- Todd Hamm
As Mr. Ramos remarked, entering through the festival gates, and walking into Chance the Rapper's set was a surprisingly positive experience; like stepping into a cool swimming pool after sweating through our tent setup. It was a great start to the day, and what I hadn't felt 100% on his records (mainly getting past his voice), I was pretty sold on here. It was undoubtedly the Chicago rapper's energy that filled in the gaps for me and his yelling disguised his vocals quite a bit anyway. +1.
- Todd Hamm
- Gifted Gab
The Narwhal stage changed names since last time I hit Sasquatch!, but the premise still seems the same: local band-heavy booking, especially hip hop. Seattle's Gifted Gab was among the locals who graced this stage Friday evening, and pulled a respectable crowd. Gabby brought in a rotating cast of Moor Gang hype-men/guest emcees including Cam the Mac and Jarv Dee, and confidently kicked jams from her recent Girl Rap release. She cued up a mix of jams as an interlude from like-minded '90s favorites like Queen Latifah, Lady of Rage, and Salt-N-Pepa, which was a fun segment, and the crowd hung with her the whole time.
Next, I caught half of a set of music by Scotland Sub Pop reps Mogwai before I moved down to grab my prime Outkast spots on the floor of the amphitheater. I've liked their more recent releases in passing, and I still really want to try their scotch, but their live set didn't grab me. The live performance made their predictable reliance on slow build-ups even more pronounced, and the songs they chose for the first part of their set mostly all hammered different variations on five-ish-note melodies into our heads. I think seeing Russian Circles live a few times has cranked up my expectations for instrumental bands. They were a lot like Explosions in the Sky live: good background music for a sunset, but after a while, who wants to go to a background music concert?
Outkast hit the stage about 15 minutes after their slotted 10:40 start time—which really isn't bad for such a big name—and from the get-go, it was everything I had hoped for. Jumping right into "B.O.B.," and "Gasoline Dreams" from their 2000 smash Stankonia. They moved through a bunch of radio singles, getting some of their hits out of the way to make room for deep cuts and older material. The ATLiens touched on most of their catalogue, giving almost equal weight to each of their albums (save for the soundtrack to the semi-major motion picture Idlewild, which is alright) during their 25-song set.
The boundary-pushing yin to Big Boi's ultra-dope trad-rap yang, Andre 3000 was wearing a platinum wig and all-black body suit with the words "EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY" printed on the front. A tag hung on his side that read "SOLD OUT" on one side, and "FOR SALE" on the other, meeting any potential accusations of tour-as-cash-grab with the priceless sales tag.
The most unexpected moment, for me, came when they busted out the UGK track "Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You)." Fucking right, guys. Another high point in a set that was stuck on high, was "Da Art of Storytellin'," which I was half hoping they would project a hologram Slick Rick on their giant transparent fabric projection cube for, but it was dope anyway. They skipped their verses on "Spottieottiedopaliscious," but had a purple velour pajama-ed Sleepy Brown come out and sing through, which kept the vibe of the song live. Also "Elevators" happened. I had basically been waiting for that moment for a decade-and-a-half. Shit was kind of life-changing.
Performance-wise, they were spot-on prime-era, and the added modern twists (like outfits, setting, and radtacular banter["This song's about two scandalous freaks"—"Da Art of Storytellin'") kept them hovering well above static reunion nostalgia level. What a perfect way to end Friday. Check that one off the list.