It was as much a party as it was a concert at the packed Roxy, where Orange County stoner crew the Kottonmouth Kings passed around bong-loads of their unique brand of “psychedelic hip-hop punk rock.” Three laid-back rappers (including prodigal member Jonny Richter) ambled about the stage, mostly extolling the virtues of marijuana, while a DJ and drummer (who was sporting a custom three-wheel chrome drum kit) added the head-nodding, hip-hop beats and funky grooves.
Off in his own world, the masked and mysteriously silent Pakelika — the “Visual Assassin” — staggered around, adding robotic dance moves and handing off lit joints. Almost as soon as the band started their opener, the party anthem “Suburban Life” (from the “Scream 2” soundtrack), rowdy young fans climbed onstage and launched themselves head-first back into the pit.
The Kings’ 90-minute set mostly drew from “High Society,” their second full-length effort for Capitol Records, including such new ganja elegies as “The Joint” and “Daydreamin’ Fazes,” which combined psychedelic sounds, Grateful Dead lyrics (“what a long strange trip it’s been”) and Beastie Boys-style vocal flow.
Political commentary, stoner-style, was offered with the likes of “We the People” and recent single “Peace Not Greed,” which questions U.S. drug policy. The smallish Roxy stage was often crowded with as many as a couple dozen dancing and stage-diving kids, especially during encore entry “Good As Gold,” all but blurring the line between musician and listener.
These two sold-out Roxy shows mark the end of a 2-1/2 month U.S. tour for the Kottonmouth Kings, a band with very few original things to say, but a band that sure knows how to have a good time saying them.