Cypress Hill and Steve Miller Band: Two reviews from Mile High Music Festival

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Brian Landis Folkins
B-Real of Cypress Hill keepin' it real on Saturday at Mile High Music Festival.
Cypress Hill, 4:45 p.m. on the Wolf Stage
I walked straight in the clouds of smoke and the packs of dancing 20-somethings as the first strains of "Insane in the Brain" sounded from the Wolf Stage. I should probably clarify that -- by "strains," I mean I heard B-Real loudly demanding if the crowd felt crazy.

What followed was a mix between a straight-ahead rap performance and a Cheech and Chong comedy routine. The band was flawless in its performances of "Insane," "I Want to Get High" and "Doctor Greenthumb" -- the rhymes were tight, the exchanges were perfectly timed and both B-Real and Sen Dog offered energetic, well-honed performances.

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Brian Landis Folkins
Cypress HIll
But the music was accompanied by a constant amount of theater, a constant caricature of the band's unrepentant fondness for marijuana. B-Real started out the routine by lighting a comically over-sized joint during "I Want to Get High." The hi jinx continued as the song progressed -- the percussionist stepped out from behind his drum set to take a toke off of a seven-foot bong.

It was ridiculous to the point of a sketch comedy show, but it worked for the group and for the crowd. Indeed the audience ate up every weed reference, they cheered as B-Real lit his spliff and hooted as the percussionist took a bong rip.

It's exactly what you would expect from Cypress Hill. The band has kept up the profile it first created in the '90s, and the audience seemed to want nothing less.

The Steve Miller Band, 5:45 on the Kyocera Main Stage
I've spent the past 15 years finely honing my status as a music snob, but it's tough to escape my roots, as radio-friendly as they may be sometimes.

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