tour and it’s very early in the tour, I’m just saying. When I look out at the crowd and I see the younger people, I wonder when they first heard CH & that I’m thankful that the music reaches their ears however it happens. Anyway, B & Sen were on point and so was Julio G. We were all on our A game or very close to it. What I didn’t do was hit Excalibur which is causing a little talk amongst the crew about my “iron lung” capabilities & asking “what happened to my bong hitting skills”. Kenji told me that I needed to go back to the Bong Dojo. Now in my defense, I’ve been the designated bong hitter for over 15 years and I have smoked out of what I’ve seen as the tallest glass bong many times over. Not only that but after I hit the bong, I go back and play the rest of the show. I feel that I’ve done it enough that I don’t have to be “the guy”. I can “pass the torch” so to speak but I wouldn’t know who since it really should be one of the guys onstage. B sometimes has hit it but Excalibur doesn’t f**k around and we need B to remember his lyrics. So I guess we will see how this all plays out.

We didn’t hang too long after the show. We wanted to get to the hotel and chill since we had a day off the next day. Since we were right next door to Universal Studios Florida, some of the guys were making plans to hit the park. I was welcoming the day off because I needed some more time to get into tour mode. I wound up hanging with B, Kenji, Dougie, Sen & Enas and we went to eat then spent a little time at the Universal Studios. Didn’t have a lot of time there but it was cool. After a while, it was agreed to go back to the hotel, which we had to get to by water taxi, and get mentally uplifted. After that, I was done for the night. Orlando was a good time and big props to the fans that came out to the show. We will definitely be coming back to Orlando where there’s definitely more to life than just Disney.

Next Stop: Tampa, Florida
www.Eric-Bobo.com
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