Our hero over the weekend, pleasing the masses.
Monday, April 19
Here’s a truth no one will want to admit about last night’s Snoop Dogg concert: Your parents were probably there. Lots of parents, actually: possibly drinking, possibly smoking, and definitely having the time of their lives while their kids were back at home being babysat, though maybe now they’re old enough to babysit themselves.
Do the math. If someone was old enough in 1993 to buy Snoop’s full-length debut, Doggystyle, without parental guidance, and within the same year gave birth to a child, that kid is now legally allowed to roll down the street in a ’62 Impala, bumping Snoop Dogg and smoking indo (not legal, but you get the point). Fortunately for the parents of these little monsters, Brooklyn Bowl’s strict 21-and-over policy resulted in a slightly-older-looking-than-usual crowd, free to bask in a sold-out show with a set list that ran the gamut of Snoop’s career.
It would be fascinating to learn how Snoop decides on his set lists, if he in fact decides at all, because there was absolutely no coherence to last night’s program: Assisted by a DJ (and Dogg Pound Gangsta cohorts Kurupt, Daz, and Soopafly), it was more like a live Snoop Dogg playlist on shuffle. While some songs bled into others quite seamlessly, others… didn’t. At one point, He went from a 2009 hit single (“Gangsta Luv,” from the new Malice in Wonderland) into a 2003 guest verse (50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.”) into a monster 1993 single (“Gin and Juice”). See? Shuffle.
Such randomness isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though: When Snoop went into Doggystyle‘s raunchy “Ain’t No Fun,” a girl behind me bum-rushed the stage, her man in tow, yelling, “This is our song!” with no sense of irony. During “Bitch Please,” from 1999’s No Limit Top Dogg, a guy to my left yelled that was his song, and proceeded to rap every single word of it.
Snoop is aware of the depth and power of his history, and he avoids succumbing to the bad habits of younger artists who inundate the crowd with pleas to buy their new album. To put it mildly, the guy has a lot of albums available for purchase, and treats us like we already own them all and listen to them all the time. Your favorite song is his favorite song to perform, as proven by the enthusiasm he mustered while doing “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” for what has to be the 5,000th time. He remembered every word to every song he performed during his hour-long set, and seemed to know exactly when to let the crowd take over and finish the lines. On tracks like “Sexual Seduction,” he sashayed, shimmied, and winked to his female fans; when the time came for a more aggressive front on songs like “Deep Cover,” the Dogg showed his teeth. By the time he concluded by running his newest single, “I Wanna Rock,” into his very first solo hit, “What’s My Name?”, the message was clear: Snoop is a legend, and even though his albums still carry Parental Advisory stickers, they’re free for all ages to enjoy.