's amphitheater stood under a cloud of smoke last night for the finale of a three-night stay in Colorado for Method Man and Redman. Openers Dj Cavem and the MTHDS were given the opportunity to prime for theHow High
stars, now in their decade-plus running show since the drop ofBlackout
in 1999. Metal detectors at the doors slowed things up a bit in the ticket line, but safety of the attendees weighs heavy when Johnny Blaze and Funk Doctor Spot come to town. Fortunately, everything went off without a hitch and only a few drunkards got tossed out.
DJ Cavem was holding it down on the tables for the openers and the set breaks. With a controller, one turntable and a laptop lexicon of hip-hop, Cavem spun hits and remixes dating back to early Tribe Called Quest cuts and late '90s Dr. Dre beats.
Cavem closed his first set shortly after blaring Dead Prez's "Bigger Than," which had everyone verbally in agreement concluding that there is "One thing 'bout music, when it hits you feel no pain."
MTHDS (pronounced Methods), were on deck in the amphitheater, and brought the hype on the opening track, "Riot," which sounded like a Rage Against the Machine cover of a Flobots song. The music was strong, but the lyrics and vocals felt soft, even on the precursor to the hook that begs the question "How come everybody wanna fuck with the MTHDS?"
"Bailando," played near the end of the set with its Caribbean percussion style and Latin guitar flavor. "Life," a song about life (duh), closed the night out. It's all about drinking and smoking and being irresponsible, basically what everyone was already doing that night anyway, and the hook says it doesn't matter because we are all going to end up in hell. Cheers to that.
Cavem came out for the set break and caught everyone off guard with an especially bass-heavy remix of Lil' Wayne's "A Milli." A few more hip-hop cuts and he was signing off again to make way for the headliners. The staff received great acknowledgment when they tossed out a fading fan -- who also scored one right in the kisser from a female staff member before they booted him out. She definitely sucker punched him, but with good reason assumed.
Redman and Method Man came out of a smoke filled VIP lounge at 11:45 p.m. The veteran duo has been doing this for a long time, so stage presence and charisma is less of an act as it is more of a lifestyle by now. Redman, and his signature low sitting, eyes-hiding, flat-bill, came barking out on the microphone, hopped up on a side-stage speaker and bobbed along before joining Meth on the low sitting stage.
Red and Meth started things off with some early tracks from the '90s before "METHOD Man," was played. "YOU," followed, and then the turntablists went into a frenzy of scratch education. DJ Mathematics got wild when he snatched his shoes off during a maelstrom of breaks, tossed them to Method Man and began scratching with his foot. Skills.
Redman announced that the Denver Fire Department was trying to shut down the party, to which he politely yelled "FUCK THAT," and went into "Fallout." A shout out and props to Ol' Dirty Bastard on a sampling of "Shimmy Shimmy Ya," got everyone raw, but the hyphy shown through in perfect form on one of the last songs of the night, "Da Rockwilder."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Critic's Notebook: Personal Bias: Method Man lyrics are always on my tongue, which is usually chased with a Redman-esque bark of some kind. There will always be a Method Man song, if not the namesake song itself, on my iPod.
Random Detail: Cervantes presented the show at City Hall and had their staff running the show. This is not their first rodeo and they don't care what VIP means. To them, you are a fan and not an artist, so back the fuck the up.
By The Way: Did anyone else smell marijuana? I think someone was medicating.
Overheard in the Crowd: "SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU"