Monday, April 02, 2007

5 Reasons To Attend This Year's Rock The Bells

Actually, it's more like four reasons why anybody should attend Rock The Bells this year, and then one specific reason why I'm attending.

1. Rage Against The Machine reuniting
Maybe it's because of Zack De La Rocha's failed rap career -- I still remember reading eons ago, on of all places, about Zack planning a rap album featuring production from DJ Shadow and El-P (who was "El-P of Company Flow" back then, to give you some degree of how long ago this was). Or maybe it's because of Chris Cornell's failed anything-after-Soundgarden career -- I would say "anything besides Soundgarden", but "Hunger Strike" is pure greatness. But for whatever reason, Rage is reuniting for the three RTB shows in San Francisco, New York, and San Bernardino-by-way-of-Los Angeles. [I say "by way of Los Angeles" because, well... San Francisco, New York, and... San Bernardino?!? Talk about "one of these things is not like the other". If it weren't for the size of the venue at the National Orange Show Events Center, the show would likely be held at a different Southern Cali locale, trust me.] And if you're an L.A.-area resident such as myself, and don't want spend a day traveling but do want to see Rage perform for possibly one of the last times ever, it's either RTB or Coachella, which is likely sold out anyways. And besides, while anticipating Rage's headlining night performance, would you rather spend the day listening to the likes of the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and the Roots, or Lily Allen, Damien Rice and who or whatever a "Konono No. 1" is?

2. See Flava Flav act like a legitimate jackass
This is not to be confused with the phony, "Hey, white America, look at meeeee!"-jackass that whored himself out to VH1 for the entertaining-until-you-stop-to-think-about-it Flavor of Love, The Surreal Life, or that show where he was in love with that old white man. I'm talking about the jackass that never took off his hat and sunglasses, except to make a goofy face. The one who "crowned" 9-1-1, and said he can't do nuttin' for ya, man. The one who made songs like "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos" and "Fight The Power" easier for the masses to swallow, without tarnishing the messages behind them. Considering that Public Enemy's RTB appearance will mark their 20th year together, I expect nothing less than the real Flava Flav to show up, and I'd be willing to bet that Chuck D definitely won't be allowing any Flavor of Love groupies on stage.

3. Cypress Hill = encouraged weed smoking
As if "Event Staff" is going to be patrolling the crowd for contraband -- they'll be too busy getting blazed themselves.

4. N.O.S. Events Center has hopefully learned from past mistakes
As a seasoned veteran of RTB festivals, I went to their summer 2004 event at this same venue in San Bernardino to see a line-up that featured a reunited Wu-Tang Clan (the last time they'd all perform together before Ol' Dirty's unfortunate passing), Redman and Dilated Peoples. There were other performers on the undercard, but I didn't get to see any of them because I literally spent about 4 hours waiting in line. Turns out the geniuses that run the venue chose to have only TWO people take tickets and do security gropings for the thousands upon thousands of concert goers hoping to get in before the morning after. As a result, some of the more riotous ticket-holders went to work on the metal bars in the gate that enclosed the festival grounds, and eventually pulled the bars far enough apart to allow people to squeeze through them. Once security noticed this, it was too late, and they had no choice back to sit back and watch as people bumrushed the venue, knocking over barriers, full tickets still in hand, and who knows what types of drugs and/or weapons they brought in with no hesitation. While certainly convenient, the only downside to this was that it made our homie Will's efforts to sneak in pre-rolled blunts -- by putting 'em into a plastic bag, and scotch-taping the bag to his boxers -- seemingly useless. I have a bit of a hunch that something like this won't be happening again.

5. It takes place the day before my 23rd birthday
Yeah, so, this was that one reason that I had warned you about before. And I did warn you.