This weekend we had the pleasure covering the “How The West Was Won” at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine. It was a who’s who of West Coast legends on the bill like, E40, Too Short, DJ Quik, The Game, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg. One of the opening acts was Tha Eastsidaz with Tray Deee and Goldie Loc. Tha Eastsidaz did all their hits and even brought out West Coast super producer DJ Battlecat, who produced their smash hit “G’ed Up”. The crowd was still making their way into the venue, so Tha Eastsidaz didn’t rock to a packed house, but the fans early enough to catch their set were feeling it.
The show was a perfect mixture of LA and Bay Area legends. The Bay Area was represented by Too Short and E-40, and they did not disappoint. Too Short took the stage first and ran thru his many hits in his smooth style with no hype man. Short did songs like “Freaky Tales”, “Getting It”, “Blow The Whistle” and the crowd knew every word. His performance was typical Short with nothing out of the ordinary just straight to the point. He segued into E-40 set which was the total opposite, high energy and high octane. E-40’s music was a crowd pleasure as he took us on a musical ride down memory lane. The great thing about an E-40 show is that you know all his song and you are highly entertained. One of the highlights of his performance, and had the crowd at a frenzy, is when he performed “Tell Me When To Go”. I saw people standing in line for the bathroom dancing like they were in the front row.
The eccentric DJ Quik was next up and the crowd was probably at capacity by his performance. Quik is a musician, so he added the live band to his show making it perfection. He ran through his hit with one of the crowd favorite being “Can U Werk Wit Dat” minus AMG. Sugafree joined Quik on stage to perform a few of their hits together and the crowd was hyped. Sugafree’s unorthodoxed style is a hood favorite and it showed with the crowd. Mack 10 also joined him on stage and performed his West Coast classics.
One of the only newer artists on the line-up was The Game. He has a lot of hit records and with the help of his hype man/best friend AR, they rocked the crowd flawlessly. The Game even found time to diss 50 Cent and the G-Unit, to the roar of the crowd.
The 2 biggest stars of the night were Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg. Ice Cube set it off with a plethora of hit records dated back 1990. He was joined on stage by WC as they performed the songs “Jackin’ For Beats”, “Today Was A Good Day” and “Bow Down” to name a few. Even though Ice Cube is a huge movie star now, it was great to see him keep it authentic with the music. Him and Dubb-C worked perfect together and even got their walk on for the crowd.
Last but definitely not least, was the Doggfather, Snoop Dogg, closing out the night. I was happy to see him be more Snoop Doggy Dogg and not Snoop Lion or Snoopadelic during this show. The crowd was on their feet the entire time with Snoop rocking hit after hit. Snoop had Daz from the Dogg Pound dj’ing for him with Kurupt as his hypeman for a few songs. The highlight for me was when he brought Tha Eastsidaz out to perform with him. It was good to see Snoop and Tray Deee share the same stage.
Overall, How The West Was Won was one of the most entertaining shows in recent memory because of the line up. It was solid and the artist brought their “A -Game.” This was a great way to toast the West Coast! Salute to the OG’s!
(Stay tuned for our backstage interviews with some of the Legends of the night).
Photo Credit: Jorge Ortiz