[intro-text size=”25px”]This past Friday night, Big Freedia brought her twerk revival to the House of Blues for her national Bounce Shakedown Tour. Big Freedia, the stage persona of Frederick Ross, is the self-proclaimed ‘Queen Diva of New Orleans Bounce Music’, a genre of hip hop that is steadily picking up steam. Rightfully so, seeing as Freedia can wiggle her hips so fast and fluidly, they make Shakira’s hips look like flat out liars; however, before Big Freedia raised everyone’s gluteus maximuses from the dead, New Orleans rapper, Boyfriend; got the soiree started.[/intro-text]
The stage was set as an unlikely dressing room with a chaise lounge and lamp on one side, a plant and a decorative screen were on the other completing the feel. Suddenly, without any ann
ouncement, a tiny Caucasian girl with curlers in her hair, red librarian-esque specs, and a silk robe took the stage. She was silent. There was no music. She started to move her arms and head slowly until the crowd began to take notice. Then a hard hitting, hip hop beat began to blare out of the speakers. She opened her mouth and began to serve up some of the raunchiest lines I’ve ever heard come out of such an unassuming person. I was hooked, as was the rest of the audience. The songs were fiercely feminist and supremely sexy. She left no subject untouched; from sex while menstruating to the art of self love. Taking breaks in between songs to throw candy and stickers into the crowd she also found time to craft herself a martini. At one point, she disappeared behind the screen to do a quick outfit change into a red cone bra, a la Madonna. While one might think the stage show was very kitschy, don’t for one second think any of it was a distraction to hide the fact that Boyfriend wasn’t a good rapper. The girl most definitely can spit.
After Boyfriend’s rap burlesque show, it was time for Big Freedia to take the stage. First up came the DJ, who was then followed by 4 dancers (2 males, 2 females). Then the ever-so-Big Freedia graced us with her presence and the booty bouncing rumpus began. Armed with the longest and fiercest weave this side of the Mississippi, the NOLA native served up all of her hits. “Azz Everywhere” and “Gin In My System” were some definite crowd favorites. The ‘call and response’ style of bounce that Freedia fans love had everyone in the crowd committed to the party. The back-dancers unleashed their best pop locking and ass clapping moves as the Queen Diva belted out her signature, “You already KNOOOOOW” battle cry every few songs. The crowd could hardly wait for her to invite them to the stage, with many of them rushing past security guards when she finally extended the invitation. They practically took the gate down just to get the chance to back it up for the Queen herself. The crowd displayed what loyal subjects they were by randomly shouting out, “I love you” quite a few times and her smiling back while cooing, “I love you too.”
I will say, I have seen Big Freedia twice; the first time was at Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival at 4am, which I believe was the best way to see her. The second time was about 2 years ago at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. This time, she was in the Cambridge Room in the House of Blues. I preferred the underground feel of the Grog Shop to the more polished Cambridge Room; however, Big Freedia still delivered the goods as she always does. The best part of the Big Freedia experience though is being able to let your freak flag fly. There is no outfit too revealing (booty shorts were in full effect on this November night), nor is there any dance move too crazy. If you ever see the name BIG FREEDIA on a line-up, I highly suggest you grab yourself a ticket, put on your shortest shorts, and brace yourself for a bootylicious time. I’ll be sure to do the same, you already know…