Big Boi at 170 Russell, Melbourne, Tuesday March 13, 2018.
Words | Sean Fabre-Simmonds
After playing Golden Plains over the weekend, Atlanta rapper and one half of legendary hip hip duo Outkast, Big Boi, treated those fans who were game enough to make it to 170 Russell on a school night to one of the best shows I’ve seen so far this year.
Baro opened up the show for Mr Boi and despite having heard very little from this Melbourne-based artist (apart from a quick skim of his SoundCloud earlier in the afternoon) I’m glad I went in early to catch his entire set. It was probably one of the biggest support slots of his career so far, but Baro looked like he was perfectly comfortable and belonged on the stage. There were definitely hints of Frank Ocean and Anderson .Paak in his music; I would not be surprised if Melbourne hospitals see a weird spike in births mid-November. If you haven’t caught Baro yet I highly suggest you do – definitely a young hip hop artist to keep an eye on.
After what seemed like a lifetime, the reason we were all there stepped on to the stage, khaki-clad and rocking his signature fat gold chain – and Big Boi did not disappoint.
The set featured a perfect mix of classic Outkast tracks (So Fresh, So Clean, Ms Jackson and The Way You Move) with more recent tracks such as Kill Jill (definitely a highlight of the set for Yours Truly), Mic Jack and Chocolate. I was skeptical of what some of those Outkast numbers would sound like minus Andre 3000, but ended up pleasantly surprised: nothing felt missing as Big Boi and company belted out banger after banger.
Scanning the room to find someone who wasn’t moving was like locating Wally – I’m sure it could’ve been done, but I wasn’t going to waste my time searching amongst all the bodies getting down.
As to be expected, Big Boi could not leave without an encore – but he didn’t tease the crowd and make us wait while he got a quick mani-pedi. Back out in front in no time, he finished the set with Int’l Players Anthem before conducting a meet-and-greet/signing for a line of fans that went on forever. I didn’t stick around to see the end of that line as I needed to get back home and let everyone know what they missed out on: a cracking hip hop show from one of Atlanta’s best.
Big Boi’s Boomiverse is out now via Epic/Sony.
Read our review of the album.