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POP MUSIC REVIEW

Machismo -- in its many forms

P3 is all about power: power cars, power sports and the power sounds of Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and 213.

October 06, 2003|Steve Baltin | Special to The Times

The most popular themes of the day between songs at Saturday's P3 event: smoking weed, and alcohol and sex (although that was not the term used by artists on stage).

Power 106's day-long celebration of music, cars and sports at the Hyundai Pavilion at Glen Helen in Devore was, for better or worse, all about the party.

Despite the lack of substantive things to say, or maybe because of it, the nearly 30,000 fans who made the trek to see one of 250 custom cars on display, witness the exhibitions of skill in the Nike "Power Sports" area or "Get Low" to the beats of Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and others did not likely leave disappointed.

Amid the day's "Girls Gone Wild" mentality, there were some strong musical performances, including the much-ballyhooed reunion of 213 -- Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Nate Dogg -- which more than lived up to its hype.

Of the early performers on the main stage, a couple stood out. Detroit rapper and Eminem protege Obie Trice turned in a solid performance despite poor sound that made his raps largely undecipherable, and Murphy Lee, a member of Nelly and the St. Lunatics, really revved the crowd up with his 20-minute set, which was noteworthy for his infectious pop hooks and crowd-pleasing stage presence.

After several years of marginal success, Atlanta's Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz are enjoying a wave of popularity with the hit single "Get Low," and they took advantage of that Saturday. The group's menacing, metal-inspired beats were a perfect complement to frontman Lil John's harsh vocals.

Perennial West Coast favorite Xzibit continued in the musical vein of Lil Jon, showcasing his own gruff vocals and aggressive beats on such favorites as "X" and "What's the Difference."

Atlanta's Ludacris used his time at the concert, sponsored by radio station KPWR-FM, to showcase old favorites such as "Ho" and "Rollout (My Business)" and preview material from his new album, including the single "Stand Up." In keeping with the machismo theme of the night, the quick-tongued MC combined his playful raps with some harder-edged beats.

The most anticipated set of the night was headliner Snoop Dogg and his reunion with 213. The reunion didn't take place until nearly 45 minutes into Snoop's set, but no one was complaining.

Backed by a live band, Snoop displayed his more soulful side, taking advantage of the fuller sound the band provided to add heavy R&B flavor to some of the Snoop family's signature tunes, including "Regulate," by Warren G and Nate Dogg. The mutual respect and affection among the trio provided one of the sincerest moments of P3 and left the night on a high note.

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