While the lineup was rap heavy, Snoop Dogg's arrival through the Carman gates incited mass cheers amongst the crowded campus. During his set, Snoop made everyone scream, jump, wave their hands in the air, and of course, drop it like it's hot.
The music was fly but the security was tight at this year’s Bacchanal Spring Concert featuring Battle of the Bands winner CUSH, Das Racist, and the father of rap himself, Snoop Dogg. CUSH brought forth a solid, dance-inducing set that really got the crowd going---the campus group proved that they were worthy of sharing the stage with the other widely known rappers. We would argue that CUSH put on a better show than the following act, Das Racist. The rap duo wailed on the mic in a way that sounded like pure noise, and it was clear the crowd was not excited. Their lyrics attempted (and failed) to sound poetic. We feel that this rap sensation is best left on YouTube.
Thankfully, after a lackluster set from Das, Snoop---sporting a Columbia basketball jersey---arrived on the stage (45 minutes after he was set to go on) and delivered hit after hit. You may have thought to yourself before this concert, "When was the last time I listened to a Snoop album?" But singles like "P.I.M.P." and "I Wanna Fuck You" made you realize just how many tracks the artists raps on. In the first half-hour Snoop played two of his most crowd-pleasing hits from his Dr. Dre days: “The Next Episode” and “Gin and Juice,” getting the audience to bounce to the beat. He kept the crowd active by demanding that everybody do "the surfboard dance" (a hand-waving dance that mimics the way one would balance on a surfboard). Watching Snoop's set made us realize his mass appeal. He also rapped older hits like “2 Amerikas Most Wanted” and newer, more poppy songs like “Beautiful” and “Sexual Seduction.” He really had something for everybody. Maybe that’s why when the rapper asked, “Would you have Snoop at Columbia?” the audience’s response was unanimously positive.
While Snoop kept everything chill, the security paired with the inconvenient relocation of the concert was enough to kill any concertgoer’s buzz. Only people who had arrived early at the concert (gates to the main stage area opened at 1:30 p.m.) were given a stamp to be let into the West Lawn. Once the concert started at 3 p.m., access was restricted to the front part of campus, and few people were permitted to enter the West Lawn. Yes, Snoop made the concert undoubtedly bigger than last year, but we think the experience would have been better without so much security...but perhaps that's what a famous act like Snoop warrants. It would have been better space-wise if the stage was set up in front of Low steps like it usually is, but since the bleachers are already set up for graduation, this wasn't possible. While this certainly wasn’t Bacchanal’s fault, we still wish circumstances were different. In any case, Snoop made frequent shout outs to those on the steps in the back, making us all feel like we were all part of yesterday’s Columbia “gangster party.”
Photos courtesy of Spec's Jasper L. Clyatt (if you’d like to see more pictures from yesterday’s concert, check out our photo slideshow from earlier today).