Big Boi at the Ogden, 1/28/11
With Eligh & Scarub and The Foodchain
01.28.11 | Ogden Theater
Corporate sponsorship, lead by local ski and snowboard company Icelantic, brought Big Boi to Denver last night. The Atlanta rapper, who we'd venture has never set ski/board on a mountain in his life, seems a potentially odd choice for this sort of thing. Not that we're complaining. A pair of strong opening sets from locals Foodchain and Eligh & Scarub (of LA's Living Legends) set the stage for one half of OutKast, and Antwan André Patton did not disappoint the way sold-out crowd.
Food Chain's band really set the tone for the evening as the band of eight opened the show. Concerts at The Ogden typically start on the dot, and at a prompt 9 p.m., Alex Armstrong took his place behind the drums and completely set the party off right.
Food Chain's show is evident that you can't go wrong with live instrumentation at hip-hop concerts and the band backed mash-ups of Pharoahe Monch's "Simon Says," Damian Marley's "Welcome to Jam Rock," a new addition to the covers, along with their original tunes were well received and energetic.
Eligh and Scarub came out swinging. Their voices were so smooth, it literally sounded like we were in an amplified studio. The crowd was rocking out to the vibe and thrill of seeing the Living Legends enjoy themselves on stage while pumping out some crowd favorites.
Those two guys are straight spitters and masters at breath control. There were some seriously die-hard fans in the building and the drinks, lights, and snow boarding footage playing behind the duo only heightened the feel of the moment.
In between each set was a complete swag fest, beer sleeves, goggles... swag.
Westword sent two reviewers to the show: Ru Johnson and Kiernan Maletsky, each a huge fan of Big Boi (and neither a skier or rider, incidentally). They came to love OutKast in very different ways, however -- read their introductions to the duo here. The rest of this review will take the form of a post-show conversation between them.
Ru Johnson: So first of all, Big Boi totally killed everything.
Kiernan Maletsky: Yes he did. And I thought the solo stuff actually shone brighter than the OutKast cuts.
RJ: I agree with that. Maybe because it was such a gaping hole with the 3000 verses. Chico Dusty solo is just as compelling. You know what I noticed? There were a ton of people on crutches at this show. I mentioned it and someone reminded me that it was a snowboarder's show. Ha! Injuries.
KM: Oh man! I hadn't thought of it that way, but I did see a lot of hobbling at this show. A couple wheelchairs, even.
RJ: Right? It makes sense. Wheelchairs! Hip-hop, man.
KM: One dude way down by the stage. That's commitment, because it was freakin' insanity down there.
RJ: Shit, that's devotion. I kicked it in the back with my sniffles and gave a hoarse, but valiant effort at rapping. "Fo Yo Sorrows" was definitely a highlight.
KM: I agree. I'd put "Shine Blockas" and "Shutterbugg" up there too.
RJ: Yes!! Both are so good for crowd participation and two stepping. It's clear that Big Boi loves "Shine Blockas" too. He had the most energy during that joint.
KM: I loved their goofy Gucci impersonations at the end of that track.
RJ: Minus the fucking ice cream cone.
KM: Last I checked Big Boi is psych-ward-free, so hopefully we don't have to worry about that with him.
RJ: Hopefully! I love how much he dances on stage. Like, he's such a gentleman but can't help getting his dance on. "You Ain't No DJ" was nice in that regard. DJ Swiff was killing it on the cuts.
KM: Yeah, that was incredible. Did he have his elbows on the wheels there for a second?
RJ: And maybe also his chin! Real live DJ shit.