Legendary stoner comics Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, brought their irreverent, anti-establishment, satirical humor and stand-up routines to Austin’s ACL Live on May 30, 2013. Sharing the stage and evening with them were the rhythmic sounds of both War and Tower of Power. Tommy Chong’s wife, comedian Shelby Chong, opened and hosted the show, giving a female perspective on the duo’s classic style of marijuana-smoking, counterculture style of humor.
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The night began with a brief comedy shticks from Shelby Chong, who does her own female version of stoner comedy. Shelby then called out the iconic duo to sit down for a no-holds barred questions and answers session covering everything from marijuana use and to their appearances on television and movies over the decades. They discussed Tommy Chong’s battle with prostate cancer, his appearance on ‘That ‘70s Show,’ as well as his nine-month jail stint back in the early 2000s. They shared the news about an upcoming new Cheech and Chong movie, Cheech’s many television accolades, and their friendship and breakup throughout their forty plus years together. Most entertaining were discussions about their history and love for drugs and cannabis.
Following a twenty minute set change, Tower of Power, with over 40 years of success, brought out their horn-fueled brand of R&B and funk to work up the audience and get everyone dancing. Over the years the famous Tower of Power horns have performed with Elton John, Little Feat, Heart, Aerosmith, Santana and a slew of other acts. The group opened with ‘I Like Your Style,’ and played many classic including ‘You’re Still A Young Man,’ ‘Diggin’ On James Brown,’ ‘What Is Hip,’ and ‘This Time It’s Real.’ TOP was as crisp as ever and Larry Braggs was once again in fine form on lead vocals.
With the distinct odor of marijuana in the air, Cheech and Chong had the audience at ACL Live hollering with laughter as they re-enacted their many well-known sketches ‘Santa Claus and His Old Lady,’ ‘Dave’s not here,’ and ‘Basketball Jones,’ and more. They cleverly modified their skits to be current with the times and the audience loved it.
Energized and ready for more, multi platinum-selling War closed out the evening with over 45 minutes of energized funk with Top 40 flair. They kept the night in the ’70s by performing iconic hits such as ‘The Cisco Kid,’ ‘Low Rider’ and ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?’
Up In Smoke Tour:
05/31 Austin, TX / Moody Theatre
06/01 Grand Prairie, TX / Verizon Wireless Theatre @ Grand Prairie
08/14 Westbury, NY / NYCB Theatre
08/15 Bethel Woods, NY / Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
08/23 Atlanta, GA / Chastain Park Amphitheatre
11/08 Newkirk, OK / First Council Casino
11/09 Concho, OK / Lucky Star Casino
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