January 9, 2018
By Dayna Mahannah
VANCOUVER—From the far reaches of the hip hop galaxy, Big Boi jetted on stage in a Canadian leaf-emblazoned cap and without much ado. The former Outkast member shuttled into savoury fan-favourites, ‘Skew It on the Bar-B’ and ‘Rosa Parks’, throwing the crowd into hands-in-the-air mode like they’d just arrived at an Instant Gratification party.
No matter. Celebrating his third solo album, Boomiverse, Big Boi doesn’t really need a build up. The hip hop legend grooved around the stage in his cooler-than-ice attitude, gleaming grin, and duo’d with producer Sleepy Brown of Organized Noize.
Backed by trippy cartoon visuals, the set list shifted gears with his swaggy new track ‘In the South’. The crowd ate up the base-y ‘Chocolate’ (and those erotic visuals, too), but the energy took a dive about halfway through the show that felt a little, well, sleepy.
Not one to leave you hanging, the 42 year-old rapper cranked it up with gentle melodic grime in ‘Order of Operations’ and a sentiment for ‘Overthunk’—“this is one of my favourite songs on the album.”
Some glitchy, spacey-edged tracks of Boomiverse weren’t the strongest of the set, but it was sandwiched with mega-hits from previous albums that forgave-and-forgot the soggy centre in a minute. The time did rocket forward, however, without much verbal interaction between songs (aside from that exclamation while wiping the sweat from his brow—“I remember the last time I was here, but this has gotta be the best time!”).
Nonetheless, the vim onstage matched that of the crowd: it was impossible not to dance and sing along with that southern stud. Big Boi’s performance was no-nonsense fun: no big surprises, and enough of the good stuff to leave you feeling like you got what you came for, not more, and definitely not less.Big Boi, Commodore Ballroom, OutKast