One word sums up the atmosphere at South Lake Tahoe’s Hard Rock Casino’s Vinyl on Friday night: Overdue.
The show was headlined by Warren G, one of a handful of ’90s Los Angeles-area rappers whose sound defined G Funk, the indo haze and bass-heavy groove West Coast sound that Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Warren G took to the international airwaves.
Coincidentally, as midnight rolled around, recreational marijuana became legal in Nevada. And a half-hour later when Warren G took the stage, there’s a strong a possibility that there may have been no higher place in the state than the packed room of the Hard Rock’s club Vinyl.
His first ever Tahoe appearance, G took the stage in his uniform white T and opened with a couple of his singles off of his debut album “Regulate … G Funk Era” before leaning into the crowd for a light. Smoke wafted thick into the beams of the stage lights as the crowd responded to the moment with an almost celebratory air.
Backed by only his DJ, G asked the crowd about midway through his set if there were any women in the audience who wanted to get onstage and dance, to which he was met with an enthusiastic response by someone who pointed out that she had made the drive from San Francisco for the show, before dropping, twerking and shimmying around an amused G for the next song.
A frequent collaborator with Snoop Dogg, G climaxed his set with a call-and-response rendition of “Ain’t No Fun If The Homies Can’t Have None” from Snoop’s “Doggystyle” album, and concluded with “Regulate” where his mic held in the air let the entire room handle the lyrics.
Fans of hip-hop might find a dearth of big name shows in the Tahoe area, but Friday night’s show brought out a packed house and may have been the most fitting way to usher in Nevada’s recreational cannabis.
Openers, Galactik Vibes, delivered rapid fire hip-hop, their beats getting the crowd’s hand in the air early, and traded interaction with a live mural artist who was posted at the edge of the stage painting onto a 4-foot tall panel through out the night’s sets.
Nevada City’s Soulmedic gave a Shaggy-like delivery over bass-heavy dancehall beats, imploring a message of positivity in his genre-tight vocals. It was Soulmedic who still had the stage as midnight hit, asking, “Where my ganja people at” to the roar of a very like-minded crowd.