Outkast’s First Live Performance In 10 Years Is Disappointing…For Outkast

46th Annual Grammy Awards - Pressroom

UPDATE: You can now watch the entire 27-song performance after the jump.

One would imagine that Outkast‘s illustrious 20-year career would garner significant praise and response upon their arrival at Coachella this weekend as they performed for the first time together in nearly a decade. The Atlanta duo’s reunion has been talked about since the news broke in November and as Big Boi and Andre 3000’s well-deserved headlining spot provided hit after beloved hit for the massive Indio crowd–as well as guest appearances from Sleepy Brown, Janelle Monae, and Future—it became increasingly apparent that the attendees were either incredibly worn out, simply not into Outkast’s career-spanning set, or both.

Despite the Friday night crowd, Outkast absolutely killed it. Everything was on point. The live horn section was flawless, the DJing was next level, and both halves of Outkast brought it…initially. Every song, including “Bombs Over Baghdad,” “Aquemini,” “Elevators (Me & You),” “Ms. Jackson,” “Roses,” “The Way You Move,” “So Fresh, So Clean,” “Hey Ya” and more were performed perfectly–apart from what appeared to be Andre 3000’s growing boredom. After Dre finished informing Coachella of what’s cooler than being cool, Big Boi began to call out fellow Atlanta rapper Killer Mike to perform their 2001 hit “The Whole World,” yet the festival directors (or whomever makes the call) signaled that their set had to end there as it was 1AM — they were not allowed to finish their set with what I assume would have been their final song. Killer Mike essentially flew in for nothing (it could have been time spent writing Run The Jewels bangers for RTJ2) and Andre’s disappointment showed even more so, yet he seemed apologetic to the crowd. He thanked them for coming out despite it being 20 years since the duo first hit the scene with Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The situation felt uncomfortable and a little sad as the two emcees exited the stage prematurely.

Now, I wasn’t in attendance. I watched the entirety of Outkast’s set from Coachella’s live YouTube stream (#Couchella) which obviously takes away from the experience and I have no way of knowing first-hand how the crowd truly reacted at the event, but judging by the lack of intensity and deafening volume that seemed prominent in other sets of the day, along with hundreds of tweets referencing the crowd’s lethargy and overall obliviousness to the history onstage, I think it’s safe to say that Outkast didn’t quite receive the respect and enthusiasm that they likely expected—and completely deserved. To add to the disappointment of the audience’s lack of involvement, Outkast also suffered from moments of major feedback onstage and Andre had to ask at least a handful of times during the set for his monitors to be turned up. Minor (and common) technical issues of course, but ‘insult to injury’ in this case, you know?

All in all, it seemed as though it was a bad night for “the coolest motherfunkers on the planet” and it’s a damn shame as Big Boi and Andre 3000 combine talents that make up arguably the greatest rap duo of all time. This performance was a long time coming and it would appear that it wasn’t as warm of a welcome as the six-time Grammy winners expected would be waiting for them in California.

Here’s hoping that weekend two at Coachella serves them far better along with all of their forthcoming festival spots. If there was ever a chance that the two would begin work on new material together, I sure hope that tonight didn’t sway them in the opposite direction.


Outkast’s Coachella setlist:

“Gasoline Dreams”
“Skew It on the Bar-B”
“Rosa Parks”
“Da Art of Storytellin’, Part 1”
“SpottieOttieDopaliscious” (with Sleepy Brown)
“Bowtie” (with Sleepy Brown)
“Shutterbugg” (Big Boi solo)
“Ghetto Musick”
“Tightrope” (Janelle Monáe cover) (with Janelle Monáe)
“Kryptonite (I’m on It)” (Purple Ribbon All-Stars cover)
“She Lives in My Lap”
“Behold a Lady”
“Same Damn Time” (with Future)
“Ain’t No Way Around It” (with Future)
“Benz Friends (Whatchutola)” (with Future)
“Hootie Hoo”
“Elevators (Me & You)”
“Ms. Jackson”
“So Fresh, So Clean” (with Sleepy Brown)
“The Way You Move” (with Sleepy Brown)
“Hey Ya!”

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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  • Jason McCaleb

    How is it that the journalist writing this article claims to be a fan but misquotes the words. You might as well have been in the lame ass crowd. Brush up buffer.
    “the coolest mother-funkers on the planet”

  • Brian Lion

    I sincerely apologize for having misquoted by one letter. Surely I deserve to be criticized. The article has been corrected and I now feel like a much better person. All my thanks belong to your kind soul.