The sweet sound of falling pins met its match Monday night the minute Big Boi charged down the side staircase leading to the stage at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg. With his tour spinner, DJ Swift, already in place, Big Boi darted past the turntables and began slapping hi-fives to the fans who fought their way to the front.
The intimate but amped crowd of 700 began belting out the lyrics to the opening song, “ATLiens,” the second the record began spinning, not even giving the rapper a chance to locate his microphone.
Big Boi tore through the bars of the old-school Outkast track, to the delight of a small crowd gathered to the left of the stage paying homage to his hometown by waving their Atlanta Braves baseball caps. “I can feel the love,” he answered, before beginning a series of Outkast classics.
As DJ Swift scratched into “Ms. Jackson,” the vocally agile rapper varied the speed of his delivery, while keeping his deep Southern accent crisp and easy to understand.
The he asked, “Do you want the new shit?” Yes, they did, raising their drinks in the air to show approval.
Big Boi kicked into “General Patton,” from his solo album “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chinco Dusty.” He hurled aggressive lines over the opera-infused production: “Get the South d–k up out yo mouth!”Then he hit “Daddy Fat Sax,” with its cotton-soft hook against a pounding bassline, complete with twingy guitar samples. But as he worked through the song’s bridge, he was upstaged by the best dancer in the house-his oldest son, Cross.
The nine-year-old crept up behind his father on stage and flashed an impressive array of break-dance moves. “You believe this guy?” laughed Big Boi.
Then Big Boi got sentimental, and broke some news in the process: “Yo, I really love the people in Brooklyn and I wanna let you in on a little secret. Me and Andre [Benjamin] are in the studio and we’re almost dome with the new album. It’s like nothing you’ve heard before and it’s for the fans who have always stuck by us.”
As the crowd roared, the insanely futuristic bass line of “Shutterbugg” rang out. Bog Boi transformed his voice into a robot’s, with a deep rumble you could feel in your gut.
The 60-minute set concluded with “You Ain’t No DJ,” and a surprise guest visit from up-and-comer Yelawolf. The duo stood back-to-back, Big Boi’s low drawl butting heads with Yelawolf’s high-pitched scowl as the green lights above them faded.
Setlist for Big Boi
SKEW IT N THE BAR-B
SO FRESH, SO CLEAN
DADDY FAT SAX
(ME & YOU)SHINE BLOCKAS
FO YO SORROWS
THE WAY YOU MOVE
YOU AIN’T NO DJ (featuring guest Yelawolf)