Aftermath had high hopes for Devin the Dude's 4/20 concert at Warehouse Live, even though we've already seen Devin at that same exact venue performing mostly the same songs. The difference is that this is a 4/20 concert. That difference becomes clear as we approach the door, where Warehouse security guards probably spent a good two minutes scanning us thoroughly: "Empty your pockets, please." We suspect that they are hoping to find a metal lighter. It couldn't have been a gun. This guy must be high if he thinks stoners are violent people. Inside, we spot a skinny black guy rocking a variation of the Abraham Lincoln chin-curtain beard. Life has taught us to always trust a guy with an Abraham Lincoln beard. We ask about the Devin the Dude DVDs on the table in front of him. He proceeds to deliver a spiel on the need to decriminalize marijuana. Stoked by the prospect of legalization, the gentleman who goes by Shashon Jenkins had started an organization to create awareness in Georgia, Texas and Lousiana. Proceeds from the DVD sales, he claims, will go toward an effort to put marijuana on the ballot in Texas. Good luck with that, sir. Naturally, the show is about two hours behind schedule. DJ Notorious helps the crowd fill time by rattling off a rapid succession of 4/20 anthems, everything from Luniz's "I Got 5 on It" to Collie Buddz's "Come Around." One of the many teenage white boys in the crowd has trouble staying on his feet, so a security guard pulls him away and throws him out of the arena. The kid kept his eyes closed as he was being escorted out of the room; it was surreal. While the distraction provided temporary entertainment, the crowd's request for Devin to hit the stage was now rising to a violent clamor.
There's always a sense of spectacle at Devin's concerts, even with no panoramic props or animated backdrops. The crowd concocts its own mammoth display, and there's usually a communal vibe in the air. People are smoking and passing weed around the whole time. Devin finally arrives around 11:45 p.m. to the tune of "We Get High," off his latest disc, Suite 420. He's decked out in a green tee, white Kangol and white pants with a crease so sharp it could cut butter. The crowd explodes into an ecstatic roar.
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He performs "I Gotta Ho," which is exactly what it sounds liked it's about. He asks the fellas if he could bust one for the ladies and delivers one of his numerous comedic skits "Bust One for Ya" which leads right into his biggest collaborative hit till date, Dr. Dre's "Fuck You." Halfway into the show, someone offers him the largest blunt we've ever seen.
One of his weed carriers helps him hold it up. Just as they attempt to light it, Devin realizes "this ain't nothing but paper." He frowns and returns the ginormous large roll of paper. Someone else offers him a real joint. He smokes it and cracks a smile.
He concludes the show with "Doobie Ashtray" and a tribute to rapper Guru, who reportedly died on April 19th. "When people discuss the Top 10 of all time, they never mention Guru," he says, "But he got some lyrics." Devin urges the crowd to value their loved ones and called it a night.
See Rizoh's blog at www.therapup.net.