ACL Live Shot: Outkast

All the hits – just like clockwork

They’re a greatest hits act – pure and simple – with nothing new since “I’m on It” in 2006. Straight heaters (“ATLiens,” “Ms. Jackson”), small chasers (André’s Love Below solo mid-set), a certified knockout (“Hey Ya”), then some Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Sing the state song (“Deep in the heart ...”) a cappella and close on “The Whole World.”

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik: André (l) and Big Boi cap off the first day of ACL Fest 2014

That Outkast’s first touchdown in Austin since 2001’s blowout of the Austin Music Hall didn’t carry the same juice as that first Playa’s Ball didn’t matter on Friday evening. Them dudes are Kings of Atlanta rap.

Rulers of the Dirty South.

Purveyors of the stankiest funk.

That the duo stops over in the ATX on its festival circuit conquest speaks to this town’s place in the grander scheme of music. Intimate reunions are meant be shared with big urban audiences. Especially if Stankonia and Aquemini are involved.

Anybody paying a lick of attention to Outkast’s 40-festival run knew how Big Boi and André would commence services. There was “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad),” then “Gasoline Dreams,” “ATLiens,” and “Skew It on the Bar-B.” They played “Rosa Parks” and “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Parts 1 & 2),” and afterward appeased everybody with “SpottieOttieDopalicious” before a quick break and “Ms. Jackson.”

The moment André split off to the side of the stage to break down, “Ten times out of nine/ Now if I’m blind fine,” my mind shot back to past ACL Fest headliners: the Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie. André and Big Boi may record new music eventually, but their best work’s now bygone. They still bring it – the big horns, dope clothes, backup singers, and sweet style – but they’re relics of the festival circuit.

Both rappers went solo for a second before returning for Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and closing with the grand one-two-three of “Roses,” “Int’l Players Anthem,” and “The Whole World” as a sendoff. They fit everything in for sure. All the hits – just like clockwork.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More ACL Fest
ACL Fest Drops Sunday Headliner DaBaby Following Homophobic Comments
ACL Fest Drops Sunday Headliner DaBaby Following Homophobic Comments
October festival promises “lineup update coming soon”

Rachel Rascoe, Aug. 3, 2021

Police Chief: ACL Fest Will Be “Safest Part of the City”
Police Chief: ACL Fest Will Be “Safest Part of the City”
Shooting at Las Vegas festival prompts press conference on security

Kevin Curtin, Oct. 2, 2017

More Outkast
Sci-fi Platters
ATLiens (Record Review)

July 25, 2008

More by Chase Hoffberger
The Reporting Life
The Reporting Life
Oh, the places you'll go

Sept. 3, 2021

Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Local journo Alex Hannaford’s Dead Man Talking podcast investigates the case against a man on death row

Nov. 16, 2018


ACL Fest, Outkast, ACL Fest 2014, André 3000, Big Boi

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle