Bongwalk Empire Lights Up Atlantic City on April 20

Action Bronson signs someone's New Balance shoe while performing April 20, 2024 at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City

With more marijuana dispensaries than casinos Atlantic City was the perfect homebase for Boardwalk Empire on April 20, 2024.

Billed as a special 420 celebration, Cypress Hill brought along their premium buds – Souls of Mischief, Action Bronson, and Sublime with Rome to Etess Arena at Hard Rock Atlantic City to partake in what has become the official unofficial holiday for weed smokers.

Bongwalk Empire April 20, 2024 at Hard Rock Atlantic City

With the three newest dispensaries, Legal Distribution, SunnyTien, and Bakin’ Bad, all opening within the past month and within a few blocks of each other on Atlantic Avenue, not to mention the newly opened High Rollers Dispensary at The Claridge, the city is set to become the cannabis capital of The Garden State.

More than 30 years after its debut album, Souls of Mischief took to the stage, swirling with energy. The Oakland, California-based hip-hop group still has its original lineup A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, and Tajai and played some hits from their first album, including the title track “93 ’til Infinity.”

Action Bronson took to the stage full of energy. The star of “Fuck That’s Delicious” was backed by Human Growth Hormone featuring Yung Mehico on saxophone, who tore into the instrumental side of tracks like “Live From The Moon,” “C12H16N2,” “White Bronco,” and “Mt. Etna.”

Bronson used most of the stage while Human Growth Hormone held it down, even taking time to sign someone’s New Balance shoe. He had fun on tracks like “Dmtri,” “Latin Grammy’s” and gave plenty of space for Mehico to shine on “Capoeira.”

Of course, the crowd was with him, reciting every line from “Actin’ Crazy” and “Baby Blue.”

Although I remember when Kurt Cobain died when I was around 9 years old, I remember a couple of years later hanging out in the hallway when my friends talked about “Sublime” and the death of the band’s frontman, Bradley Nowell.

More than Jerry Garcia, Cobain, Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon, or anyone who died and could have been idolized, it was Nowell. That ’96 self-titled album was played so much that by the time I got to high school, I had just about sworn off the band.

Today’s iteration of the band Sublime with Rome includes former Sublime members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh and singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez. This is the band’s last tour, as Jakob Nowell announced his plan to bring back the Sublime label for his own iteration of the band, which will begin next year.

Ramirez carried himself as the frontman and did album-worthy renditions of Sublime tracks like “Doin’ Time,” “Smoke Two Joints,” “Blessings” and “Wrong Way.”

The band’s cover of “Scarlet Begonias” from the band’s 1992 album “40oz. To Freedom” was better than the album version and I had to stop when I heard Post Malone’s “Goodbyes” being hearlily sung by Ramierz.

It was tracks like “Santeria,” “What I Got,” “Badfish,” and “April 29, 1992 (Miami)” which really hit me in a different way despite hearing them for most of my life.

Headliners for the evening and aruably for the April 20 holiday Cypress Hill members B-Real, Sen Dog and Eric Bobo came out blazing after DJ Lord made his intro.

The group made their presence felt in the Etess Arena like the baby-arm sized joint they were passing amongst the members firing on all cylindars for thier set.

While many were waiting for “Insane in the Brain,” I thought the band’s best moment came early with a mashup of “Roll It Up, Light It Up, Smoke It Up,” I Wanna Get High,” “Cisco Kid” “Dr. Greenthumb” and of course “Hits From the Bong,” sung in triumph.

Souls of Mischief perform April 20, 2024 at Hard Rock Atlantic City.
Souls of Mischief perform April 20, 2024 at Hard Rock Atlantic City.

You can see Cypress Hill on Sunday, May 12, at Salvage Station in Asheville, North Carolina, and Tuesday, May 14, at Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC.

See Action Bronson on Sunday, Sept. 15, at Sea Hear Now in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Sublime with Rome on their farewell tour on June 15 at the All-Star Amphitheater in Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia, and Aug. 22 at the Wind Creek Event Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.