Review: Snoop Dogg @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, March 4th, 2023
Irrespective of your personal opinion of Snoop Dogg’s persona, one thing is undeniable: his seemingly carefree attitude and commitment to unapologetically living life on his own terms is infectious.
After delays, rescheduling, cancellations and some more delays; Snoop has finally made it down to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. With him he has brought along a plethora of his classic hits and some bound to be icons from his newest album I Wanna Thank Me tour.
As someone who isn’t a massive rap fan, I was still curiously compelled to see Snoop Dogg. This could simply be because of the quirky and charming brand he has built over the last few decades, but the rapper does have an effortless and larger-than-life charisma that allows him to command the stage with a few simple movements.
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The immediate moments of the show I understood why I was here – Snoop Dogg has perfected showmanship. Before Snoop graced the stage, we watched a video of him finishing his joint, choosing his outfit and then dramatically walking down the hallway to Carl Orff’s super-dramatic ‘Carmina Burana’. And then bang, we’re off. The drama is flipped on its head and is met with pole dancing, a dancing monkey with a joint in his mouth, bright vibrant lights and one of his staple hits.
Check out ‘The Next Episode’
Though I’m placing heavy emphasis on Snoop’s persona and comedic nuance, I’m by no means intending to place any doubt in his musical ability. In fact, it’s his persona that further amplifies his use of hip-hop norms, witty wordplay and unique vocal and rapid-fire delivery. But if the underlying skill wasn’t there – there would be no Snoop Dogg.
As Snoop navigated his long list of hits, the crowd was right there with him. Controlled by his every note and intense gaze, the audience didn’t lower their arms from above their heads unless they were told otherwise.
Check out ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’
Now, I know what you really want to know. Was there an exuberant amount of weed smoking at the gig? At the risk of being hunted down by Rod Laver staff, I can not confirm or deny any such activities. However, there was a certain scent in the air, a lot of smoke and a suspicious lack of smoke machines.
The extra component that comes with Snoop’s shows does allow for some typical live music conventions to be played with. For example, instead of thousands of phone lights illuminating the stadium, it was a mixture of phones and lighters.
Check out ‘P.I.M.P’
“I gotta ask you one question before we keep going,” says Snoop. “Does anyone wanna get f*cked up with the Dogg tonight?”
“Are you not entertained!?” roars Snoop.
With incredible dancing, Monkey’s monkeying, DJ’s spinning and Snoop shooting money into the crowd with his Supreme branded money printer – you would’ve had to have been a real misery guts to not crack a smile.
Check out ‘Young Wild and Free’
“We’re not gonna sing the national anthem. We’re gonna sing our national anthem.”
In a surprising but wholesome change of pace, the lyrics of ‘Young, Wild and Free’ were displayed overhead as everybody in Rod Laver Arena came together for one last number. For what had been a high-octane show, ending on what felt like a celebration of Snoop’s career and his attitude towards life was a fitting exit.
Being lost in nostalgia, it’s easy to forget that Snoop Dogg has become one of the most recognised and beloved figures in the world of rap. His distinctive style, lyrics and flow have overcome decades of language shifts and has seen him perform with nearly every other rapper of note.
Regardless of your musical taste, the presence of Snoop Dogg is enough to carry the show and is definitely worth checking out if you’re young, wild and free.
Be sure to check out the full photo album from Snoop’s gig at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney from the 1st of March!
I Wanna Thank Me – Australia Tour
Sunday, March 5th
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday, March 7th
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Wednesday, March 8th
Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, QLD