Governors Ball almost feels like a dream less than a day following its final curtain call. The memorable moments were ample and spanned throughout multiple music genres, but for Hip-Hop fans, the zenith point occurred late Friday night (June 6) when Outkast stepped foot onstage.
Well into a festival run that’s one true and polarizing documentation is footage of their first performance together in 10 years at week one of Coachella 2014 — a performance many thought was underwhelming — fans were excited to see if the duo worked out the kinks prior to setting foot in New York City.
People amassed around the front stage by the thousands to bear witness to the magic André 3000 (with a white wig and a jumpsuit donning interesting messaging in tow) and Big Boi were sure to provide.
From the moment Outkast stepped out to the chaotic, yet beautiful melody of “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad),” it was clear that the crowd collectively rode shotgun in the ATLien’s funkadelic spaceship. The journey had just begun. ‘Kast, who were slated to rock the house for 90 minutes, didn’t hesitate to dig into their discography with consecutive performances of “Rosa Parks,” “Atliens,” and “Skew It on the Bar-B,” sans the appearance from NYC’s own Raekwon that fans in the know hoped for.
With the mood set, it was hard not to move your body to a musical feel that cannot be duplicated. Three Stacks and Big Boi have a way of infusing their live sets with a southern hospitality that’s as inviting as the smell of apple pie. That feeling resonated as the MCs danced and grooved to horn ladden instrumentals and lush, atmospheric production both together and during solo sets that explored the experimental sounds of their 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
Guests performers were limited to Dungeon Family member Sleepy Brown and Killer Mike, who assisted with performances of “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” and “The Whole World,” respectively. Longtime Outkast affiliated singer Janelle Monáe also appeared onstage dressed down and out of stage character to dance to André 3000’s crossover smash “Hey Ya.”
Outkast left no proverbial stone unturned as they performed all of the hits a longtime fan would expect them to, and then some. But the true testament to their performance is how it banded together the divisive crowd — one filled with ‘Kast stans, hipsters, and everything in between. Unlike other acts, whose grasp on their audience was at times dependent on which portion of their discography was being performed, the legendary wordsmiths kept onlookers enthused, and more importantly interested, no matter how deep their Hip-Hop roots ran.
That, my friends, is the magic of Outkast.
Photo: Instagram/ Paul Zimmerman/ Getty Images