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Old 10-31-2006, 12:28 PM   #1
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Snoop Dogg Concert Review in SF Chronicle. Hilarious!!

Snoop, Bay Area rappers cut through the smoke
Peter Hartlaub, Chronicle Pop Culture Critic

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It was good that Snoop Dogg for all intents and purposes turned the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium into a giant bong on Sunday night. The haze of marijuana smoke and mellow mental state of the audience made it easier to conceal the fact that the Doggfather was going through the motions for the first half of his latest San Francisco concert.

But after a lazy beginning that was heavy on his Death Row Records catalog, Snoop's predictable party train was jolted off the rails by a surprise appearance from Too Short -- followed by three generations of Bay Area rappers taking the stage for an extended freestyle. Brain cells were killed by the millions, but it was still a memorable night for local hip-hop.

Showing up more than an hour after opening act Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley ended his last song, and playing for an hour and 15 minutes with no encores, the Doggfather could have been accused of showing contempt for his audience. But not surprisingly, few seemed to notice. Perhaps the cigar-size joints being passed around the packed concert floor were affecting everyone's sense of time and space. Or maybe, after Snoop's latest run-in with the law (a running joke throughout the night), fans were just happy that the concert hadn't been canceled.

Not even close -- and that's clearly just the way Snoop rolls. He was arrested at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on Thursday and posted his $35,000 bail in time to attend Sunday afternoon's Oakland Raiders game. The allegations of illegal gun and drug possession clearly haven't been a Robert Downey Jr. moment for the rapper: Snoop on Sunday night seemed to have no intention of changing his ways.

"If I light this one, and the police come to take me to jail, which one of you going to f -- them up?" he asked the crowd, before taking a monster rip from a joint and adding another huge cloud of pot smoke to the atmosphere.

More than other kinds of music, rap works better at the house party level, with the Lambda Epsilon Omega house from "Old School" still reigning as best place to see the Snoop D-O double-G. Still, the Bill Graham Civic is still a much better venue than, say, Shoreline Amphitheatre -- and not just because of a lack of ventilation.

Just how high was everyone at the Snoop Dogg concert? Anecdotal evidence suggests that they were very high, indeed. First off, there weren't any fights. And when a fire alarm went off for more than 15 minutes before Snoop's set, no one in the crowd seemed the least bit concerned. As the warning lights strobed overhead, one dude next to me wanted to know if I could hear that "weird high-pitched noise."

Disaster was averted, and Snoop took the stage carrying a bottle of Courvoisier and a diamond-studded microphone in the shape of a pot leaf, swimming in a XXXL hooded sweatshirt that could have belonged to Death Row capo Suge Knight, even though Snoop must be 6 feet 6 and all of 165 pounds. After opening with "Ups & Downs" from his 2004 album "R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta) the Masterpiece," the set went heavy on tired renditions of "Doggystyle"-era classics, including "Gin & Juice," "Snoop's Upside Your Head" and the first half of Dr. Dre's "Nuthin But a G Thang."

But the veteran rapper and movie actor seemed sincerely excited when he introduced Too Short, talking about how the East Oakland rap pioneer's underground tapes inspired him in the mid-1980s.

"The type of music he made made me want to try this s -- ," Snoop said, moments before Too Short bounded out to perform a lively version of "Blow the Whistle" from his latest album.

As fans in the balcony seats ran down to the floor, Snoop continued to cede the spotlight to Bay Area rap, playing ringmaster to a 15-minute freestyle featuring the best of Oakland and San Francisco, including Mistah F.A.B., Keak da Sneak, Rappin 4-Tay, JT the Bigga Figga, San Quinn and two or three others on the stage at once.

The change in pace was good for Snoop, who seemed energized as he took over again and launched into Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode" (also known to Bay Area fans as Barry Bonds' on-deck theme music), followed by a couple of solid songs from a new album that is set for release next month.

After a couple more older songs, he disappeared behind the stage -- presumably to keep the party going until the next time he returns to the bay.

E-mail Peter Hartlaub at

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Old 10-31-2006, 12:32 PM   #2
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As the warning lights strobed overhead, one dude next to me wanted to know if I could hear that "weird high-pitched noise."

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Old 10-31-2006, 02:59 PM   #3
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when a fire alarm went off for more than 15 minutes before Snoop's set, no one in the crowd seemed the least bit concerned. As the warning lights strobed overhead, one dude next to me wanted to know if I could hear that "weird high-pitched noise."

HAHA. Awesome.
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:08 PM   #4
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What else do you expect at a Snoop show?

Shit, I'd be high as a kite if I were there.

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Old 11-01-2006, 09:32 AM   #5
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that's the fire izzle, muh nizzle.

Snoop rox !
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