Snoop Dogg gives Vancouver some classic Doggystyle

Snoop Dogg with Cypress Hill, Method Man and Redman @ Rogers Arena 14/4/17

Photo by Ryan Johnson
Photo by Ryan Johnson

Snoop Dogg spent his Friday night (April 8) at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena surrounded by one of the most party-hungry audiences the city has offered up to a performer this year so far. That is not to say that the arena was in a state of absolute mayhem, but Vancouver is known for its shockingly lackluster audiences and Snoop certainly did not get one of those. Upon entering Rogers Arena that night, ticket holders were immediately greeted with a heavy cloud of cigarette smoke, and we do mean heavy. The air started to smell a little more like something green as the show progressed from openers Cypress Hill, Method Man and Redman to the star attraction. But at the admission of some of the arena’s own employees, the vibe was a lot less friendly than the venue’s other 2017 shows. This could be seen in multiple confrontations between fans before the show even got rolling.

Snoop greeted the crowd in a Canuck’s jersey, which certainly earned him props as he gave the mandatory Vancouver shout out. Leading off with “Still D.R.E.” was a smart move, as it is definitely one of the most beloved rap songs out there and makes its way easily to the lips of concertgoers. Snoop was chill. Probably too chill, as he barely moved from the center of the stage. His on-stage counterparts—which included a man in a mascot dog suit who at one point donned a fake giant floppy penis—kept things energetic. Two female dancers spent a great deal of time gyrating around Snoop, with gave the whole scene a very music video-y feel. The twerking dancers on the backdrop helped that as well, as did the expected continuous marijuana propaganda.

The rapper, vocally, was just like he always has been. He’s smooth, laidback in his delivery and hasn’t missed a beat in years. It would be nice if he could move around a little bit more to his own catchy music when performing live, but he isn’t changing soon and it’s doubtful that true fans care much. Shows like this one remind fans just how many big names he has collaborated with and known. Snoop dove into quite the setlist from 50 Cent’s “P.I.MP” to Dre’s “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” and “The Next Episode” and Biggie Smalls’ “”Hypnotize”.  After a Tupac cover Snoop urged the crowd to address his late friend, “Say we love you. Say we miss you”. Of course nowadays you can’t have an American performer on a stage without them bringing up Donald Trump, and for Snoop that spawned a foray into his song “Revolution”. From “Drop it Like It’s Hot” to “What’s My Name”, Snoop didn’t skip anything essential. He even went into a little of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”. One of the more endearing parts of the evening had Snoop’s late cousin Nate Dogg’s face on the giant screen and the rapper breaking into “Ain’t No Fun”. Multiple tracks from Doggystyle had the audience lighting joints and screaming, the least of them not being “Gin and Juice”.

Of course Snoop had to light up onstage, especially after asking the audience if anyone had him on their bucket list. Many voiced their desire to smoke a joint with the Dogg. In essence, this tour is a pulsating jukebox for rap fans. There isn’t anything overly special about it, except maybe the focus on rap’s greats. Snoop is a treasure in the genre’s repertoire, despite not always giving off too much pizazz.