March 24, 2017 House Of Pain Celebrate 25 Years Of Jumping Around The Paramount Huntington, NY 3-18-17
Turn the clock back to 1992 for a moment. Eric Clapton’s Unplugged album was dominating charts, Batman Forever was breaking records at the box office, and the Chicago Bulls won their second of what would be six championships in the decade. Pretty damn memorable when reflecting on it all, right? Well, let us not forget that Hip Hop was at its peak as well with a plethora of artists releasing essential albums, including Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, and The Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head just to new a few.
That in mind, Everlast, Danny Boy, and DJ Lethal, collectively known as House of Pain, were making a pretty big impact themselves with their Tommy Boy Records self-titled debut album. Known for their Irish American heritage influenced lyrics and a rugged style, House of Pain rocketed up charts, making its way to peaking at number 14 on the US Billboard 200.
Now 25 years later, the epic debut is multi-platinum and marks the beginning of an outstanding career in Hip Hop for the boys out of Los Angeles, California. In honor of this special occasion, the original trio united in 2017 for their 25 Years of Jumping Around Tour. A headlining run, finding them visiting venues coast to coast, on Saturday, March 18th, the Hip Hop collective visited The Paramount in Huntington, New York for a night to remember.
Fittingly landing on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the evening would be full of excitement, and it all kicked off with a little help from the rapper everyone knows as Slaine. Slaine, a Hip Hop MC and actor out of the very Irish city of Boston, Massachusetts also happens to be Everlast’s partner in crime a part of La Coka Nostra. Dropping a list of records solo, Slaine is out on the road supporting his latest effort, 2016’s Slaine is Dead.
Amped up, the crowd was greeted by a very energetic Slaine, who performed many of his own cuts, including the title track off his latest album, Slain is Dead. Keeping the flow going, he dished out his most famous hit, “99 bottles,” a song from his popular 2011 album, A World Without Skies. With bouncy yet tough beats, Slaine had the crowd’s hands in the air, reciting words, and having a blast. While his set may have seemed too short, Slaine would return later on, but in his spotlight, did a fantastic job pumping up the room for the guests of honor.
As the audience roared when DJ Lethal was finished, an even louder eruption occurred when the groups rappers Everlast and Danny Boy took to the stage. Everlast, being born in West Hempstead, Long Island, certainly knew the hometown crowd was showing him some extra love, and Danny Boy felt the energy as well. Ready to go, to quote Everlast himself, they were ready to show Long Island why everything was the same as it ever was.
Without further ado, they blasted into the classic 1994 track “Back from the Dead,” all while a very loud crowd somehow got even louder. Going on to perform one legendary song after another, they easily breezed through prime cuts such as “On Point,” “Put On Your Shit Kickers,” and “Shamrocks and Shenanigans.” Mixing in “Put Your Head Out” and “Top o’ the Mornin’ to Ya,” it quickly became apparent just how much fun the fellas were having on stage together, and that feel bled quickly into an already excited crowd.
Sprinkling in surprises along the way, those who are fans of the 1993 Hip Hop Comedy Who’s the Man? were treated with the title track by House of Pain off that very soundtrack. Inviting everyone to bounce and throw their hands in the air, if you closed your eyes, you would swear it was 1994 all over again. Even La Coka Nostra devotees were given a taste of the action as Slaine made a return to perform “Bloody Sunday,” the lead track off their 2009 debut album, A Brand You Trust.
Through it all, the stand out moment of the show was when Everlast picked up his acoustic guitar and sang what he called the first Gangsta Rap song ever, which turned out to be Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Proving his own spice to the track, it was a flawless segue right into his most well-known solo hit, 1998’s “What it’s Like.” Offering up a rendition that was so tight and heartfelt, it became a six minute version with each member of the live band backing Everlast taking turns riffing on their instrument. The only shame is that no one captured this amazing moment on video, sort of surprising in 2017, but perhaps it just shows how enthralled patron were in the performance that they did not even think twice to pick up their cellphones.
With a few more tricks up their sleeves, of course, as even Everlast knew what everyone had come there to do, they closed out the set with their chart-topping 1992 hit “Jump Around.” To the surprise of no one, The Paramount went ballistic as everyone jumped around and devoured the moment.
Mirroring the atmosphere of an early ’90s Hip Hop show, House of Pain successfully transported everyone back 25 years. Everlast, Danny Boy, and DJ Lethal know the fans are the reason they are still able to do this and it shows that they understand that, showing tremendous respect to them with the killer setlist gifted out. This well-oiled machine knows how to throw down, get a crowd going and rock the mic.
In enough words, any true Hip Hop head who misses them are missing a historic event straight out of the golden era of the genre. By the looks and sounds that they dished out, if not told, most people would be surprised to know House of Pain’s alumni are all in their late forties, yet show the vitality of men in their twenties. If anything, they seem to be looking toward the future. More than just a nostalgic trip, House of Pain showed why, when it is time to rock a funky joint, they are still on point!
Photo credit: Ken Buglione Photography