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"Cali to Saskatchewan" - Snoop Dogg makes tour stop in Saskatoon (June 19/2024)

Updated: Jun 24

by Scott Roos

photos by Scott Roos/Scotty the Rooster Photography

This past Wednesday, June 19th Snoop Dogg’s “Cali to Canada Tour” rolled into Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to play to a packed house at SaskTel Centre. The marathon-like event, verging on four hours from start to finish, resembled more of a festival extravaganza with four support acts, pole dancers, back-up dancers, a fairly elaborate stage set and light show and, of course, the man, myth, and/or legend himself: Snoop Dogg. Collectively, from start to finish, it was a raunchy, ganjafied, funk infused evening and the multi-generational audience took it all in enthusiastically. 

Opening things up was Canadian hip hop act Merkules. Throughout his short set, Merkules expressed gratitude to the audience and also took the opportunity to thank those who had supported him throughout his career. He even brought out and introduced his wife and father who had been watching from side stage. Merkules has been in the game for a while but, with a recent signing to Death Row Records, it will be interesting to see where things will take him next. Opening for Snoop on this tour is certainly a giant leap in the right direction. His performance was engaging and memorable. Overall, Merkules presented as honest and authentic. 

Next up was DJ Quik who showed great versatility by spinning some great tunes and performing some of his own material. He had great stage presence with what appeared to be a more “off the cuff” style delivery, responding to what he perceived were the crowd’s wants and needs. If Merkules was the “hometown hero” Quik came off as the capable opener, getting the party started and amping up the energy in expectation of Snoop’s arrival.

West coast legend Warren G, the Regulator came out next performing a smattering of songs that included “Regulate”, his most well known tune. His relaxed nature on stage combined with a smooth, laid back delivery was a nice precursor to Snoop. The stage was now set. Game on.

Finally, after a few hours of thoroughly entertaining openers, it was time for Snoop Dogg to take the stage. Rolling up in a cloud of smoke, in a blue convertible, marijuana cigarette in hand, the man himself entered to the rhythmic beats of “The Next Episode” and things kept moving onward and upward from there. Snoop’s set was permeated with many of his most well known songs like “Murder Was the Case”, “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, “Who Am I? (What’s My Name), and of course, “Gin and Juice”. On top of this, Snoop regaled the crowd with several well placed covers as he paid homage to the history of the hip hop genre which included the borderline bizarre addition of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”. But, no matter as the audience loved it. There were fitting tributes to Biggie with a spot on rendition of “Hypnotize” on top of one in kind for Tupac with “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”. From start to finish both sets that Snoop played were nothing short of amazing. As he sauntered across the stage in that classic Snoop Dogg style uniquely his own, he proved to be dynamic and engaging in only the way an artist of his caliber and stature can be. 

In between Snoop's two sets, it should be noted, hip hop duo Tha Dogg Pound performed, providing a nice buffer for the Snoop Dogg material. Similar to Snoop’s sets, Dogg Pound members Daz Dillinger and Kurupt played a smattering of their most well known songs and a few cover tunes. They also came out to perform a few times during Snoop’s second set as did Warren G. The Lady of Rage was on hand and performed “Afro Puffs” to a strong reaction from the crowd as Snoop looked on appreciatively. 

All in all, the Saskatoon stop on Snoop Dogg’s “Cali to Canada Tour” gave those in attendance a lot of music to appreciate, and a lot of variety to explore. The production quality was top notch and every artist that performed on this night was on point. Snoop Dogg himself, however, showed why he is that “next level” artist. The carnival like atmosphere came to a close with a spirited singalong rendition of "Young, Wild and Free". The legend had made it all look easy and the audience loved him for it. 

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