The Smoker's Club Tour with Method Man and Curren$y
November 2, 2011
Better than: Curling up at home with a bong and a Snuggie.
My moshing days never really began, but they should have been over about half my life ago. Still, as the bruises from Method Man's concert last night continue to swell and pulse, so does the appreciation for an artist who gives, as he put it last night, 110 percent of his energy.
Just after Wu-Tang Clan's most undeniable showman did a flip over my head and into the crowd, my feet left the floor as I was slammed into the barrier at the front of the stage. It was then I learned what the combination of terror and exhilaration feels like.The 40-year-old shouted out the ladies in the audience ("all 15 of you," he joked, somewhat accurately) and declared how much he still loves what he does even after 18 years in the game, whether he's rocking with 30 or 30,000 people. It was fairly amazing to see his willingness to jump into the audience and trust that his fans would keep him afloat. They did, remarkably, as I scurried to get out from underneath them all. If only more rappers had half of Meth's energy. Curren$y, a rapper from New Orleans who spent time both at the influential No Limit and Cash Money labels, gave about as spirited a set as someone with a broken ankle (swathed in a smart cast festooned with marijuana leaves) could ever give. He spent a lot of time on a big comfy couch surrounded by friends like local rapper/weed figure Berner, who passed around big blunts and tossed sizable nuggets into the crowd. Where some shows find fans tossing panties onstage, the weed tossing was a prominent part of the entire evening, as patrons showed their appreciation by lobbing joints and baggies at the rappers. Openers showcased a range of weed-influenced rap styles: The wonderfully bewildering suburban hippie-metal vibe of Connecticut's Rich Hil (son of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger); the Harlem lyricism of Smoke DZA; the 17th Ward smoothness of New Orleans rappers International Jones (formerly Fiend) and Corner Boy P. No matter where they were from, the performers had an easy way of breaking the ice with the audience: "What you smoking?" Critic's Notebook Personal bias: While I've seen Method Man a number of times over the years, this is the first time I've seen it from the eye of the mosh pit -- and I've got the bruises on everything to prove it. Writing through a haze of pain makes it slightly difficult to capture the excitement of his performance. Random detail: Security didn't bat an eye to the constant and giant clouds of marijuana smoke, but there was going to be hell to pay if you tried to light up a cigarette. It was interesting to see the Warfield ease up on typical policies. By the way: You really, reeeeally, like to smoke, San Francisco.