Bong Hits For Jesus
To say that they have a universal appeal is an understatement. The broad shouldered bro-types with backward baseball hats were scattered among typical stoner hippie guys donning dreadlocks and Sublime t-shirts, overwhelming amounts of sexy young females, older couples, and (most notably) the prolific dancer in front of me. At maybe 45 years old with wispy blond hair, this trucker-type in Nike sneakers, jean shorts, and faux-Hawaiian shirt was grooving as if his life depended on it. Every type of person imaginable could be found around me with one glaring commonality; we loved their music.
In the bathroom a beautiful stoner girl wrapped in an Indian garment made a pass at me. It was a wonderfully loving environment where everyone got a little contact high.
As I listened in awe of some of the tightest rock ‘n’ roll I have ever heard live, I was struck abruptly by the band’s sincere authenticity. Their sound is purely their own, combining elements of punk, reggae, blues, hip-hop, and funk. Their music is not easily definable and falls under several categories, as is usually the case with any good band. They captured a raw and spirited passion that helped blur the lines of self-expression with rock & roll.
This concert was a refreshing distraction to the sometimes hate-filled, anger-driven outside world. They put the listener in a complete state of transcendent awareness while heavy bass intertwined with surprisingly melodic riffs. When the whaling guitar solo came flowing in perfectly with the saxophone, I was reminded of why I picked up a guitar at thirteen.
Everything I noticed – from the crown worn by the drummer, the lyrics (“smell the cocaine, liquefy the old brain”), the sampled portion of “Legalize It”, to the pervasive, billowing pot smoke produced by the crowd – made it obvious that this band did exactly what they wanted, no fucks given.
The bottom line:
These guys put on a show that will not disappoint any real fan of music. It’s the kind of music that pulls people together. The truest impression they left upon me was that this band really is for everyone. If the opportunity arises for you to see them, jump on it. They will have you feeling the love. After my most enlightening trip to the TLA, I’m looking forward to when I can see Bong Hits for Jesus perform again.