Live review: Snoop Dogg @ the Fillmore AuditoriumBy Colin St. John | March 5th, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Snoop Dogg, as a man, constantly wavers between his campy comedian side and a serious, gangster persona, often embracing the oxymoron of both. And his show on Friday at the Fillmore surely followed suit. Entering the venue before the show, the expected plume of pot smoke wafted forward as Snoop’s own songs rang out on the speakers. That’s right: Snoop’s DJ was playing Snoop’s songs — in an almost real-world rehash of an Aziz Ansari Kanye West joke — before he came onstage.
That same disc jockey was vocally disappointed in the amount of smoke, encouraging the audience to spark up and take the environs to cloud levels only St. Peter is familiar with.
Snoop arrived amidst much pomp and circumstance, digital bells ringing out and an assemblage of cheerleaders flailing their extremities; most of the audience members saved the experience on their smartphones. Mr. Broadus stuck to his classics, for the most part, busting out something of a greatest hits set — even for songs on which he was simply a featured guest. His bejeweled, personalized microphone raised high, Snoop and his band –steel drums and all — cycled through 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P,” which proved a harbinger of things to come: Later, Snoop’s handlers started plucking beautiful ladies from the crowd and onto the stage at a rate not seen since Mötley Crüe’s “Behind the Music.” Snoop, dressed in a loose-fitting outfit that was reminiscent of standard issue prison garb, hit upon Akon’s “I Wanna F— You” and, then the group love-friendly “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)” while women were ushered backstage. Certainly the display wouldn’t have pleased the likes of Gloria Steinem but the misogynistic proceedings were steeped in a levity courtesy of the man at the center of it all.
Snoop was a consummate showman, engaging the large audience as well as any rapper — legends and up-and-comers alike — in the game. His M.O. regularly called for half-songs, but the rapid firing allowed for everything from Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” to 2Pac’s “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” to be touched upon. The sonics were bold and clear, too — a live drummer, DJ, synth and bass pumping out the tunes. And if it all weren’t enough, the visuals were aided by a sports mascot-like dog, who prancing around smoking a giant fake joint and making unprintable gestures with his tail. He was the cartoon version of Snoop, a man already as much a myth as a human being.
Read last week’s column: Snoop Dogg is an American hero, like Bill Clinton.
John Leyba is a Denver Post photojournalist and regular contributor to Reverb.