Dearest Big Free,
I first encountered you at the East River Park waterfront show some weeks ago and you blew my mind. Never before had I seen so much ass being shaken on stage and, I thought, I never would again. Even though I was far away on the beer side of audience area (I’m sorry, it was very hot and I was very thirsty), your energy was commanding. As was the unbelievable amount of ass being shaken. The performance sent me ranting and raving to all my idiot friends who decided not to attend the show. Indeed, a did a fair amount of that ranting and raving right here on this very website. Just type in “Big Freedia” in the search box at the bottom and you’ll find yourself.
I don’t mean that in some metaphysical sort of way, just that you’ll be able to read the posts I’ve written about you.
Earlier this week, my friend Charles or Michael or both of them sent me a link to tickets for your CMJ show last night at Southpaw. Before they could ask me if I wanted to go, I’d purchased a ticket knowing full well that I would not be disappointed. Charles eventually backed out, but Michael went and we were able to rally Sue. She was very excited to get in on this Bounce action. And who wouldn’t be? I love to dance and I love intense shit and I love watching girls shake their asses. Though by upbringing a metalhead, it was brought to my attention this summer through the wise observation of two lovely lady friends of mine that everything I like is really intense. And that’s totally true. This Bounce shit is INTENSE, and, accordingly, perfect for me.
I’ve been preparing myself all week for the show listening to a variety of bounce, ghettotech, Detroit house, and dubstep. You might say I was warming up for the main event on Friday night.
And, boy, was I not disappointed. Dominique Young Unique brought it super hard. I was sort of nonplussed with her at the East River show, but I think her style just doesn’t carry across vast empty spaces. In a small club it was wildly different and much, much better. I enjoyed her set quite a lot. Javelin I could have done without. Big old meh from me on those guys. They’re not terrible, but they were doing nothing at all for me.
Then you came out into the crowd, even going so far as to let people know you were walking through the crowd, and the whole night exploded into ass and sweat and dancing and awesome. I’m actually having a hard time coming up with an accurate way to describe just how much fun the show was to our other readers without just saying, “HOLY FUCK IT WAS SO AWESOME OH MY GOD YOU SHOULD HAVE COME WHAT THE FUCK IT WAS AMAZING!” I think the video below accurately sums up my experience of the show last night.
Some highlights? When you filled the stage with people shaking their asses. Your performance of “Gin in My System”. Michael commenting that there were a lot of gay guys in the ticket line and me shooting him a solid “DUH” look. Giant plastic cups of whiskey at Southpaw. That the show was only 12 bucks. Dancing with Sue and Michael.
But it would have been boring if the night ended there, wouldn’t it? Of course it would have.
Sue, ever the producer extraordinaire, approached Rusty Lazer about where the after party would be. Sure enough, her bluff worked out and he told her that it would be at 285 Kent, a random doorway right next to Glasslands. Michael and his ladyfriend foolishly decided they were too tired to come to the next spot so we left them behind us. At about 1:45, 2 o’clock we arrived and entered the room to find a seething mass of sweaty people under purple light grinding. There was no fighting the sweat in there. For such a high ceilinged room, it was remarkably hot and stuffy, but what do you expect from a room full of dancing people?
After a 5 dollar Modelo Especial (ridiculous, right?), you came on and slew that place too. Sue and I danced ourselves delirious and dripping. We stayed for the entire second set. Happily too. I can’t remember seeing a show twice in the same night before, but yours was one I’d have gladly seen thrice. It’s just that good. I am impressed. We walked out of there at 3:30 in the morning satisfied.
So, thank you, Big Freedia, for bringing some joy to my life. I will gladly see you perform again and will recommend you whole heartedly to my friends, relatives, coworkers, compatriots, wellwishers, and various others. Also, I really love my t-shirt.
The Black Laser.