HIGH TIMES MAGAZINE - 15th Annual Cannabis Cup
Melkweg, Amsterdam 11/24/02: Geecky Guy, Gas Giant, Rocker T, Herbal Nation and De La Soul
From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)
I picked up the van at 7:45 and met with Henrik (from On Trial), who was coming to help drive and do the lights. We packed up what we needed to bring from the rehearsal room and got Ralph and were on the road to Amsterdam by 9! We caught the ferry from Denmark to Germany at 10:15 and were making good time. It is 750km so we needed to go quite fast to get there by the check in time at 17:30. We arrived at 17:00. We found the right people pretty quickly. We had a nice professional dressing room with food and beer, etc. The people from High Times came in and gave us a sample of the winner of last years Cannabis Cup (about 2.5 grams), a few copies of the magazine and our all access passes. It was a very professional event and the stage crew was amazing.
After De La Soul and Rocker T did their sound checks it was our turn. Sound was awesome on this stage. Strange to play in front of the De La Soul DJ set up but so be it. They did not want anything moved. After soundcheck we had some excellent food in the restaurant and started playing at a little after 9. Before us was a comedian called Geecky Guy. Man, he was so bad to start but his last few jokes were ok. Then we hit the stage. A minute of space sounds from me and we were off into "Firetripper". About 100-150 people watching us play in a room that holds 1000. Everyone was hiding in the back by the bar or around the edges where there were benches. I thought it was strange to play and not have a single person within 20 feet of the stage. Jesper did not try to get the people to come forward and they didnít. Didnít really matter. Everyone was stoned. Everyone was smoking grass all the time, everywhere you went. I had never seen anything like it. We were being recorded on 24 track audio and with 5 professional video cameras. We were pretty aware not to drink or smoke much before playing.
After "Firetripper" was "Moonshake". Very tight. Next was "Never Leave This Way", a 12 minute jam song that went over great. Stefan was playing killer guitar with so much feeling. WE were flying.... "Thereís One" followed and Stefan played a really cool guitar solo. Great piercing sound. We closed our main set with "Too Stoned" and the crowd loved it and were yelling like crazy. The MC asked if the crowd wanted more and they did, so we came back out and played "Storm Of My Enemies" for 12 minutes! It was a great spaced out version with a new cool rock and roll ending. Very good crowd response and the people from High Times loved it as well.
After we finished we moved our stuff off the stage so Rocker T (a white guy with dreadlocks) could set up and we did an interview with High Times. They passed us this huge joint of skunk weed called Bluetooth and started taping. Jesper told a crazy story for 5 minutes about what the song "Too Stoned" was about. We talked about Christiania and other things. Far out interview.
Set List: Firetripper, Moonshake, Never Leave this Way, Thereís One, Too Stoned, Storm of my Enemies>Space Jam
Rocker T and friends was basically reggae rapping stuff. He seemed really good at what he was doing but it was not for me. Thomas and I set up the merchandise and got really stoned while talking to the people. It was just so amazing watching the people walking around with bongs and pipes and everyone getting very high. If you had one of the 420 tours Cannabis cup passes there were special things set up so you could test medical grade marihuana using a vaporizer or bubble hash and growing stands and all kinds of paraphernalia, etc. Everyone was so happy in this place.
Herbal Nation (www.herb-n-funk.com) are a funk rock band from Rhode Island. I had never heard of them but was totally blown away and mesmerized by their music. They had two really good horn players and an awesome keyboard player who just laid down such cool grooves with the amazing funk bass rhythm. I was in the right mood for this music and it was great. I donít know how long they played or I watched them but one song, something about funking down a river, was hypnotic. Very cool. I bought the promo CD-R they were selling. Not as good as they were live but still cool.
De La Soul had the place totally packed. They played for nearly 2 hours. I did not hear their whole set as it became too much the same for me. I think they are really excellent at what they do but I am not into this rap hip hop thing at all, but the crowd sure was and they were really into the weed thing as well. We hung out for a few more hours and then tried to find the hotel, which we had the address of and was told that it was like Ĺ mile away. Now someone had to drive the van. They wanted me to but I always get stuck doing the driving and I did not want to so Henrik drove. It took us like 30 minutes to get there. Funny and tragic. Donít drive when you are really really HIGH! Someone had to drive. We were up and off by 10 and on our way back to Denmark. Canít say I really saw any of Amsterdam. Next time...
Reviewed by Scott Heller