By SKYE RUBEL
Andre 3000’s shirt read “I forgive you, now your turn,” but with such a flawless show, he did nothing that warranted forgiveness.
Outkast’s performance on Sunday, September 28th,was the third day of their ATLast festival and included a special surprise appearance. All three days were completely sold out, with over 60,000 fans packed into Centennial Olympic Park that weekend. People from all over the country came to celebrate 20 years of musical perfection that could only be created by rap duo Andre 3000 and Big Boi.
Though the gigantic crowd began forming over four hours before Outkast was set to go on stage, the opening lineup was a show in itself. Performers included Devin the Dude, Pastor Troy, Slim Calhoun, Yung Joc, Killer Mike, and B.O.B… just to name a few. During his set, Killer Mike yelled, “I demand that this festival take place every year!” With the amount of cheering and applause, it seemed like the entire population of Atlanta agreed.
When Outkast finally arrived on stage at 8 pm, the crowd went ballistic. The rap group opened with “Bombs over Baghdad,” their hugely famous song from the album “Stankonia.” Thousands of people were jumping up and down singing every word of the song. Some were crying. The woman behind me even fainted (though it may have been partially due to the incessant flashing lights.)
Andre 3000 and Big Boi knew exactly how to please every person in the crowd. Along with a full band and back up singers, they played songs covering their 20-year-long career from their first album, “Southerplaylistcadillacmuzik” released in 1994 all the way to their most recent album released in 2006, “Idlewild.” Fans, young and old, came together to celebrate Outkast’s return to Atlanta. Teens who weren’t even born in the beginning of the pair’s career were excited to hear pop hits such as “Hey Ya” and “Roses.” Original fans rejoiced in their favorite older hits such as “Hootie Hoo” and “Players Ball.” The majority of the crowd, regardless of age, sang along to both.
Though Outkast put on a fantastic performance by themselves, their set was enhanced by the surprise appearances of a number of huge names in the hip hop industry. The most notable was Erykah Badu who performed with the duo during “Humble Mumble.” Her eccentric hair, baggy (yet fashionable) overalls and mesmerizing voice enchanted the crowd and made them even more excited than they already were. She left the stage after referring to Andre 3000 as her “baby daddy.” The audience went wild with her unexpected performance. Others were excited to learn that Badu and Andre 3000 had a child together.
Outkast’s return to Atlanta energized the city in a way that no other musical group could do. The ATLast festival took place in their hometown to celebrate the “Dirty South” and all of the musical geniuses that have come from it. At the 1995 Source Awards, Andre 3000 famously said to a group of booing New Yorkers, “The south got somethin’ to say.” This tour and Outkast’s incredible two-decade career proved just that.The rap duo put Atlanta on the map and opened the door for numerous musical artists from the south. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed even declared September 27th as “Outkast Day.”
Overall, Outkast’s performance was more than just a concert; it represented the musical vibrancy of Atlanta and the “dirty south.” They truly proved that we “have somethin’ to say,” even though their powerful lyrics speak for themselves. It was a night that no ATLien could ever forget.