Saturday was blazing hot. It was so uncharacteristically warm — even by the water — that many in Bay could hardly be moved to do much of anything.
However, there’s always at least one exception to that rule, and this weekend it presented itself: E-40 decided to play a free show in the Bay. For a good cause. With free beer.
Presented by Budweiser’s Monument Series in conjunction with the National Parks Foundation‘s Find Your Park campaign (which aims to get people to find and enjoy the national and state parks that the government preserves), Saturday’s event at Crissy Field was a fitting celebration for all of the Bay’s favorite things: parks, drinking outside, free things, and the venerable E-40.
Local band Day Wave opened up the concert to one the biggest crowds in their career thus far. The Oakland group offered up a number of sun-dazed earworms, including the dreamy “Drag,” which evokes the feeling of exactly the sort of ebbing summer day it was. The band’s music is the soundtrack to the pink glow you see while your eyes are closed and look toward the sun.
Second act E-40 (who was for some reason not the headliner) was a stark contrast to Day Wave’s beach vibes, but a very welcomed one. For many at the mini-fest, the rapper was the main event.
40 took the stage to crashing applause from an audience, obviously. The living legend, who has a catalog spanning over 20 studio albums and a career lasting over two decades, knew exactly what hits from his repertoire to play to rile the Crissy Field audience.
The rapper played several hits from his 2006 chart-busting record My Ghetto Report Card, including “White Gurl,” “Yay Area,” and of course, “Tell Me When To Go.” He also ran through “Choices (Yup)” — the current unofficial anthem for the Golden State Warriors.
Every track performed was a banger. The ability to pick from a catalog of hits may be a rarity for most musicians, but for E-40, it’s easy to fill 40 minutes or so with popular beats. Sometimes, hyphyness still thrives.
Headliners Cash Cash certainly got the crowd moving with electronic pop, but to nowhere near the degree that 40 commanded the audience’s excitement. The trio from New Jersey presented their pop cuts with galactic visuals and audience engagement, but ultimately paled compared to E-40’s rousing hip hop.
Nevertheless, the festival was incredible. Organizers told CBS SF that they received 6,500 RSVPs to the event, however, the concert grounds did not seem crowded at all. Beer was abundant, blue skies remained overhead, and with the bridge in view, it was a good day to get super hyphy and wild.
All photo by Alyssa Pereira for CBS SF unless otherwise noted.
Alyssa Pereira is a music writer, web producer, and pop culture blogger for CBS stations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Find her on Twitter at Alyssa Pereira