Rain had turned the Pendergast Family Farm into a proverbial mud pit prior to Friday’s finale of the DirecTV Super Fan Fest; leaving concertgoers wrestling with a choice: Stay dry (an ever popular option in the Arizona desert) or brave the rain in the name of a good time. For those who chose the latter, a soaked Super Fan Fest still provide its fair share of thrills.
With the rain rendering the parking lot into an endeavor too bold for even the biggest off-roading afficianado, patrons instead left their vehicles across the street at the site of Super Bowl XLIX. Making your way from Phoenix to Glendale, then into the Fan Fest proved to be quite the undertaking. Once inside the dirty, wet and undoubtedly irked concertgoers were appeased with a variety of attractions, libations and, of course music for their aural pleasure.
The lobster mac-n-cheese was breathtaking. The beef brisket, not so much. More importantly, the wine provided by Cupcake Vineyards was free; and flowed like the mighty waters of the Colorado River (their red velvet variety was far and away the standout). After stomachs were filled and spirits were flowing, the mood was properly set for the musical entertainment; which began after a weather delay.
As people filled in, indie songstress Ingrid Michaelson took to the HGTV Lodge Stage. Her bubbly personality was infectious. At the end of her set, she encouraged people to sing along to her single “Girls Chase Boys.” If people were unfamiliar with the lyrics, she encouraged them to sing any other tune that may have tickled their fancy. In all, the set was quirky, folksy and did not disappoint.
Up next was the California-based alternative rock band Young the Giant. Sounding like a blend of U2 and Jane’s Addiction, they ran through their own set of jams such as “Cough Syrup,” “Crystallized” and “Mind Over Matter.” Their set was far from mind-blowing; but still sufficed.
The action then moved to the Super Fan Stage located on the opposite side of the grassy field. After preparing in the appropriately named green room, the legendary Snoop Dogg made his way to the stage; armed with a live band.
Snoop Dogg channeled his inner rock star, offering his single “I Wanna Rock” and even covering Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock & Roll.” The latter was just one of many exciting curveballs he threw at the audience; the best of which was his cover of “Jump Around” by House of Pain.
In addition, Snoop Dogg also offered up many of his classics, including “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Gin & Juice” and “The Next Episode.” He gave tribute to his fallen comrade 2Pac with “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” also encouraging the gathered masses to pay their respects to the fallen Notorious B.I.G.
He played his part of his collaboration with Katy Perry “California Girls,” begging the question of whether or not there will be a repeat performance when she takes the stage at halftime on Sunday. Thus far, Lenny Kravitz is the only confirmed guest of Perry’s.
Essentially serving as his own hype-man, Snoop Dogg expertly kept the crowd engaged. The good time he was seemingly having was contagious. His eclectic setlist providing the perfect blend of classics, covers and feel-good anthems.
After Snoop Dogg finished his offering, the rain picked up and the crowd thinned out. Imagine Dragons came on next; and quickly proved that those who had abandoned the venue early made the right choice.
Perhaps due to the high people were left on by the incomparable Snoop Dogg; Imagine Dragons simply did not measure up. Their performance lacked energy; failing to keep what was left of the audience engaged. On stage they were awkward between songs. Going through selections such as “”It’s Time,” “Hear Me,” and a new song entitled “Shots;” their performance was technically sound; albeit one without any wow factor.
It was not all bad during the set. The percussion throughout was more than impressive. During their finale “Radioactive” they finally seemed to get it right. The dwindled masses demanded an encore. Once again, they were left disappointed.
In all, the evening’s entertainment was just that: Entertaining. That foreplay provided by the supporting acts was fantastic. But the climax of the show left something to be desired; as the final act failed to live up to those who had preceded it.