Sasquatch 2014, Day 1: Outkast

photos by Matthew B. Thompson

Now that they’ve played a number of shows on their much-publicized reunion trek, it’s fair to judge whether or not the Outkast festival tour is merely a opportunistic cash grab or an enthusiastic celebration of the Atlanta duo’s massive legacy (during which they will inevitably get real paid). At first, it seemed like the former; the first Coachella show met mixed (at best) reviews, primarily because Andre 3000 gave off the impression that he would rather be acting than making millions of dollars to revisit “Hey Ya”, “B.O.B.”, and his choice of any of number of his and Big Boi’s classics for 90 minutes a night. But the perceived apathy that plagued their first reunion show is long gone. Dressed in a costume seemingly pulled straight from their near-perfect late ’90s/early 2000s run, Three Stacks was exploding with energy right out of the gate, engaging the audience at Sasquatch and goofily dancing along when he wasn’t rapping with an intensity that many feared he might have lost back in 2003. (Probably because he’s remained an active live performer after Outkast’s end, Big Boi was also in fine form, albeit less surprisingly.) For 90 minutes, the band ran through classic after classic, only breaking to speak with the crowd – Andre jokingly promised that all ticket holders were invited to Big Boi’s birthday party, all expenses paid – and thank them for 20 years (although nearly half of those were spent inactive) of support for the group. So is the Outkast reunion tour fueled primarily by nostalgia? Yes. Are Big Boi and Andre 3000 going to make millions of dollars this summer? Absolutely. Did the duo develop a celebratory, electrifying show that even a casual fan of the group will enjoy? After a rough start, the answer is now a categorical “yes”.

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