Sunday, April 13, 2014

Outkast reunites at Coachella 2014

Andre 3000 summed it up perfectly when their 90-minute set was abruptly cut off due to curfew -- this was "kind of weird".  Yes, he was referring to the halting of their set when they thought they were getting to the big finish with Killer Mike, but he could just as easily have been talking about the entire night.

The audio glitches were the least of their problems.  I didn't like Dre and Big Boi spending so much time inside the screen-lined cube.  It felt like they were trapped there and I couldn't figure out why it added to the performance when they were prevented from using the entire stage.  The timing and pacing of the set felt completely off, with some songs getting inexplicably shortened ("Ms. Jackson"?  Huh?), and the set never built properly to the hits that people expect to hear at these kinds of shows.  After all, the Outkast reunion is taking place at festivals, and you have to tailor your set to a broad festival goer audience, not the most hardcore thousand or so fans in every town.  They brought out Janelle Monae and Future to almost no reaction, because this wasn't the sort of crowd that would know who they were.  Somehow they seemed surprised by this.

Of course there were high spots -- the horn section, "Roses", "Rosa Parks" and Janelle Monae's guest spot (even if the crowd didn't care) to name a few, but overall this concert was a shockingly unpolished work in progress.  

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