Rock the Bells @ Hyundai Pavilion 8/11/07

Written by Matthew M

Rock the Bells @ Hyundai Pavilion San Bernardino, August 11, 2007
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Rock the Bells was one of the most amazing concerts I have ever been lucky enough to witness. Rock the Bells is rap/hip-hop festival that comes around every year, similar to Warped Tour except that Warped Tour focuses more around rock genres. The concert features some of the greatest underground rap artists around today including MFDoom, Jedi Mind Tricks, Living Legends, Sage Francis, Mos Def, MURS and many, many more. The headlining bands however included Cypress Hill, Wu-Tang, and Rage Against the Machine.

I had been planning to go to Rock the Bells months before the concert; however constant procrastination prevented me from ever getting around to buying the tickets. A few days before the show, Victoria and I searched everywhere for tickets; sadly, no vendors had any left and Ticketmaster declared the event sold out. The night before the show I had pretty much faced the fact that I was going to miss out on the concert that I had been so eagerly anticipating. Saturday morning I woke up to Victoria’s phone call, “They’re selling tickets at the door, we just have to hurry.” Victoria and I got ready to go as quickly as possible and headed down to the Hyundai Pavilion. The trip from East L.A. to San Bernardino took about an hour. Nearing the exit, we saw a bunch of signs reading ‘Event Sold Out.’ Again I was down on the fact that I was going to miss out.

Deciding to park anyway, Victoria and I walked around and were approached by a scalper almost immediately. I was able to finally purchase our tickets. Because the line to get in was extremely long and because it was intensely hot that day, we headed back to the car to chill for a little while before we made an attempt to head inside. While we were hanging out in the car, we were called over by some individuals a few cars away from us. They ended up giving us refreshments and letting us hang out with them while we waited for the line to die down. These guys were awesome people and brought up my day even more giving me a new appreciation for tailgating.

When we headed in, MURS was on stage. We watched him for a while as we tried to orient ourselves and get a grasp of everything that was going on. Because our tickets were on the lawn it was somewhat difficult to see each performer clearly but the music came across really well. Two stages were set up: the main stage and a smaller stage across the lawn. The smaller stage was a lot of fun because it was easy to get close to the performers, and honestly, it was questionable as to why artists such as Sage Francis and the Living Legends were playing the secondary stage at all when they are clearly deserving of the main stage.

[Immortal Technique]

[Jedi Mind Tricks]

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When Cypress Hill came on stage, Victoria and I got as close as we possibly could to the stage which was still quite a distance away since we were on the lawn. Entering the stage with a giant blown up skeleton sitting in a thrown, Cypress Hill came out in full force. They played all of their hits including “Kill a Man”, “Superstar”, and “Dr. Greenthumb.” And of course, halfway through their set, they stopped for a short smoke break. Cypress Hill played for about an hour. Afterwards, Wu-Tang came on stage. I have been listening to Wu-Tang since I was a little kid. In fact, I wore a Wu-Tang shirt to the concert that I’ve had since I was twelve. Each Clan member was present on stage aside from Ol’ Dirty STICK (R.I.P.). I realized how intensely crowded the Hyundai Pavilion was as Method Man asked for everyone to put up their cell phones. An ocean of blue lights filled the venue from the pit in the front all the way to the top of the lawn. Wu-Tang played all of their hits including “M.E.T.H.O.D. Man”, “C.R.E.A.M.”, and “Triumph.” I was blown away by the end of their performance and I couldn’t believe that Rage was still to come. Rage set up quickly and opened up with full force. They played just about every Rage song you could think of and it seemed as though everyone in the audience knew every word to each song. The energy was incredible. Fire pits started up all around us and people were just going crazy. I have never seen a band play as intensely and I have never seen a band play as passionately as Rage Against the Machine played that night. By the end of the night, Victoria and I were exhausted and ended up hanging out in the car for a couple of hours while parking congestion died down. Again, Rock the Bells was one of the most amazing concerts I have ever been lucky enough to witness.

Thank you Rock the Bells:
And YouTube:

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