It’s been a long time since
And, oh yeah, he releases music sometimes, too (most recently the
So it made sense his concert at Rams Head Live didn’t feel much about the music either. Snoop — backed by a
(The warm-up party from 92Q’s DJ Angel Baby could have its own review, so here’s a short one: The excellent, effective set was filled with high-energy pop-
Snoop let the familiarity of his hits carry him throughout his brief set. The energy remained high all night, with recent hits ("I Wanna Rock") mixed with older tracks ("Snoop's Upside Ya Head" translated nicely in the live setting). When the timeless classics came mid-set — the West Coast-era defining "Nuthin' But a G Thang," "What's My Name," still one of the most confident rap songs announcing an MC's arrival ever — there was a palpable sense of euphoria in the diverse crowd.
But there was also something bland and even cheesy about Snoop’s performance. I had hoped for a full-band (or at least something with a drummer), but got a man wearing a comic dog head, doing West Coast dance moves across the stage. It also seemed strange to hear Snoop’s saccharine pop side, such as his verse on
As a performer, Snoop is serviceable in an endearingly old-school way. "Say, 'Go Snoop Dogg, go Snoop Dogg, go,'" he instructed the crowd like an MC from the late '80s. His voice has survived years of blunts and performing. His melodic, sing-songy tone and flow have held up well over the years ("Sensual Seduction" was a goofy highlight), despite the fact a back-up singer's microphone sounded almost as loud as Snoop's all night. He pitched in on every hook, adding muscle so Snoop never strained.
The show unceremoniously ended at around 11:30, less than an hour after Snoop took the stage. He milked the hook of “Young, Wild and Free” (a collaboration with
And then, before the crowd realized, Snoop was gone, walking off the stage to
Snoop hasn't had to prove anything musically for a long time; he seems content with releasing OK albums every couple years and being Snoop the Brand instead of Snoop the Gifted Rapper. So rather fittingly, his Rams Head Live set felt like he had been cut a large check to start a party (cue flashbacks to his "Old School" cameo) and then leave before it really popped off, which is a shame because I'm pretty sure Snoop can make a great host.