Photos - hed (pe) - Nov. 21, 2002, Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH
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Marijuana, cannabis, grass, pot, THC, weed, hemp, hashish. Call it what you want, but when that smell came creeping from the stage like the fog from the smoke machine, the frenzy for hed (pe) began and didn’t let up for the entire one hour and 15-minute set.

Although never on Columbus radio, hed (pe) played the Newport Music Hall in front of hundreds of avid, die-hard fans who could sing back word-for-word any song Jahred, a.k.a. M.C.U.D. wanted to throw out there. With a rap/techno/funk and God-knows-what sound, hed has been building an army of loyal fans, most hidden beneath the dark hoodie, just like their idol Jahred.

With little movement and gut-wrenching vocals, Jahred dictates the show like a ruthless leader. Just the mere presence of Jahred in front of the wrecking crew of a band makes the crowd stand at attention. The slightest head bob and foot raised on the monitor gets the already fevered crowd slamming.

With three disks under their belt, let along countless compilations, hed (pe) has proven to be a favorite among the underground. And underground is where they want to be. Which is saying a lot for a band on Jive Records. That’s right, the same label that brought you none other than ‘N Sync and Britney Spears brings this Cheech-and-Chong band. But there is no way Jive tried to make the band something they are not, or at least, hed (pe) didn’t let them.

Columbus Police were on-hand and fast to take part in the dispatching of fans, which were caught smoking, fighting, and in most cases, both. The reputation of hed (pe) definitely led to the increase in police “protection,” as there have been many shows at The Newport with more going on and yet not one cop was there. But still touring with the newest release being from 2000 was definitely a set back, but one most fans didn’t seem to care about.

With tracks like “Killing Time” and “Boom (How you like that),” the crowd was more than satisfied listening to the old favorites. And hed (pe) was more that willing to just play. Energizing the stage pretty much solely on his own, DJ Product led the assault of monotony and carried it like the torch for the Olympics. But for some reason, monotony on stage seems to work with hed (pe). Dane Cook, is a comedy skit describing how different ethnicity’s fight, talked about three in particular. The first, were whites and how the mouth is constantly wiped. Both full-palmed and then quickly switching to the back of the wrist for a full-arm wipe. Latinos, Cook goes on to say, are always licking their lips. Meanwhile, African-Americans stand perfectly still. Like a statue. Arms at the side, slightly bent at the elbow and staring intensely ahead. Meanwhile, what makes the total stillness of the fighter even more statuesques is the fact that all the guys in the back are jumping, screaming and yelling. That was all I could think about while seeing hed (pe). Jahred was there, still, barely moving, while DJ Product made that lack of movement even more sinister by flailing around the stage like someone lit his dreads aflame.

Hed means “deep from in yo mind,” and that is where hed (pe) stays for days after their show. Whether you are a diehard hed (pe) fan or just wanted to see a great rock show, this is one band not to be missed. Don’t go looking for extravagant light shows and flashy stage antics. Just go, listen and one strong recommendation, get as close to the stage as possible. The Columbus Police cannot bust you for getting high on second-hand smoke. At least, not yet!

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