Live Review: Smokeout 2009 featuring Slipknot, Deftones, Cypress Hill — San Manuel Amphitheatre, San Bernardino
Mon, 26 Oct 2009 12:23:34
Cypress Hill Photos
Revolution was in the air at Cypress Hill's 2009 Smokeout. In fact, the smell of revolution was just as powerful as the stench of that sticky icky wafting through the desert all day.
All stoner jokes aside, three revolutionary acts headlined the festival's main stage at the San Manuel Amphitheatre in San Bernardino. Cypress Hill's rock n' roll tempered Latin gangsta rap came to life in front of the packed crowd. Deftones took each and every fan on a trip into the deepest corners of space and the psyche through a combination of Stephen Carpenter's gnashing, polyrhythmic riffs and Chino Moreno's entrancingly hypnotic vocals. Then Slipknot burned the entire place down, leaving nothing but jaws firmly stuck on the floor in their wake.
Deftones personified the diversity inherent in the festival's mentality. They kicked off a mindblowing set with a brand new track, "Rocket Skates." These five artists opened up the sky with a torrential downpour of distortion during the new cut's chorus. As Chino Moreno exorcised the song's deliciously deadly refrain from his soul, audience members stood stunned. Moreno sounds more fierce and fiery than ever before, and the new track saw Deftones reaching a new level of brutal beauty. Throughout the set, Moreno seamlessly shifted from a serene poetic croon into a violently vibrant howl. More and more, his influence has become palpable, and watching him attack the stage was inspiring and energizing all at once. "When Girls Telephone Boys" unleashed unbridled rage as Moreno circled Carpenter before diving towards the crowd and delivering each line head-on. "Passenger" was a headtrip like only Deftones could conjure, and "Root" and "Nosebleed" remained modern classics.
"Knife Party" and "Lotion" both showed just how dynamic Deftones can get, and "Hexagram" was a veritable firestarter—flames burst up from the lawn as the Moreno screamed. The energy emanating from Deftones was infectious, and watching them shine was the perfect reminder of how unique and important they are.
Masterfully balancing extreme and enlightening, Slipknot stood unstoppable and undeniable as the festival's closer. "Sic," "Eyeless" and "Wait and Bleed" possessed a schizophrenic brilliance that saw vocalist Corey Taylor simultaneously roar with overpowering pain and sing with a hypnotic psychosis. "Before I Forget" stomped and grooved with classic rock gusto. "Duality" and "Psychosocial" ignited impenetrable sing-a-longs, and Taylor conducted the crowd like the ultimate maestro of metal. However, the highlight came during a somber, spacey "Snuff." Guitarist Jim Root wrenched strangely gorgeous sounds from his axe, as Taylor pulled the crowd closer than ever before—just close enough to kill though.
Speaking of killing, Cypress Hill hit the stage to the sound of gunshots, and their hip hop onslaught was relentless from the moment they started spitting. Similar to Deftones, they also commenced with a brand new track, "Get 'em Up." It already felt like a classic though, blending a bouncy gangsta beat with Sen Dog and B Real's unmistakable rhyme work. "Lick a Shot" and "Hand on the Pump" exploded intensely, and a psychedelic bass line drove "Latin Lingo" into groundbreaking territory. More classics, "Ain't Goin' Out Like That" and "Insane in the Brain," got the crowd moving like never before. However, it all tied together when Moreno hit the stage for "Rock Superstar." Blending his one-of-a-kind voice with B and Sen's distinct styles, the song could've served as the entire festival's anthem.
With a bevy of other acts from Pennywise and Sublime to Method Man and Redman, Smokeout 2009 was one of SoCal's best music festivals yet.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
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