The Outkast headlining set -- which followed many other Outkast headlining sets -- was everything that fans could have wanted.
In the fourth month of their grand festival tour, Outkast is now performing at the level that diehard fans were hoping they'd reach when the reunion was announced back in January. During their Lollapalooza headlining set on Saturday night (Aug. 2), the duo turned Chicago's Grant Park into a wide-reaching dance party with smiles plastered on their faces, as Andre 3000 and Big Boi at long last look like they're at home onstage with each other.
"We had a great fucking time, for real," Andre announced before Outkast performed its final song of the evening, "The Whole World." Three-Stacks appeared as if he was genuinely touched by the audience's enthusiasm on Saturday night; while Calvin Harris was across the park dropping his trove of recent hits, the Mighty O commanded an impressively massive crowd, even after "Ms. Jackson" and "Hey Ya" were blasted midway through the set and led into less well-known gems from Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.
The rapport between Andre 3000 and Big Boi was markedly warmer than it had been on earlier festival stops. The veteran MCs finished each other's sentences, followed each other around the stage and cracked jokes about their backing band's sexiness and Sleepy Brown's style ("He get up out the bed and keep his pajamas on all day!" Andre joked). Performing for a crowd of thousands, Outkast made the performance feel intimate, and watching two lifelong friends feed off of each other's musical dexterity made for crackling entertainment.
The set list has been evolving ever since Outkast touched down at Coachella in April, and is now chiseled into near-perfection. The hits are evenly dispersed -- "B.O.B." up front, "The Way You Move" in the middle, "So Fresh, So Clean" at the end. The solo sets are shorter, but still hold fan goodies like "Kryptonite" and "She Lives in My Lap." And the inclusion of "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)," which was naturally dedicated to Pimp C, is always a good call.
When Outkast's reunion run kicked off four months ago, Andre 3000 was criticized for a lack of energy, the crow was bashed for not paying attention, and the set list ran long to produce an anticlimactic ending. At Lollapalooza, all of those wrongs were righted, and dazzlingly so. When fireworks began bursting behind the Samsung Galaxy Stage as Outkast performed "Aquemini's" title track, the moment felt both exuberant and well-earned.