We were greeted by the cry of the hootie-hoo — a lone voice echoing through the machine fog, calling for a response that came in force. "HOOTIE HOOOOOOOOO" said the Coachella crowd, and though OutKast were running late, they immediately made amends with a heavily stacked eight-song run. Appearing within a strange screen-cube overlaid with Old Glory were the ATLiens themselves: Big Boi sporting a gleaming medallion and some weird militant streetwear, and André 3000 in stripy overalls and a Mexican ball-cap. With a sizable band backing, they dove in.
"B.O.B." offered immediate gratification of the sing-along sort. Its trippy Stankonia bedfellow "Gasoline Dreams" followed, then the undeniable otherworldly excellence of "ATLiens." Next came four gifts from Aquemeni: "Skew It on the Bar-B," "Rosa Parks," "Da Art of Storytellin', Part 1," and the titular buddy anthem (BB + A3K 4-eva, eva). Oddly though, the song whose chorus goes, "Until they close the curtain, it's him and I," heralded the portion of the gig where the long-separate Atlanta duo, united here for the first time in seven years, separated again.
The headlining set's slightly distended mid-section was split into two parts: the Daddy Fat Sax section, which featured a show-stealing Janelle Monáe performance and also the irrepressible solo single "Shutterbug"; and the other half going to deep cuts from Dre's generally underwhelming The Love Below. And when the pair re-reunited, they came with an unusual escort: Future, who did his thing well, but felt out-of-place performing three songs at this momentous event. Sleepy Brown was the evening's only other guest, though 300 noted that Prince was watching from the sidelines.
And then came the sputtering finish. It wasn't enough to spoil OutKast's inaugural set in what's likely to be a very long year of comeback festival stops, but it was far from graceful. The sound cut out during "Ms. Jackson." André puled a Jim Morrison for "Hey Ya!," seemingly uncomfortable while performing with his back to the crowd. And Killer Mike arrived onstage just in time to witness firsthand the 1 a.m. Coachella noise curfew — he didn't rap a word. But still, they played "Elevators," so it's safe to assume a few thousand bucket lists had one fewer item on 'em come Saturday morn.
Watch the entire performance here.