×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cypress Hill; 311; Pharcyde

The 3 1/2-hour show -- which could have been confused for a hemp fest, with all the pot references -- was headlined by Cypress Hill, the South-Central outfit whose distinctive gangsta hybrid has spawned uncounted imitators.

With:
Bands: (Cypress Hill) B-Real, DJ Muggs, Shag, Bobo; (311) Nicholas Hexum, S.A., Tomothy Mahoney, P-Nut, Chad Sexton; (Pharcyde) Imani, Booty Brown, Fatlip, Slimkid 3.

The 3 1/2-hour show — which could have been confused for a hemp fest, with all the pot references — was headlined by Cypress Hill, the South-Central outfit whose distinctive gangsta hybrid has spawned uncounted imitators.

This hip-hop triple bill at the sold-out Universal Amphitheatre featured three talented L.A.-based groups with a few things in common — most notably their shared love for marijuana — and some glaring differences, the most obvious being 311’s full-band setup, an advantage that the funk-rock-rap crew used to conclusively steal the thunder from the evening’s other two acts. The band’s third Ruff House/Columbia album, last year’s “Temples of Boom,” does little, unfortunately, beyond their well-documented, one-dimensional approach, a shortcoming that this 75-minute set couldn’t overcome.

Frontman B-Real’s vocal style — comparable to a busted and muffled air-raid siren — is nearly bereft of dynamic flow, but does score on the in-your-face meter.

Cypress Hill provided a non-stop barrage of monotonous songs about pot and the people who smoke it (everyone they know, it seems), and “rollin’ wit’ my homies,” leaving the lone interesting musical aspect to wild outbursts from percussionist Bobo.

Of course, following 311 didn’t help. That quintet — two rapper/singers and a guitar-bass-drums backup — have their dexterous approach down to a science. Capable singing and legit rapping skills lift frontmen Nicholas Hexum and S.A. above most hip-hoppers. An endless, seamless stream of styles — jazz, metal, old school hip-hop — held interest level high throughout the band’s 45-minute set.

With three albums under their belt, 311 looks primed to make a move to the headlining level. A Lollapalooza main-stage ticket should be cut for this bunch.

Openers the Pharcyde caught their fans off guard with their sophomore album, “Labcabincalifornia” (Delicious Vinyl/Capitol), which focused on smooth vocals and a more romantic delivery, much to the chagrin of many. At Universal the predictable: older tracks were greeted with enthusiasm and dancing; the newer ones with skepticism and apathy. Back to the drawing board.

Popular on Variety

Cypress Hill; 311; Pharcyde

Universal Amphitheatre; 6,251 seats; $20

Production: Promoted by MCA Concerts. Reviewed March 3, 1996.

Cast: Bands: (Cypress Hill) B-Real, DJ Muggs, Shag, Bobo; (311) Nicholas Hexum, S.A., Tomothy Mahoney, P-Nut, Chad Sexton; (Pharcyde) Imani, Booty Brown, Fatlip, Slimkid 3.

More Music

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Tanya Tucker Finds Fresh Footing With

    Album Review: Tanya Tucker's 'While I'm Livin''

    Before there was a name and a place for it, an “outlaw” was what Tanya Tucker was in the years following her gentle country smash with the gospel lilt, “Delta Dawn,” in 1972. A hellraiser and heartbreaker (Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell were just a few of her noted lovers), Tucker made as many headlines [...]

  • A pair of handcuffs

    D.C. Concert Biz Heavyweight Seth Hurwitz Arrested for Solicitation

    Seth Hurwitz, a highly regarded figure in the Washington, D.C. concert scene, was arrested Wednesday on solicitation of prostitution after a massage therapist who felt harassed by Hurwitz helped police set up a bust. Hurwitz, owner of the 9:30 Club and Anthem venues and chairman of the Merriweather Post Pavilion, was released on $5,000 bond [...]

  • Major Lazer Fortnite

    Major Lazer Remixes Fortnite Soundtrack and Releases New In-Game Skins

    Major Lazer, one of Diplo’s many creative outlets, has teamed up with Fortnite to offer fans access to a unique character skin and new remixes of the game’s Default Dance track. The Lazerism set includes the Major Lazer Outfit, Lazer Wings, Lazer Aze, the Lazer Blast emote and the EDM group’s remix of the “Default [...]

  • Succession HBO

    'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on Making Music for the One Percent

    The Roys, the media empire family at the heart of HBO’s “Succession,” are ridiculously rich. They’re manipulative and cruel. They’re also a bit delusional and absurd. When Nicholas Britell conceived the show’s score, he wanted to capture all of that. “I wrote in this almost late-1700s, dark classical zone,” says Britell, the Oscar-nominated composer of [...]

  • Fred Durst attends the LA premiere

    Fred Durst Has No Woodstock '99 Regrets: 'Limp Bizkit Is an Easy Target So Bring it On'

    Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst is finally talking about Woodstock ’99 — the second anniversary of the 1969 festival that offered throngs of attendees a polar opposite experience to peace, love and mellow music. Now the stuff of legend — and a stellar multi-episode podcast series from The Ringer called “Break Stuff” — riots, fires [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content