Knickerbockers was shown some 420 hospitality fourteen days early with green friendly acts, Cornerstone Dub and Afroman. “We’re gonna start this party off right, so smoke up,” said C-Dub’s lead singer. Each hint became clearer, as the night continued, that one could not leave Knickerbockers without a contact high.
“We’re Cornerstone Dub if you smoked some before you got here and forgot,” the first act reminded the crowd, who played sounds of Ska and Reggae with some Hip-Hop influences. They sounded very similar to Sublime and even covered a Sublime tune; “Smoke Two Joints.” They consisted of the usual bass, guitar, and drums, with the lead singer on guitar, but also a trombone player, who also sang harmony and played the tambourine.
The singer/guitarist sang in a Jamaican accent, as is the staple for reggae singing, but also included raps in a few of his lines. He even quoted Ice Cube in a lyric.
In an instrumental song, the singer began by saying, “I got depressed and started listening to the Eddie Van Halen.” The following consisted of their usual Ska but heavily dosed with Heavy Metal. The said guitarist was channeled as C-Dub’s guitarist played snippets of Van Halen’s “Eruption” throughout the song. The energy continued to rise as the drummer himself rose to stand on his stool and waved his hand in a lifting motion to beckon the crowd to do the same with their energy.
Another song hinted why the signer’s left hand seemed to constantly rise and leave the middle finger linger throughout most of their set. “A bird is those people always chirpin’ about your business,” he said as the song was introduced. He continued with lyrics such as “‘cuz I’m a real motherf******* G,” and “say f**** you, Mr. Birdie, we don’t need you.”
The set continued with “Vaporize,” “Monkey Spit,” and “New Shoes,” and ended with the love ballad, “Sweet Lies.” “It’s about a girl I used to know or love or something,” the singer escorted us into the slower side of their catalog. It continued with that tempo until the bridge, when the singer yelled “uno, dos, tres, quatro,” and the speed picked up to end their set.
The mood was then changed from the last band as the intermission held our anticipation with Jurassic 5 on the speakers. All the instruments were removed and replaced with a mere turntable and a few mics. Then three guys grabbed their mics, one wearing a beret, another with longer hair who resembled either Dave Navarro or a white Kat Williams, and another with dreads. They introduced themselves as FuFops and warmed the crowd up for the main attraction.
By the second song of their set, two more men arrived as the crowd screamed. One particular man was dressed in a yellow, pin-striped suit and was holding a forty ounce bottle. The two men stood back and let Fufops finish their three song set before they finally revealed themselves.
“Sound man, I won’t lie, I’ve been smoking blunts all day,” said Afroman as he took his mic and asked for the volume to be raised. After his sound check was through, he began by throwing Lincolnites a bone, “last time I was here, ya’ll told me to write a song about Nebraska.” The crowd cheered as he sang his short song about the often ignored state.
Then a cloud of smoke rose from the audience as the festivities began. Afroman himself took hits from a blunt when he was not singing or drinking on his 40.
Each song was dedicated to smoking weed, drinking, or both, as Afroman crooned his way through each song. But what was most impressive was when Afroman pulled out a double neck guitar with pot leaves painted on. He wasn’t Jimi Hendrix, but he could play better than most rock musicians. The crowd was treated to several tunes with Afroman displaying this musical talent. Not often do you see a performer rap while playing licks.
The crowd was even included on most songs. Not only did Afroman tweak some of his lyrics to mention the town he playing that night, but a lot of “repeat after mes” were employed as well.
Although, he did not mention Cornerstone Dub by name, he gave several shout outs to them. “I like to give a shout out to the last band…they sang ‘Smoke Two Joints’.” He explained that his THC tolerance must have increased for the reason behind his parody, “Smoke Two Blunts,” in which his guitar skills were employed.
Even though the crowd knew most of his lyrics, they sang along mostly to the last few of the set. “Tall Cans,” “Palmdale,” and “Tumbleweed,” were signs that the mostly twenty-something crowd owned Afroman’s debut album, Good Times. But true signs of Afroman’s popularity were shown when the crowd sang each and every word of the last two tunes: “Because I Got High” and “Crazy Rap (Colt 45 and Two Zig Zags).”
The former of the two was introduced by Afroman’s first line and followed by a roar from the audience, “It’s like I don’t care about nothing, man.” The final verse where he speaks of messing up his entire life got another cheer as he changed a line to “I’m sleepin’ tonight in Lincoln, ‘cuz…” This, of course, was ended by another impressive guitar solo.
The last song, seemingly more popular than the top hit of “Because I Got High,” was the aforementioned “Crazy Rap,” better known as “Colt 45.” Again, the crowd sang every word, even the rapped verses. Laughter erupted as the line “she whipped out a d*** that was bigger than mine,” was acted out as Afroman jumped on a monitor while simulating his mic stand as the said body part. The bridge was broke down with another “repeat after me,” of first, “I say ‘Afro,’ you say ‘man’,” then “I say ‘smoke some,’ you say ‘weed’.” Then he threw his guitar strap back over his shoulder with another solo ending with the notes of the chorus while the crowd sang along.
Although none was given, the crowd plead for an encore while they chanted the headliner’s name. Some may say they were “blue-balled,” but most will say they were satisfied with a high intensity performance by a hero of our heyday.
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