(All Photos – Scott Alexander)

Stanley Park is roaring with the warm-up act when I get off the bus. Here I return, the last concert I saw at the Malkin Bowl was also my first concert, Tom Cochrane. I had hoped the weather was going to hold up for the show, because last time I was here, it was pouring rain for the whole thing. Heading towards my destination, I run into two familiar faces, as we make our way through the forest, the music gets louder, then suddenly we’re there. The Malkin Bowl is tucked into the woods, and is a beautiful venue to behold.

The meadow that is the designated viewing area is separated into two halves. We have the alcoholic section to stage right, full of people that are already plastered upon arrival, with a lineup of others soon to be at that level. To stage left is the non-alcoholic section, the chill section. I find myself a cozy place to sit upon a hill overlooking the stage, and pack my one hitter. I figure, I’m in good company here. Just as I spark up, Snoop hits the stage; good timing.

Snoop LionDogg comes out rocking a mic decked out with gold bling, wearing a green and yellow hoodie as he drops one of his new reggae jams. Everyone on stage shares joints. This is my kind of party, hosted by Snoop DoggLion, I’ve never seen a show that started off on such a high note. Three female dancers come to the stage and my attention shifts, as the ladies rock their hips to the beat, I was mesmerized. As quick as they came out, they were gone again, back to reality.

Smoke plumes that floated sporadically before the show now became a soothing haze. Blue follow spots illuminate the smoke, leaving only a few rays of light appearing unhindered through the smoke. Snoop is just as chill on stage as expected. He rocks back and forth, tokes up, then disappears into the background next to the DJ, still on stage, but he’s clearly not one to hog a spotlight as he sits on a speaker while the other MC’s rock front-center. The music flows into the hip hop hits by Snoop Dogg just as naturally as his transition to Snoop Lion. The party was taken to a new level with “Gin & Juice”, as it seems to be a Snoop anthem. The haze is now a cloud, reaching beyond the tallest branches of the ancient trees towering above.

The three dancers from the intro return to the stage wearing particularly provocative clothing. See you later Snoop. These ladies are what reminds me I’m at a show. Otherwise, the atmosphere just reminds me of chilling with my friends at the beach blasting hip hop and sipping beers. I’ve never been to a show that had such a calm atmosphere, but then again, I’m not on stage right.

After a quick smoke break headed by the Lion himself, the show continues with more of the classic Snoop Dog hits while the dancers appear and disappear randomly. The people that are standing start jumping with their hands in the air when the show takes a turn, playing Run DMC “Jump”. This song always seems to wake people up. Then he hits us where it hurts, the tribute portion of the show. The tone changes instantly when “Hypnotize” hits the forest, Snoop asks us if we got love for Biggie, the crowd roars. Rest in Peace. The following song is equally as heavy as “Gangsta Party” with Tupac hits. Sideways peace signs float in the sea of arms, giving the love and respect to the fallen brothers. “Gangsta Party” is the song that introduced me to Snoop Dog as a kid. Snoop says he only has one more thing to say to us: “So what we get drunk, so what we smoke weed. We’re just havin’ fun, and we don’t care who sees” a very fitting song for the environment before me, “Young Wild and Free”. We, the audience, sing a large portion of the song for the performers, and our chants are heard throughout Stanley Park. The last song of the night is “Jammin’” by Bob Marley.

I smoke one last one for Snoop as requested, pack my things and make my way out just before most of the crowd so I could beat them to the bus, which was wise, as I didn’t see those familiar faces again. I’m stricken with a feeling of calm, a very relaxed, chill feeling. It’s because of the atmosphere of this great night in Stanley Park, having a new found respect for local police, and a continued belief that marijuana will be legalized within a few years.

By Clayton Cyre

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