U.S.S. Yorktown, Patriots Point
Dance-happy dudes and debutantes came out in full force for Thursday's Yorktown Throwdown, a benefit show headlined by none other than Big Boi, one half of the legendary hip-hop group OutKast. Proceeds from the concert, organized by local promotional company Brightsound Entertainment, went to help fund the Boys and Girls Club of America.
Local reggae troupe the Dubplates kicked things off in fine Rastafarian fashion as fans slowly trickled onto the lawn across from the U.S.S. Yorktown at Patriots Point. Known for their bombastic stage show, the Dubplates' hour-long set had heads nodding in unison as the sun went down over the harbor.
Savannah-based Jake Troth's one-man mish-mash of pop and electronica did not sit very well with a crowd that was eager to see the main event. The high point of his performance was a shortened cover of Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It."
Big Boi (a.k.a. Antwan Patton) exploded on stage soon after, and he hit the ground running with an opening medley of smash hits from OutKast's catalog. The enthusiastic crowd danced and sang along to favorites such as "Ms. Jackson" and "B.O.B. (Bombs over Baghdad)" off of their breakthrough album Stankonia.
Big Boi bobbed and weaved through his rhymes with a razor-sharp delivery unmatched by many of his contemporaries. OutKast, who put Atlanta on the rap scene and the term "crunk" to good use, has been on a hiatus since their critically acclaimed double-disc Speakerboxxx/The Love Below blew the doors off the hip-hop world in 2003. Big Boi has shown no signs of slowing down, however, after dropping his first official solo album this summer: Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. This album brought forth the extremely catchy single "Shutterbug," which drew a huge roar of approval from the audience when its opening notes blasted through the PA.
Accompanied by two DJs and a fellow MC, Big Boi's stripped-down show didn't lack energy or power. Big Boi even invited some of the female spectators on stage for an impromptu dance party. Other performance highlights from the solo album included "Follow Us" and "Daddy Fat Sax," which were craftily mixed in with more old-school jams from the five albums that OutKast produced together.
Canadian-based techno-dance duo MSTRKRFT — Jesse F. Keeler and Al-P — closed the performance with pulsing beats and tracks from their recent studio album Fist of God as the remainder of the crowd grooved late into the night.