Concerts

West Coast All-Star Tour feat. Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube, Comerica Theatre, 9/14/2012

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The mid-90s were the heyday of not only Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, but also for fellow West Coast rap legend (and the tour's opener) Too Short. All three were in their prime and at their fiercest, dishing out anthems for the ghetto-fab crowd and ruling MTV. They were the scourge of white middle suburbanite parents everywhere (not to mention politicians), who got plenty of panic attacks over their teenagers blasting that "Snoop Diggy Dog" from the bedroom.

In the intervening years since the pinnacle of the gangsta rap era, the erstwhile Calvin Broadus and O'Shea Jackson have softened their image considerably though appearances in family-friendly movies and whatnot, particularly Cube via his neutered performance in Are We There Yet?.

Too Short, on the other hand, never went the same route as his tourmates and maintained his ferociousness and over the decades. While the ginormous line of people waiting to get into Comerica after a lengthy pat-down by security (guess they learned from the Clubhouse Music Venue's mistake) kept me from catching all but the last few minutes of the Oakland rapper's set, what I witnessed was pretty pimp.

He was nowhere near as fired up as Ice Cube, however. The "Don Mega" wound the clocks back to the days where he had a permanent scowl affixed to his mug, putting on a fierce performance featuring dope shit from N.W.A. and Westside Connection.

He rolled through songs like "Gangsta Nation" and "Straight Outta Compton" while backed up by his old Westside Connection partner Dub-C, who filled in for Dre on the N.W.A. songs and acted as Cube's hype man. The WC's resident DJ Crazy Toones was also on the turntables for the set, (Sadly, it looked like Mac 10 couldn't make it.)

The bass was jacked up to 11, as per the rappers' wishes, causing everyone's teeth to rattle as Cube dropped bombs on the mic.

"We want it loud, we want everybody to get their money's worth no doubt," he said.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.