View photos of Big Freedia at the Vagabond here.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Shake at the Vagabond, Miami
Better Than: Spending the whole night dancing, bumping and grinding with a lady who turns out to be a guy.
Before she hit the stage, her DJ Rusty Lazer set the mood; playing some NOLA bounce, Miami Bass and New Jack Swing. The boys, girls and not-quite-eithers were cabbage-patching gleefully. A booming voice said it was happy to be in Miami; seconds later, our new queen emerged.
Sporting cowboy boots, jeans, pearls and gold, Big Freedia started flowing like a glam KRS-1. Over the driving beats, it was impossible to miss the fact that her rhymes were impeccable. Her emphatic dancer, Altercation, was a blur of flesh; she was a thousand volts of coochie popping power.
Big Freedia made it pretty damn hard for us to keep up with her vibrato ass. The way she shook that thing, combined with the strobe lights were enough to induce seizure. Faster than a hummingbird, her ass matched beats with Rusty Lazer's 180 bpm high-hat perfectly.
There actually was ass everywhere during the song "Ass Everywhere." Flocks of girls jumped on and off the stage to swerve ass to ass with Freedia and Altercation. At one point, Rusty Lazer and Altercation had to take a break to let the diva just rhyme a capella.
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In her reworked version of "Rock Around the Clock" Frieda and Altercation were simultaneously booty-clapping while strumming air guitar. The combination of Lazer's snapping snare, Frieda's hypersonic vocals and Bill Hailey's classic chorus had the room rejoicing at their benefactress.
Seconds before jumping offstage and into the crowd our matriarch bellowed, "When I come to you, do you thing!" Anyone that she touched, started to dance with her or for her.
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The whole performance was overwhelming. She was the drill instructor commanding the crowd to move, get up on stage and shout. "Y'all gonna sing this with me! I got that gin in my system, somebody gonna be my victim!" Yes sir! Er, ma'am!
Straight girls, lesbians, gay guys and straight guys were all trying to get a piece of that Beignet. She's the confuser. Everyone was thinking: "Is it a man? Is it a woman? I'm not sure if I mind!"
Personal Bias: As a founder and ex-Shake promoter, this was exactly what I thought the party would be one day. It was fast, sexy and confusing. When I quit last year, I missed Big Freedia's first appearance at the Vagabond; I'm really glad it was as good as everyone told me it would be.
Overheard in the crowd: "I just did three bumps. It tastes weird. You know when you smell alcohol and you feel like, ugh? I feel like that."