Ice Cube @ The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, B.C.
written by Plus One - May, 2006
Arriving to a show midway through the opener is something that a lot of show attendees have gotten used to. Local acts or special guests usually fill that slot, and so as a fan of the headliner - you're not too bothered. Maybe you're not getting your money's worth, but at least you're not wasting it on that overpriced drink you weren't interested in downing. The problem with the bill "featuring special guests" is that you never know who that could be... At this sold-out Ice Cube show, it happened to be Tha Dogg Pound; much to my dismay (for missing parts) and delight.
Entering the show midway through Tha DPG set, I couldn't help to be drawn to the stage. Daz and Kurupt back together and before my eyes for the first time was nothing short of amazing - both living up to their records and performing hits from throughout their career - even a couple of Dre's body of work.
The reason we were all present was confirmed about 45 minutes later, when the Don Mega himself and WC emerged. With the venue in complete darkness, Ice Cube proclaimed what he and Dre frequently utter - "I started this gangsta sh*t / And this' the motherf***in' thanks I get?" before "Natural Born Killaz" kicked it, and 2/3 of Westside Connection ran out.
Throughout the relatively short, but definitely overwhelming set, Cube performed a wide array from his catalogue; N.W.A. verses, his hits "Pushin' Weight," "We Be Clubbin" and "It Was A Good Day" as well as Westside Connection anthems and material from his forthcoming album "Laugh Now, Cry Later."
His acting and self-promoting side shone through. Firstly via an abrupt staging of him finishing his set prematurely, WC assumed the role of the audience's friend - appalled at Cube performing only five songs and leaving. We were then convinced to beckon Cube back to the stage by cursing his name. Secondly, Cube overly mentioned his album release date, even utilizing a call back response with the 1300+ audience to re-iterate the date which his album would find its way onto shelves.
The stage presence of Ice Cube and WC enveloped all those in attendance. Their performances mirrored that on record, and their energy brought the material to life. The huge inflatable "W" hand sign in the back didn't hurt enhancing the atmosphere either. In short, if Cube or WC (or Dogg Pound for that matter) pass through your city; go! If you can get tickets in time, it'll be worth it.