Article: Max Rothstein
Photography: Jeremy Elder
Of all the exciting options for concerts on 4/20, perhaps no event was more anticipated than the 5th annual “Merry Jane Wellness Retreat” featuring a titanic lineup consisting of Lil Pump, Snoop Dogg, and Migos at the Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. First announced in March, this event was the clear concert to go to. No other show could compete with the outdoor festival until weather reports accurately predicted harsh cold and rain. But even with such horrid weather conditions, these three persevered and delivered the heat to save Colorado’s cannabis Christmas.
Even from the parking garage across the street, the strong smell of pot consumed the air (to no surprise). Inside the venue, conversations could be heard between concertgoers about the different strains they brought with them. More blunts were visible than cell phones and one fan even had a joint that could almost have been as long as a ruler.
Lil Pump was the first to come on and keep the crowd motivate to brace the cold weather. The second the Miami-based rapper started performing “Boss”, concertgoers flooded from the concession stands back into the venue. The once long lines of stoners at the Chick-fil-A tents were deserted in the blink of an eye. The munchies could wait. While watching Lil Pump, it was clear that he was having a hard time dealing with the cold just like everyone else. But even though his movements were slower and less animated than his usual shows due to the cold, he still brought the best he could to his performance. Owning the stage as he performed hits like “D Rose”, “Ok”, “i Shyne”, “Esskeetit”, and closing with his smash hit, “Gucci Gang.”
The second the crowd realized his set was over, many fans hustled to the bathrooms, the only indoor areas in the venue, to keep warm. Those who weren’t fast enough waited in airport security-like lines for the chance to squeeze in as the temperature was quickly falling closer to the low 30s. But even with such unfavorable weather conditions, not one conversation was heard about people questioning leaving the event.
About 40 minutes later, the kush king himself, Snoop Dogg, came onstage followed by about four or five dancers opening with “I Wanna Rock.” And just like with Lil Pump, fans mobbed through the narrow bathroom entrances rushing back to the stage like Best Buy shoppers on Black Friday. People were pulling out more joints and blunts in honor of the marijuana Mount Rushmore figurehead. Once the song ended, Snoop expressed his love for Denver and Colorado claiming the state as “the weed heaven of the world,” which riled up the proud crowd. He followed with “Tha Shiznit” and DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win.” While Snoop didn’t move around the stage as much as Lil Pump, he still owned it in his own way, grooving and dancing in place and, of course, smoking weed throughout his set. For “Trash Bags,” his dancers, now dressed as strippers, came back onstage and pole danced. Even with the little amount of clothes they had on, the cold did not visibly seem to bother them. While performing many recent hits of his, he also included some all time classics such as “Gin N Juice,” “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” and “What’s My Name” along with other hip-hop hits like “Boyz N The Hood,” “Hypnotize,” and “Jump Around.” Snoop finished his set with the chorus for “Young, Wild and Free” as all of Fiddler’s Green joined him.
Once Snoop’s set ended, there was another stampede to the bathroom for warmth while waiting for Migos’ set. I, on the other hand, decided to rush to the concessions to buy a hot drink to keep my hands warm. Unfortunately, many others had the exact same idea and by the time I arrived at the long concession lines, it was announced that most of the hot drinks had sold out. Too stubborn to wait in the long bathroom lines again, I had no other choice but to wait in the cold until Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff came on.
Finally, around 10:25, Atlanta’s big three came on and opened with “Supastars” off their newest album, Culture II, to an exhilarated crowd and kept the momentum going into their next song “Deadz.” At this point in the night, most of the audience had run out of weed and was going absolutely wild. Dressed in warmer clothes for the weather than Snoop and Lil Pump, Migos appeared less bothered by the cold as they jumped around across the stage performing early hits like “Hannah Montana” and more current material such like “Ice Tray,” “Slippery,” and “Bad and Boujee.” But even as explosive as their stage presence was, it was their vocal timbre, dynamics, and rhythm that had the most impact on the crowd. Even if they stood still, they could still hype up their audience enough to have an unforgettable time.
Previous years for the Merry Jane Wellness Retreat were highly acclaimed. And even with the unfortunate weather conditions, Lil Pump, Snoop Dogg, and Migos still managed to make the event phenomenal. Their performances were sensational enough to make them willing to fight the cold and rain. The second next year's festival goes on sale, I know I’ll be quick to buy a ticket.