There is no doubt that when you label your tour #THEHIGHROADTOUR and you are Snoop Dogg, you are directly speaking to the cannabis-smoking culture of our society. In this latest joint tour of Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, at least three marijuana-related companies were sponsors; but then again it seemed the entire night was a running advertisement for various companies that sponsored the tour. Commercial after commercial flashed on the screens that were highly visible on the edges of the stage throughout the night, even continuously rotating during the various acts.
The idea of having a MC/DJ for the night, DJ Drama, in theory is exactly what this show needed; someone to build hype, keep the audience dancing and make sure everyone is having a great time. After all, there were fans that paid $250 to be VIP’s in the pit area of the Austin360 Amphitheater. But, after attending many Snoop shows over the years, aren’t ALL the fans VIP? However, throughout the night, various periods of silence occurred in between sets, leaving people scratching their heads as to what was going on and, ultimately, forcing people to go get that beer they were thinking about 30 minutes prior when their cottonmouth began setting in.
Opening acts Casey Veggies and Jhene Aiko got the audience moving, despite a stifling humidity which was a residual of heavy thunderstorms the Austin-area experienced earlier in the week. Security was quick to pass out cups of water to those near the front of the stage. We still observed at least 3 small women get carried out of the pit section probably due to some degree of heat stroke.
Fans of Wiz Khalifa undoubtedly knew who Kevin Gates was, after all, Wiz had Gates signed to his management company in 2012. Although Gates never was part of Wiz’ ‘Young Money Entertainment’ record label and in fact released his music under his own label, ‘Bread Winners Association’, before signing to Atlantic Records, his prolific releasing of mixtapes had fans eager to hear tracks from his newly minted Murder for Hire 2, which dropped a mere three months ago was was well-received by the full crowd.
The most interesting thing about the somewhat unlikely pairing of Snoop and Wiz on a tour isn’t their age-gap of 15 years, but the fact that when you pair them together on stage, the energetic draw of their combined star power is enough to make even the most casual fan listen closer and know that the next song about to be performed is even stronger than the song before it. Yes, it was true that there were some fans JUST there for one of the two mega-artists, but you were more likely to find audience member after audience member singing just as loudly to “Gin & Juice” by Snoop as to “We Dem Boyz” by Wiz.
Snoop’s longevity as an incredible hitmaker and performer paired with Wiz’ high energy club anthems couldn’t have gone together any better. That was clear that even with new collab songs by the duo such “Young, Wild & Free” and “See You Again.” As large inflatable RAW rolling paper-sponsored joints were passed around to the audience in the pit, the entire nearly-sold out crowd was dancing and on their feet. Concert-goers young, old and everyone in between (including the laid back security), had an incredible night that will not soon be topped by another mega-tour.