REVIEW: OutKast Conquer Hangout Fest With A Nostalgic Tour Through Their Greatest Hits

by (@JordanRuntagh)

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The 2014 Hangout Music Fest ended with a twin bang last night, as the recently-reunited OutKast took their rightful place as headliners on the main stage in front of 45,000 screaming fans shakin’ it like a Polaroid picture. On hiatus since 2007, the Grammy-winning duo’s set of 40 festival dates have become the most anticipated tour of the year. Apparently they got off to a rocky start during their debut gig at Coachella last month, but tonight they brought their A-game, delivering a hit-packed tour through their entire two-decade history.

It was just after sunset when the boys from Atlanta burst onto the stage. A cool breeze drifted in from the ocean just feet away, but bikinis and swimming trunks were still the apparel of choice for the revelers on the beach. A blinding flash and a blast of furious feedback heralded Big Boi and Andre 3000‘s arrival, exploding like, well, bombs as they headed straight into “B.O.B” (Bombs Over Baghdad).” The men stood in a mesh cube, transformed into a sort of cell through lights, staring each other down as if an interrogation while they rapped the first verse.

Andre, famous for his eccentric-yet-stylish wardrobe, donned a fairly low-key black track suit and T-shirt proclaiming “Big Girls Are Beautiful To Me.” The only major nod to his wild-side was the blonde mullet-esque wig and bright white wayfarers. Oh yeah, and there was also the oversized clothing tag reading “For Sale” on one side, and “Sold Out” on the other. In this age of band reunion cash-ins, one could wonder about his true feelings for this tour. But we won’t speculate…

Big Boi looked straight up fly in his tropical jacket and shorts, topped off with a regal medallion. And together…they were the same genre-melding, party-making, zillion-selling team that they had always been, a cross-over act seldom equaled in history. Even after nearly a decade apart, the groove was in the pocket, and the flow still fresh. “Gasoline Dreams,” “ATLiens,” “Skew It On The Bar-B” and “Rosa Parks” all followed, met with a rapturous response from the audience. They even brought out Organized Noize member Sleepy Brown to take a verse on “SpottieOttieDopaliscious”! We don’t know what the folks in Coachella saw, but these guys could drag the party person out of a monk. Though they did inspire some truly horrendous frat boy dancing happening around us, we guess that can be forgiven.

The cube on stage, which was transformed at various times into flames, fire, waves and flowers, had a much more sentimental meaning than just a prop. Andre told the crowd that it was meant to harken back to the days when they’d pace around their aunt’s kitchen as kids, endlessly practicing to keep their raps sharp. A street sign labeled “Headland and Delowe,” their home street corner, stands nearby. This reunion tour also doubles as their 20th anniversary celebration, and there’s a tinge of nostalgia in the air.

Before beginning “Da Art Of Story Tellin’ (Part One),” 3K made a point of thanking the fans for staying with them throughout their long journey. “Do we have any parents in the house?” he shouted, to a surprising number or positive roars. Twenty years is an awfully long time, after all. They even dedicated “Ms. Jackson” to “all the baby-mamas” in the house!

The two temporarily went their separate ways for the solo section of the night, with Big Boi giving us “Kryptonite,” “Ghettomusick” and  “The Way You Move,” while Andre 3000 made hearts melt with “She Lives In My Lap,” and “Proto-Type.” He ended off with the perennial “Hey Ya!”, inviting a fleet of bikini-clad women from the crowd to serve as backup dancers (one even took a selfie with him). No one anticipated the MONSTER hit coming this early and, as per ‘Dre’s instructions, we promptly “lost our sh-t.”

Big Boi rejoined him for a set of old school hits from their early days on LaFace Records, dusting off “Hootie Hoo,” “Players Ball,” “Crumblin’ Erb,” and “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” from their debut album. After paying the debt to their past, they took us home with wall-to-wall hits “Roses,” “So Fresh, So Clean,”  “International Players,” and “The Whole World,” which featured a cameo from Killer Mike. There was no encore, but then again, why should there be? They gave it all the first time.

Read on for a complete set list!

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