As a white guy barreling towards middle-age, naturally I decided to go solo to a Snoop Dogg show at Terminal 5 Monday night. After printing my ticket, I noticed the Doggfather was sharing top-billing with Wiz Khalifa. I don’t know a lot about Wiz but figured he’ll do a few songs and bow out to Snoop, right?
The cloud of smoke hovering around the line to get into the show rivaled one at a methodone clinic – just substitute Marlboro Reds for the chronic. Something seemed off. The crowd was skewing a little younger than I expected. Really, really young. Like never-heard-of-Lodi-Dodi-we-like-to-party young. And what’s with all the Wiz Khalifa hats and t-shirts? And the scalpers shouting, “Got Wiz tickets!” Oh no. Snoop’s now just the warm-up act?
The 45-minute wait with stoned kids was brutal. White guys in front of me passed around a joint while also sharing a container full of raw Pillsbury crescent rolls. Next to those savages, a few Asian girls were trying to one-up each other with study abroad stories (“The Shakira show in Argentina last semester was the craziest night of my life!”). Behind me, two black guys were trying to figure out if a girl liked one of them. Judging by his teeth, I’m gonna say no.
Then it dawned on me. I’ve heard this all before. It’s like I am watching a rerun. I lived through this 10-15 years ago. Now that I’m back, I want to change the channel.
At the end of the long wait, I was rewarded with a Guantánamo Bay pat-down by security. I’ve fathered a child with less physical contact. I made a beeline to the bar and got a beer. Halfway through my Brooklyn Lager, I realized I was the only person drinking. It was a weed and Vitamin Water diet for the rest of the crowd. People looked at me like I was drinking out of a brandy snifter.
During the warm-up act, a dead-ringer for Fat Albert offered me a hit of his joint. I passed. No one wants to see a 35-year old guy napping in the middle of the floor. Fat Al then chased his spliff with a shot of 5-hour-energy. I so desperately wanted to teach him that an energy drink ruins a good buzz – but then again, so will a lecture.
The bass started pumping and Snoop took the stage. Slim-with-the-tilted-brim didn’t disappoint. He hit all the major songs from the early years and sprinkled in a little 2Pac and Biggie. Even the young Khalifa groupies seemed to appreciate the old D-O-double-gizzle. Finally, I felt like a man enjoying a beer at a show instead of a chaperone with stoned kids not old enough to remember the Humpty Dance. Snoop finished his set and it was back to reality. Khalifa was solid but having him close out the show was like having vegetables served after dessert.
Leaving Terminal 5, a sense of inner-peace settled over me. We spend a lot of time wishing we were still young but fail to factor in an important detail: ain’t nuttin’ like the old school. Fo shizzle! (Photo: Ed Daly/ANIMALNewYork)