“I want to get high, get drunk and fuck.” This seemed to be Snoop Dogg’s mantra last Monday night as he performed at Portland’s Keller Auditorium. For at least a solid five minutes, Snoop Dogg and fellow Long Beach compatriots Soopafly and Daz Dillinger chanted the above statement while executing an interpretive dance. Use your imagination. But the story of Big Snoop Dogg’s Portland performance doesn’t start here. No, let me take you back a few hours.
The evening’s festivities were set to kick off at 7 p.m., which I’m told they did. Unfortunately, I was not able to arrive until roughly 9. I found my seat, located directly next to a severely intoxicated 22-year-old, who immediately informed me of her current state of inebriation and said that she planned on being loud and obnoxious. I thanked her for the drunken honesty. I inquired as to what was happening, show-wise. I wanted to catch the openers, Portland’s Lifesavas, but sadly my new drunk friend told me they had just finished up. Oh well. At least I didn’t miss the Doggfather. So I was set.
My hands were sweaty with anticipation. A DJ whose name I didn’t catch was entertaining the crowd with some hip-hop tunes. At one point, he cut to some old-school Bobby Brown, which I thought was a brilliant move. The Keller was packed. Fans littered the aisles, dancing and comparing their recently purchased Snoop Dogg paraphernalia. My favorite was two kids who were wearing their brand new Snoop Dogg T-shirts that said “Dealer” on the back. It was awesome. Then a funny thing happened. The DJ finished up his set. Then the voice of Snoop Dogg pumped through the speakers. The crowd jumped to its feet with excitement. Then nobody came out. It was soon apparent to the antsy crowd that it was simply a Snoop Dogg CD playing over the PA.
Then I waited. And waited. Then waited some more. Then the boos started. My new best friend seated next to me passed on a rumor that Snoop wasn’t even in the building. This seemed to be the most plausible of the many rumors that were floating around. I looked at my watch. It was 10. For the next hour, the crowd became more and more hostile as sporadic chants of “bullshit” would come and go and be replaced with the even more entertaining “fuck this.”
Finally, at 11, when I thought all hope was lost, something very promising occurred: Somebody walked on stage. This was exciting. It was announced that Snoop was now in the building. A few minutes later, Snoop himself, on a backstage microphone, reassured the crowd he was coming out and chided them for the booing. This was received with an even mixture of boos and cheers.
To signal the beginning of the show, a DVD intro was played on the big screen, only there was no sound. So it was stopped. A few tries later and still no sound. The crowd was now voicing its displeasure with the DVD. It was bizarre. Finally, Snoop’s DJ kicked off the show sans DVD intro only to find that now his turntables aren’t making any sounds. A few minutes later, after a flurry of soundmen onstage, the opening notes of “Who Am I (What’s My Name?)” rang through the speakers. Snoop, Daz and Soopafly hit the stage and went to work.
Unfortunately, sound issues continued to mar Snoopafella’s performance for the first half of the show. Still, Snoop did have great energy and really tried his Doggy best to move the crowd. To achieve this goal, he talked a lot about weed. How much he likes it, what he calls it, how he never really quit it – Snoop ran the gamut on weed topics. Other than some great moments like “Lodi Dodi,” “Bitch Please,” “Gin and Juice,” and a crunktastic remix of a song I have never heard (the highlight of the night), much of Snoop’s time was devoted to call and responses (I say sticky, you say sticky, that kind of stuff), chatter, and a five-minute song in which Snoop stepped to the side as his 65-year-old Uncle Junebug danced for the crowd (the lowlight of the night). By the time “I want to get high, get drunk and fuck” chanted its way into my long-term memory, I was starting to think, “I want to go home, get in bed and sleep.” After the Dogg who paid the cost to be the boss finished up his one-hour set, I did just that. Oh, and my intoxicated friend? She delivered on her promise of being loud and obnoxious. God bless her honesty.