Blazed and Confused in Las VegasRex Reviews | Rex | July 14, 2009 at 13:31
The kickoff show of the Blazed and Confused tour in Las Vegas was a huge success and a lot of fun. The lineup was amazing and the artists performed way better than I was expecting.
I have seen Stephan Marley before at a festival but don’t really remember it, so it was basically like watching him for the first time again and he was very entertaining. He had a kid (son maybe) on stage the whole time dancing and waving around a Jamaican flag on a stick. The arena was fairly empty while he played (less than half full i would guess) so i felt kinda bad for him. The audience wasn’t very into his show; people were constantly shuffling around and trying to find seats or leaving to go get drinks. But his musical performance was great and he was probably the best opening band I’ve seen at a concert – albeit every band in this show would normally be a headliner.
Next Slightly Stoopid came on and they were my favorite show of the night. A very hard band to classify in a musical genre, I would call them a mix of reggae, ska, punk, and jam band with a heavy Sublime influence. A pretty big band, they have a lot of rarer instruments for a band including a trumpet, saxophone and bongos. They put on an amazing show opening with a jam session for a few minutes then moving into some of their more traditional songs, often allowing for guitar and brass solos. They engaged the crowd in their performance, getting everyone up to cheer and dance. They even had a reggae singer come out for a while and sing some of their popular reggae hits.
This leads me to some of my chief complaints about the event. While the sound wasn’t terrible, it was pretty bad. There were lousy acousitcs at the venue, so often you could hear an echo which interfered with the music. I could rarely understand what the singer was saying; it just sounded like noise over all the instruments, For a $60 ticket, I expect excellent if not perfect sound.
The other major problem was the heavy police presence. Slightly Stoopid was getting the crowed pumped up throughout the show and, before one of their smoking songs, told the audience to light it up if they got it – same with Snoop Dogg. I saw at least 4 or 5 groups of people being pulled out of the seats or escorted down the hallway by the police for smoking; even saw a fight breakout between the police and a man as he tried to run away. I have no idea what happened to these people. I’m hoping they just got kicked out and not arrested or given a ticket, but i think its completely outrageous for the police to to be grabbing people out of the crowd at a concert – period. Much less at one called Blazed and Confused.
The title makes it seem like your almost supposed to be smoking – and even the music and bands are encouraging it. But you’re going to have the police arresting people for it, it’s very hypocritical of the venue and Vegas promoters. Disappointing. Coming into the concert, there wasn’t even the normal pat down from security; they just ripped your ticket and you were inside. This contributed even more to the illusion that it was okay to bring in marijuana. While I’m not complaining at the no search – I think all concerts should have it – you shouldn’t not search people, then arrested them for contraband without giving people some kind of viagra warning it’s just plain stupid.
Back to the concert. Slighty Stoopid played most of their hit songs, although I was disappointed that I didn’t get to hear my favorite song, but they jammed plenty of other tunes to make me happy. Snoop Dog performed last, and by this time the venue was pretty packed; it seemed to me like most the audience was just there to see him. Very understandable as Snoop straight rocked the house!
It been a long time since i have seen a crowd so into a performer; he knew exactly how to get the crowd going, and keep em going, not just doing a musical act, but being a performance artist as well. He setup his songs nicely. He put on Jamie Foxx’s “Blame it,” (which I think is extremely played out, but the ladies still seem to love it), and just danced around and got the crowd engaged. Everyone was standing in their seats dancing and singing along. When the song finished, he said, “Now I know what all you guys is drinking, how bout we pour me some of my favorite drink, you all know what that is!?” The whole crowd started shouting “Gin and Juice” “Gin and Juice” and he broke out into the song.
He did several songs like this, which was awesome for keeping the crowd on their feet and full into the moment. I personally am not a fan of Snoop’s newer work: I feel like he sold out in some respect and went way too mainstream. He only played 3 or 4 newer songs and the rest were classics. I have to give it to Snoop though. He is an amazing performer and it’s incredibly rare to see someone get the whole crowd involved and feeling the concert like he did.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I do think the ticket prices were way too expensive, especially considering that some of the other destinations for the tour are around $40 for premium tickets instead of a $60 minimum. For the price I paid, I felt Ishould have been on the floor, not the side balcony. The sound was a bummer, but didn’t interfere with the overall sensationalism of the show. The police presence was overkill, but for the law-abiding attendees, it wasn’t a problem.
I would cautiously recommend this show as it was a very fun concert. But for the price tag, I would definitely consider how badly you want to see the bands in the lineup – big fans of Snoop and Slightly Stoopid would say the price was worth it. But I’d say skip this one, unless you are willing to pay anything to see them.
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