Cheech and Chong with War 6.21.13
Thunder Valley Amphitheater
Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock
For many it was a nostalgia trip, but for me it was a chance to see and photograph a couple of the most innovative and approachable heroes ever to play the comedy game. Thunder Mountain Amphitheater is a venue conveniently placed in front of a conglomerate of radio stations. This room holds around 4400 with a nice grassy knoll that frames a cement floor in front of the stage. There were just less than 3000 that made their way out to the show. This meant that there was plenty of room to maneuver, but a nice assemblage nonetheless.
“We humbly request that you don’t yell out any stupid shit…” – Chong
The show began with a quick set from Tommy’s wife Shelby Chong. She played the ditzy MC and she detailed the acid fueled clandestine meeting of her husband in a grocery store. She revved up the audience for the two stars of the show. At one point she reprimanded the drummer for tuning up while she was warming up the crowd. Cheech and Chong came to the stage amidst while cheers and a thick smoke permeating from the spectators. Their introduction took the form of a pre-arranged Q and A where Shelby tossed them both various pre-arranged questions. They talked about their professional history and Chong’s short stint in the big house. They ended by inviting War out and singing a few of their classics with them including “Basketball Jones” and “Save The Whales.”
War performed for about thirty more minutes. Their sound was that smooth California funk that made them famous. They included a version of “Summer” which seemed to energize the crowd. War is currently a seven-piece, however the only original member is Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan on keys and vocals. They closed out the set and everyone took a short break.
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