Outkast headlines Day 1 of Big Guava, for their only Florida show


Ty Wright / Valencia Voice

Outkast performing at Day 1 of the Big Guava Festival in Tampa, at the MidFlorida Amphitheater at the Florida State Fairgrounds, on May 2, 2014. (Ty Wright / Valencia Voice)

It’s nothing to forget an artist horrendous performance that you witnessed from a live stream of another show three-weeks ago, when that artist comes to your backyard and kicks off the inaugural night of a new music festival the way they did.

Outkast took the main stage of the Big Guava Festival on Friday at the MidFlorida Amphitheater at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa and wasted no time getting into popular jams, helping lighten up the soaked crowd who had been out in the rain all day.

The Atlanta duo’s 90 minute set list has been tweaked since it’s Coachella performance. On top of playing their mainstream pop-oriented dance tracks like “Roses” and “So Fresh, So Clean,” Outkast took the time to reward their hip-hop heads fan base.

“Y’all probably didn’t even know we rapped,” said quirky Andre 3000, before the group got into older material and gave the audience a brief Outkast history level. Mr. 3000 was dressed in a white wig and all black body suit, which read “F#CK 3000,” and had an oversized price tag dangling from the side of it that read “for sale” on one side, and “sold out” on the other.

Many people have been stating that the “Hey Ya!” singer does not have his heart in the right place for this tour and have been lacking effort, however by the way he attacked the stage during the groups opening songs ー “BOB,” “Gasoline Dreams,” “ATLiens” and “Skew it on the Bar-B,” which immediately got the crowd into a frenzy ー it was hard to even fathom that thought.

Following their performance of “Ms. Jackson,” each member got a brief time to display their solo career and stronger side: Big Boi, an in your face southern rapper who is not afraid to represent where he is from, and Mr. 3000, an unforgotten lyricist who loves to make the ladies happy.

Outkast would then dig into their crates following their solo sets, performing a good run of songs from their 1994 debut album “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.”

They would go on to end their first Florida show in over a decade with “The Whole World,” a good description of the wide cultural, ethnic and age variety of fans the group appeals to.

Highlight of the night came when Outkast paid homage to the hip-hop artist of the 90’s including the late Pimp C, of collective UGK who the group states were one of the first people to give them a chance and take them under their wing; before their performance of “International Players Anthem (I Choose You).”

Chicago rapper Vic Mensa had the lucky task of opening for Outkast ー sorta. While he was on a totally different stage, he was the only other true hip-hop act of the night; plus he was the last artist to perform before they went on.

The audience, composed of hip-hop heads and ravers, immediately vibed along with the Savemoney artist’s incredible energy. Mensa began to gain national attention following his appearance on Chance the Rapper’s (who will be performing on Sunday) “Cooca Butter Kisses.”

Mr. Mensa has an array of styles, however he is at his peak during songs like “Hollywood Los Angeles,” where he mixes soul and dares to be different.

One of Mensa finish songs was his new single “Down On My Luck.” While the song is a little different from what Mr. Mensa excels at, it is not a bad track for music. For an artist who has served time in a rock band and as a solo rap artist, it’s uncertain what route the artist will trying to lay a foundation with in the future.