Friday, 21 October 2011
Xzibit - The Garage, Glasgow. 19/10/11
For the second time in a fortnight I traveled to Glasgow to experience the unbridled joy that is provided by G2 (Not the main venue, just round the back!) Fortunately, there were no fights outside this time. The entrance, though, was surrounded by a litany of unsavoury characters, someone helpfully shouting "RUFF RYDERS!" at me as I entered. Though it is always nice to see appreciation of DMX, The LOX and the work of Swizz Beatz, we were all here to see Xzibit (perhaps he was a Drag-On fan?). There was a VIP package offering 3 CD's, a t-shirt and 15 minutes backstage with X, but I respectfully declined, preferring to take my chances in the crowd.
After keeping us waiting just a tiny bit too long (after Snoop Dogg arrived an hour late I'm prepared to forgive more minor tardiness), X took to the stage, sparking the set off with new single 'Xzibit v. The State of Hip Hop'. Aided by hype man Young De, the West Coast veteran bounced across the stage, regularly flashing his cheesy grin as the more familiar fare took over the set list. 'Front 2 Back' and 'Get Your Walk On' were highlights of a Restless heavy focus, with 'Alkaholic' predictably sending the crowd into a frenzy. The rapper outlined his credentials, asserting that he could drink more than "any motherfucker in this room!" Any hopes of witnessing him down a pint of Tennent's were swiftly dispelled, but the song was played twice during the performance to a typically rowdy response.
A medley of standout verses from his association with Aftermath Records followed, hits such as 'Bitch Please', 'Bitch Please II' and 'What's the Difference' were merged to give a strong West Coast flavour to the evening. In a similar vein, 'California Vacation' was played to a rousing reception.
The gig took a sombre turn with a tribute to Nate Dogg, followed by a return to first album material with 'Paparazzi'. Though the song matched the tone of the tribute, it seemed strange that he rapper chose not to perform one of the many songs he has recorded with the late soul singer. The set list continued with the theme of 90's hits, 'What You See is What You Get' from 40 Dayz and 40 Nightz being performed with typical enthusiasm. More recent fare was thin on the ground, 'Muthafucker' from Weapons of Mass Destruction and 'Multiply' proving popular, the gig finishing with 'Thank You', a heartfelt tribute to the fans who have supported the rapper through thick and thin. The performance ended abruptly just over the hour mark, with the rapper finishing mid song and walking off the stage. His DJ carried on playing, raising hopes for an encore ('Hey Now' and 'Heart of Man' were sorely missed), but after 5 minutes it became apparent he was not to return. The crowd left puzzled, but generally satisfied by an evening with one of the West Coast's most enduring voices.