Big Freedia Concert Review

Big Freedia
November 14th, 2015
The Riot Room - Kansas City, MO

Big Freedia: Queen Diva
Saturday night would prove to be a sweaty and rewarding one for the hundred plus people filling The Riot Room. The first non-DJ performer of the evening was Boyfriend. The New Orleans rapper made it a point to shake what her mother gave her and to get the audience involved. The stage was decorated with two antique-looking lamps and a panel screen partition for Boyfriend's burlesque dancing friend to change behind. The pair also tossed out a suitcase-sized load of candy, stickers, and Monster energy drinks to everyone they could reach.

The female emcee dispensed song after song about dumping shitty boyfriends, threesomes, and pleasing herself when nobody else will. The girls in the front row seemed cautious at first about accepting a white rapper wearing a nightgown and hair rollers, but they quickly warmed up to the martini-sipping rapper and sang along to her outrageous and empowering lyrics.

Boyfriend
For anyone not in the know, Big Freedia is 34 years old. She performs bounce music, a genre born in her hometown of New Orleans that combines hip-hop and dance music. The listener is blasted by loud club beats, bombarded by airhorns and sirens, and commanded to shake their butt.

After a quick transition that The Riot Room seems to be good at offering, Big Freedia and her crew descended upon the stage. The setup was minimal - a DJ with a laptop at the rear of the stage and a microphone for Freedia - but the output was more than most could handle. All the excess room was filled by four dancers and the diva herself. Freedia was in her usual drag, wrists and fingers covered in rings and bracelets. She and her four dancers wore all black, the girls wearing Freedia-Branded "#1 Ass Certified" booty shorts, the boys in tight black jeans.

While only having a few albums' worth of material after performing for over a decade, I can't imagine  seeing her do the same material more than once would be any less entertaining. The power and catchiness in Freedia's music seem timeless at this point. Lil Wayne-endorsed "Gin In My System" had many people shouting along and her ass-shaking remix of rock-n-roll classic "Rock Around The Clock" was astounding. "Azz Everywhere" was also performed twice, once with fans welcomed onto the stage to take part in the festivities with Freedia's security escorting anyone not shaking it off stage.


Freedia informed the fans that they were nearing the end of a long tour while drying herself off with a towel between songs. You can't blame her for getting tired, she works hard, doing a bit of twerking herself during a few songs - an event that always kicked the party up a notch. She also introduced all of her dancers and gave them quick solos on different songs. The two male dancers at one point did some simulated fighting an kickboxing as Freedia mimicked holding a video game controller. The female dancers were well-versed in the art of the splits.

Amid the madness that this style of entertainment brings, there were two very endearing moments that I witnessed. At one point there seemed to be a fight taking place in front of the stage. Freedia quickly stopped the music. Her dancers and security looked menacingly down into the crowd until it was resolved. Freedia stated that "the people are here to be entertained" and that those causing the problem should take their drama elsewhere. Near the end of the show once of the backup dancers spotted an older lady sitting in a chair in front of the stage. He gently held her hands and helped her dance along for a song.

All in all, it was a celebratory evening that discriminated against no one. Freedia will soon be entering the fifth season of her show on the Fuse network and bringing bounce music and good times to all who welcome her.

2 comments:

  1. It was a awesome show...me n my girlfriend drove 5hrs to see them...and it was very well worth it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was a awesome show...me n my girlfriend drove 5hrs to see them...and it was very well worth it!!!

    ReplyDelete

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