It’s been nearly 20 years since Snoop Dogg broke away from his mentor Dr. Dre and burst onto the scene with his solo album “Doggystyle,” and on Wednesday night he shined as brightly as he did back then during the first day of the Dixon May Fair.
In a show that featured his uncle Junebug, several members of his rap group Dogg Pound crew, a guy dressed in a Dirty Dogg suit and three dancers, Snoop Dogg took his fans – they came from all over the region and filled up about three quarters of the concert area – on a journey that spanned his illustrious music career.
Snoop’s audience – comprised of people from all walks of life, backgrounds, colors and ages – had plenty of time to get ready for Snoop as he hit the stage about an hour and a half after his opening act, One Block Radius featuring Dixon native Marty James, was done warming up the crowd.
But as the sun went down, and the temperature cooled down a bit, Snoop hit the stage with the same gusto that can be heard on his recordings.
Snoop’s performance consisted of a good balance of classic tracks such as “Who Am I (What’s My Name),” “Gin & Juice,” and Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But a G Thang,” and newer hits such as “Boom,” “I Wanna Love You,” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Snoop’s promise of keeping the lyrical content clean was kept for the most part. Not so much by his audience, as many of them filled in the dirty lyrics whenever they’d get a chance. But no one seemed to be bothered by it.
The inclusion of his Uncle Junebug as well as the member of his entourage who was dressed as Dirty Dogg added a bit of comic relief to the show as they both danced on stage. A colossal sound system kept the beats pumping, mixing the right amount of bass, with Snoop’s vocals, and a drummer, keyboardist and bass player who comprised the rhythm section.
Snoop did a great job with engaging his audience, telling them “Throw your hands in the air, and wave them like you just don’t care,” and allowing them to sing along to hits such as “Young, Wild and Free.”
Snoop’s show also featured some cover songs, most notably House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” and 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” adding a bit of spice to the show. A heavy law enforcement presence permeated through the concert, anyone who started trouble was escorted out safely. But not much trouble was to be seen. At one point someone was escorted out of the show, perhaps for being too drunk or snapping photos (there is no flash photography allowed at the May Fair's concerts).
People seemed to be behaving themselves, except for those who had a bit too much to drink and those who chose to fill the air with the scent of marijuana. The law enforcement professionals and the May Fair’s security staff however did a great job of keeping things peaceful.
Snoop’s performance in Dixon was not filled with the gang violence that many of the people who were against Snoop coming to Dixon thought it would be filled with. But it was filled with the fun that many of his fans, including myself, and the Dixon May Fair Board knew it would be.
"My name is Snoop Dogg and I represent peace, love and happiness," he told the fans near the end of the show. "I feel like you love what I love, and we love what we do."
Today, The English Beat is set to take the stage. On Friday, Kellie Pickler is scheduled to entertain, Saturday is dedicated to Larry the Cable Guy and Sunday’s Demolition Derby is sure to be a hit.