Review: Snoop Dogg at the Fillmore, 3/2/12

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Snoop Dogg is the coolest motherfucker on the planet. As last night's packed house at the Fillmore was roused by DJ Battlecat's operatic introduction of the giant, the Doggfather walked onto the stage flanked by three gorgeous dancers in Adidas jumpsuits. "Life of the Party" got the show started off right, and dammit, Snoop's still got it, never lost it, and completely owned every soul in the whole place.

Running through a lot of the classics pretty much immediately, Snoop had everybody reminiscing about his favorite drink and macking to a chick named Sadie who used to be his homeboy's lady when "Gin & Juice" dropped. He covered a lot of Doggystyle, giving a new feel to "What's My Name" and a very gangsta rendition of "Deep Cover."

The sex appeal went through the roof when the ladies changed from sweatsuits to more scantily clad attire for the slinky "I Wanna Fuck You," to which Snoop took a seat and rapped his verse while the girls slithered all over him. It was sexy as hell and even sexier when the beat dropped and the audience sang the hook over and over while the ladies did a bunch of other sexy shit. It was amazing.

"The Next Episode" captured the chemistry Snoop has with Dr. Dre perfectly, and the audience cheered with gusto when Nate Dogg's bridge took over -- hands were waving from side to side, and Snoop appeared elated with the response, showing love to Nate Dogg in the process.

Stepping to the edge of the stage to peer over at the adoring faces, Snoop announced, "And now, for our national anthem," before "Nuttin but a G Thang" blew the roof off. Unsurprisingly, he savored every single word, and even let the beat ride out while he did a little Long Beach two-step that was cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Slide show: Snoop at the Fillmore

Dressed entirely in khaki, Snoop shone beautifully as he got loose with his band. Often lost in his rap repertoire is the fact that Snoop is a really soulful guy and can actually sing. Gangsta-rap aficionados laughed at "Sensual Seduction," but you'd better believe every chick in the room would have run away with Snoop forever when that track started blaring through the speakers.

On "2 of Amerika's Most Wanted," Snoop still goes hard like it's 1996. There were "W's" waving left and damn right, and Snoop took this time to pay homage to his fallen comrade, leading the audience through chants of "We love you!" and "We Miss You!" It was kind of a touching moment.

Alternating between tracks for the ladies and the joints for the gangstas, it was all West Coast everything all night. Declaring that the next song was specifically for the ladies, Snoop used the transition (and the time for security to procure a bunch more girls) to kick a pretty fresh improved scat-styled freestyle with his band, employing an almost Slick Rick-style flow. The next song, of course, was the Pharell collaboration for "Beautiful."

Slide show: Snoop at the Fillmore

There were the classics, "Deep Cover," "It Ain't No Fun," and the songs where his feature outshone the track's originator, like "Pimp," with 50 Cent. Wearing sunglasse, his famous braids and a super-elegant strut for most of the show, and smoking baton sized blunts, Snoop Dogg was the same old Snoop, and this is most definitely a good thing. His willingness to get soulful and vulnerable with the crowd showed that he is the consummate professional who can, and likely will, play to crowds like this for years to come.

Earlier in the evening, Foodchain got things started. The Fillmore stage was filled quite nicely with the band and the crew, all of whom looked pretty natural in front of the monster-sized audience. C-1 was most noticeably impressive with the clarity in his vocals as he spit his verses, and the guys mobbed around the stage with a ton of energy.

The crowd, for their part, didn't seem to know what they were in for, but opened up about two songs in. By the time ChampSoundKillaBlack ended the set by facilitating the band's solos, there were drinks in the air and arms flailing from side to side -- evidence of a happy and warmed-up crowd. I'm pretty sure there were a pair of breasts or two flashed as well. You know, hip-hop.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal bias: I think Snoop is an excellent rapper, performer and personality, but that motherfucking khaki suit almost took me out of the game.

Random detail: His dancers were rocking shit.

By the way: Kevin Pistol was on the performance bill. Not sure if he performed early in the evening, but if he did, we missed it.

Slide show: Snoop at the Fillmore

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