Friday, August 24, 2012

Big Freedia w/Fly Golden Eagle and Slut Party at Exit/In, 8/23/12

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM

The Spin may have a few parts and pieces that pop and lock in ways that aren’t too groovy, but man do we love a good dance party. When Big Freedia appeared on the calendar, we knew we had to make the scene. Freedia (pronounced “Free-dah”) is a practitioner of sissy bounce, a fast-paced and decidedly explicit style of hip-hop born in her native New Orleans, and has a reputation for running one hell of a show.

Recently, we’ve noticed a trend of shows starting right at the advertised time — a blessing to us working stiffs who have to be at least somewhat functional in the a.m. This show at the venerable Exit/In was no exception; openers Slut Party took the stage just after the stroke of 9. DJ Booty Boone (aka Pimpdaddysupreme) and MC Short Stroke worked the small but attentive crowd that was already mid-grind, following the lead from their two-lady dance crew. It reminded us a little of that time we walked in on our aunt and uncle singing and dancing along to Grease in their undies, but way less awkward. Slut Party's set, firmly rooted in Crescent City bounce and peppered with blue comedy (check the song titles on their Soundcloud, definitely NSFW), gave a clear signal that this was an equal-opportunity dance party — no matter who you are, you need to shake that ass, and SP was determined to give you a chance.

We weren't sure how a band known for its garage-y amalgam of funk and psych pop would fit into a hip-hop bill, but we got it as soon as Fly Golden Eagle launched into their set. Eagle’s groove is tight but laid-back, even when laying down fiery, Kinks-y numbers like “Devil’s Eye,” and it compels movement — though not always the rump-shaking variety. The coeds at the front had a move to bust and a fist to pump in answer to every word that frontman Ben Trimble delivered. We can dig why the group’s relaxed polish has earned them an opening slot on a fall tour for Muscle Shoals barnstormers The Alabama Shakes.

From the moment the lights dimmed and Big Freedia appeared, there was no stopping. As director of her high school’s choir, she developed skills to take hold of any audience, which have been sharpened to a fine point by over a decade on the road. Nobody but nobody cared that the MC is biologically a man — and seriously, who’s going to argue with someone 6’2” and built like a linebacker? From her spot in the eye of the beat hurricane, she called out moves like a friendly drill instructor, and we shook what our mamas gave us, holding on for dear life.

Freedia was flanked by five dancers and backed by Pimpdaddysupreme on the decks, and it occurred to us that the show and its enthusiastic response might not be too different from a James Brown gig at The Apollo some 50 years ago. The moves, however, were a little more colorful than those of yore: Flesh of all shapes, sizes and colors — including Freedia’s own — remained in motion for the duration of the set. The trademark cut “Azz Everywhere” featured volunteers from the audience, and even the dour security guy cracked a smile. As the encore wrapped up, Freedia was all smiles over her reception in Nashville, and let us know she’d be back. For our part, we can’t wait.

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Big Freedia w/Slut Party at Exit/In, 8/23/12

Big Freedia w/Slut Party at Exit/In, 8/23/12

By Dan Page

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