Entertainment: Rock the Bells: One Crazy, Amazing Mosh Pit Mess
From performers like Kid Cudi to E-40, Juicy J, and the Wu Tang Clan along with holograms of Eazy-E and Ol' Dirty Bastard, the original hip-hop music festival, Rock the Bells, celebrated its tenth anniversary this weekend. With a killer lineup consisting of legends such as Tech N9ne, Girl Talk, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, it was bound to be a success from the start.
Walking into the Shoreline Amphitheater, women in skimpy outfits and hipster men were everywhere, the overwhelming aroma of marijuana filled the air, and the classic hip-hop music that makes you want to dance was all-consuming. In other words, it was the quintessential concert atmosphere.
As the three stages simultaneously held performances by different artists, they created a large, sweaty, smelly mosh pit in the front row of every performance. The mixture of flashing lights and rambunctious fans made it virtually impossible for the artists to ignore the crowd. Kid Cudi, Trinidad James, the members of the Wu Tang Clan, and many other performer, made the show interactive by smoking marijuana and popping bottles of champagne with the audience. The crowd went wild because this interaction broke down the customary wall between the performer and the audience.
Although these renowned performers were a huge hit, the highlight of this festival was the appearance of two hip-hop legends through holograms: Eazy-E and Ol' Dirty Bastard. Since the original hologram of TuPac surfaced, I was anticipating disappointment because all of the original hype about this modern technology has started to fade.
To my surprise, the already rowdy crowd rose to an all new level of madness when Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's performance stopped, and the voice of the deceased rapper, Eazy-E, asked “What's up, my thugs?” Suddenly the amphitheater reverberated with the sound of hundreds of fans singing along to the classic, “Boyz in Da Hood.”
Once again, the following night, the crowd erupted with excitement when the Wu Tang Clan's performance halted in order to present the audience with a hologram of ODB. The speakers vibrated with the sound of his classic giggle, as one of his most famous songs, “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” began to play. The energy of the crowd was contagious, making it impossible not to dance and scream the lyrics.
The prerecorded performances by these legends and the live performances by the various veterans of hip-hop did not disappoint.