Big Boi Fills Big Shoes on "Running" Tour

Big Boi's show at the Park West had something for everybody. From the casual fan, to the Outcast fan, to the extremist, waiting for soundtrack cuts, or those killer compilation numbers. For the die-hard fans, Big Boi blasted through "Kryptonite (I'm on It)," and "Ready Set Go" both with opener Killer Mike. Mike's voice cut the bass like butter, and Big Boi flowed like the seasoned pro that he is, working the stage from right to left.

For the Outcast fans, he did a medley of songs, including "Skew it on the Bar-B," "Rosa Parks," "So Fresh and So Clean," and "Elevators," to name a few. He sounded awesome. His syncopation was spot on, and his flow; energized. It made me wish I saw Outkast live, or that Andre 3000 was there. Regardless, it was reason enough to see this show. Even more so to hear classics like "Ms Jackson," that have become staples on the radio, and to celebrate this elation with a jubilant audience.

Since Big Boi's latest release Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, I have found a new interest in him. This indie rock vs rap LP, caught me by surprise with the single "Shoes For Running," that guests B.o.B and Wavves, and finds lead singer Nathan Williams singing the hook. It's become a full blown addiction for me, maybe even the song of the summer. It harkens back to the days when Cypress Hill versed Pearl Jam on the Judgment Night Soundtrack.

Vicious Lies left me with a need for more Big Boi, and I went looking in the cut outs for some material. After grabbing Outkast's Greatest Hits and the Speakerboxxx LP's for $1, I found the fix I needed. It seems that on a lot of these tracks ala Speakerboxxx, Andre isn't missed, and I don't mean that in a spiteful way. Big Boi is a true "MC," (Master of Ceremonies, Mic Controller, or what ever abbreviation you want to add in there) and he knows how to rock a crowd all on his lonesome.

"Shutterbugg," "Daddy Fat Sax," and "In The A" all showcased an artist who is just as comfortable on the solo tip as he is in group form. I was so impressed with his live act that I'll now grab his whole catalog. Go see him perform this stuff live!

Big Boi @ The Park West, Chicago, IL: 5-1-13

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