Snoop Dogg delivered an hour-plus of his finest yesterday on Greenville Avenue for the Observer St. Patrick's Day Concert. We had a fine contingent of writers there, but I, your highly addled editor, was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-35 on the Megabus headed back from Austin. Throughout the afternoon, I watched my phone as it reported on drunkenness ("WOOO ST PATRICKS") and the crushing insanity ("I'm in hell!"), and, finally, the music ("A.Dd+ is just the best"). I put Doggystyle on my iPod, and stared out at the semis. What an amazing album.
Fortunately, the group we had on the grounds was more than equal to the challenge of documenting this. The following report was written by Brian Rash, Rachel Watts, Gavin Cleaver, Christian McPhate and Jaime-Paul Falcon. I hope you enjoyed yourself, everyone.
Last year when I saw Snoop perform at the inaugural H2o Music Festival I couldn't help but notice how easily he takes over a crowd, it's like people are simply in awe of everything the man does, and as I made my way into the performance area I noticed that it wasn't a one off thing. Mid performance Snoop asked the crowd if if they liked Rock'n'Roll, with a deafening cheer he received his answer only to respond by having his DJ play a Joan Jett cut. This random genre switch bothered no one, as a group to my left immediately started singing along. Put another dime in the jukebox baby, indeed.
Half-expecting to be baked by proximity alone helped to carry me through six blocks of drunken hell, a herding of attendees as security processed us through the chutes and a small force of Dallas PD who attempted to cage the Lion before he made his appearance.
Yet, as the Sublime tribute band harnessed the spirit of Bradley Nowell, the brave few who sparked the Lion's hypnotic cigarettes were in for a surprise when a trio of Leprechauns appeared and stole the magical joints.
Watching stoners search for leprechaun thieves normally would make for good entertainment if it weren't for the constant threat of the police. The long arm of the law was quick to jump over fences to pull agitated drunks from the crowd. Whatever happened to policing ourselves?
As Snoop Lion walked out with a trio of Army Strippers, the rather large leprechauns burrowed deep into a sea of green-haired maniacs to share Snoop's love with the crowd by taking puffs off the Lion's cigarettes between drags from their Swisher Sweets. But they didn't have to worry. By the end of the night, the Dallas P-D was falling under Snoop's hypnotic lyrics.
As hundreds of people wait in line to be granted entrance into the Energy Square parking lot to see Snoop Dogg (Lion) perform, it's 3:30 p.m., and Bad Fish, the sublime Sublime cover band is playing the date rape song. Everyone is snaking around the seemingly infinite labyrinthine line created by metal guard rails. A drunk Irishman-for-a-day high fives everyone behind him, now facing him, in the guard rail maze. "High five if you want gonorrhea!" he tells all that high-five him as Bad Fish finishes their song: "And he now takes it in the behind..." The irony is not lost.
I know everyone likes to joke around about the Snoop Lion name change and the jump into reggae, but I'm looking forward to it. The Major Lazer track is pretty damn great and the Bunny Wailer song Snoop covered was pretty damn great live. Even the lead single "No Guns Allowed" sounded pretty decent in a live setting.
Hands down my favorite part of Snoop's live show is the poor bastard running around in the Dogfather costume. It's like he's a rejected College mascot who fell in with a rough crowd and eventually started to kick it with Snoop when things started to look their bleakest. Also, it's got to be ungodly smelly and hot in that thing.
People really like to imitate the tongue popping sound from "Drop it like it's hot" as soon as Snoop launches into the jam people are grinding and tongue popping. None of these people are Pharrell Williams and all of them are really bad at this.
I swear sometimes it feels like Dallas is in a perpetual state of adolescence, the crowd for Snoop feels like they're no where near as coherent as the words their singing along to. Maybe it can be chalked up to hearing these songs none stop for 20 some odd years, I'm not judging, I'm just amazed that no one flubbed a single lyric during "Gin&Juice"
If anyone was in the VIP section, they are aware of one drunk guy in particular, who almost ruined everyone's good time: a tall bald guy who kept jumping up and down and running around and jumping up and down in people's faces and stepping on people's feet, including those of a female security guard, who gave him the "you're about to get kicked out" look.
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As Snoop Dog launched into his & Wiz Khalifa's hit "Young, Wild and Free" the amassed crowd of boozed up Dallasietes took turns singing along to the ode to immature deeds, and grinding on each other with a carelessness rarely seen in broad daylight. Never one to let his his crowd's energy die, Snoop called for the masses to live the day and night young, wild and free, eliciting raucous cheers as the music played him out. If there's one thing you can take from Snoop's set, it's that no matter what you think about his career, his legacy, or his name change, it's that the guy's a pro.