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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Concert review
Punk rock show draws thousands to Kualoa

By Chad Pata
Advertiser Staff Writer

How do you mix punk rock's anti-establishment message with the patriotic fervor of post-Sept. 11 America? Simply put, you don't.

"The Cypress Hill Smoke Out" concert at Kualoa Ranch Sunday drew thousands of punk rock fans. As Guttermouth opened the outdoor concert, mosh-pit enthusiasts responded to the band's growling guitars and lyrics.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

"The Cypress Hill Smoke Out" concert Sunday at Kualoa Ranch proved to be one of the best multi-act shows this island has seen in years — drawing thousands of hard-core fans to windward O'ahu.

It seemed improbable that many wearing T-shirts emblazoned with American flags and messages like "Try Burning This One" could cheer unpatriotic lyrics such as NOFX's "Murder the Government." The song's opening lines are, "I wanna see the constitution burn, wanna watch the White House overturned."

Pennywise lead singer Jim Lindberg exhibited a little more restraint, declining at first to play "F*** Authority," a crowd favorite. But after prodding from the audience, Lindberg responds: "You can't show your fear," and roared into the opening bars.

Despite questionable song material, the show was fantastic. Opening with Guttermouth, a band that truly lived up to its name, the pit churned ceaselessly to their growling guitars and lyrics that make Blink-182 sound like Karen Carpenter.

At one point the moshing got so intense that the ubiquitous dust cloud defied stiff trade winds and swirled vertically.

The lead singer of Guttermouth works the crowd, which stirs up a dust cloud that swirled vertically in the winds.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

NOFX followed with a rousing set — including a sing-along to the reggae-based "Kill All the White Man." Their best performance came in "Don't Call Me White" with Eric Sandin's precision drumming and frontman Mike Burkett's screaming vocals. (For those unfamiliar with NOFX, the group is made up of three white guys and a Latino.)

By the time Pennywise took the stage, the crowd was covered with dust and sweat and ready for just about anything.

The group's speed metal, surf-style punk beat thrilled the crowd as Lindberg took the stage wearing a T-shirt proclaiming "Osama don't surf."

With the stage packed with people — including the entire Sunset Beach lifeguard crew — Pennywise did its punk version of Men at Work's "Down Under" and a cover of "Blitzkrieg Bop," a tribute to Joey Ramone of the Ramones.

While most of the bands stayed clear of mentioning the Sept. 11 attacks, Pennywise did dedicate to the city of New York their song "You Can't Make Me Fall."

Guttermouth plays to a lively audience at Sunday's "Cypress Hill Smoke Out" concert.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

"Smokeout" was another subject that barely got touched until Cypress Hill took the stage. They started with a guitar-heavy set reminiscent of Ice-T and Body Count's thrash rap style.

But the the stage soon cleared for frontman Louis Freeze and his pro-marijuana rap styling that earned him and his group platinum albums and throngs of fans in the early '90s.

The crowd in front of the stage literally throbbed with the bass line as Freeze sneered his way through "Insane in the Membrane" and "How I Could Just Kill A Man.'

Then Freeze asked the crowd, "Does anyone want to get high?

So do I." He proceeded to light what appeared to be a joint shortly before starting "Hits From the Bong."

At the end of the day, a sense of relief could be felt from the cavalcade of grime-covered faces and chocolate-milk smiles meandering toward the parking lot.

Maybe all the thrashing in the mosh pit helped ease, if only for a moment, the angst brought about by Sept. 11.

Then again, maybe they were just stoned.