Sunday, September 15, 2013
Concert review: Snoop Lion brings lethargic swagger to WinStar
He's got a new name, but his show leaned heavily on his rough-around-the-edges roots.
THACKERVILLE, OKLA. Clouds of smoke and a massive Rastafarian-tinted flag with Snoop’s grinning mug took over WinStar World Casino and Resort’s main stage Friday night. Snoop shuffled out 30 minutes late to reggae tune “Here Comes the King” with army-clad backup dancers who, at times, stole the show.
His 2013 album Reincarnated and documentary release has brought a new persona to the hip-hop superstar, who now goes by Snoop Lion. Snoop has slowed the pace of his songs with steel drums and a more lethargic swagger on the record, as if he were a current-day Bob Marley. But that new Snoop was fleeting on Friday, as his stage show leaned on his rough-around-the-edges roots.
His 20-year, multi-platinum career includes tracks ranging from Dr. Dre to his pop collaborations with Katy Perry and Akon. This hip-hop hopscotch came to live on stage, with songs like 1993’s “Serial Killa” and 2006's Akon’s “I Wanna Love You.” The latter brought the song’s strip-club setting to life, leaving little to the imagination as three back-up dancers used chairs as props.
Snoop's infectious, rosy disposition won over the crowd, but his rendition of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” was the buzzkill. But the crowd was flying high again with “Ups & Downs” (featuring a sample of the Bee Gee’s track “Love You Inside Out”) and the street-smart track “Gin and Juice.”
Between puffs, Snoop demanded crowd chants, making the setting feel more like a hazy living room party than an Oklahoma casino. He didn’t miss a chance to pay homage to his fallen friend Tupac Shakur on the 17-year anniversary of his death with “Gangsta Party.” Then after only 60 minutes, the nostalgia was over with final tracks “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” and light-hearted “Young, Wild & Free.” Every living room party has to end -- at least for the crowd.