Review: Big Boi, Metz deliver noise, nostalgia at the Ritz Ybor for Skatepark of Tampa's Tampa Pro Party
If you were to make a list of Tampa Bay’s musical tastemakers, one name on the list would have to be the Skatepark of Tampa.
Even putting aside that the venue Epic Problem (formerly Transitions Art Gallery) is literally adjacent to them, the skatepark’s been providing some of Tampa’s hippest shows for their Pro and Am parties. They’ve created lineups like Superchunk and Titus Andronicus and Les Savy Fav and No Age. They’ve gotten everyone from Del tha Funkee Homosapien to Dinosaur Jr. to play their parties.
So perhaps only they could bring together a bill like rapper and former Outkast member Big Boi and noisy Canadian Sub Pop punkers Metz for their 20th Pro Party on Saturday night at the Ritz Ybor.
Both acts are hip enough that their upcoming tours, which this show served as a warm-up for, earned individual news stories from the A.V. Club. Admittedly, from the hip-hop the DJ spinned between bands to Metz’s own self-deprecating comments, much of the crowd seemed to be there for Big Boi.
But the Toronto trio delivered with an absolutely searing set recalling one by Steve Albini’s band or Mudhoney, whose shirt guitarist-vocalist Alex Edkins sported.
It’s no surprise that a band whose album opens with slamming drums and a primal “oo-oo, oo-oo” on Headache might be a raucous presence onstage. But as if to drive the point home, Edkins leaped on the drummer’s set (knocking much of it over) and pulled the microphone down to better sway and sling sweat into the crowd — before knocking over the mic and himself as well.
Pairing a noisy Sub Pop band with Big Boi makes more sense than the typical rapper, as his latest album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors features collaborations with indie acts like Phantogram and Little Dragon. But despite sporting the record title on the brim of his hat (ever the self-promoter), he saved the encore to perform from his newest release.
Instead, like Skatepark of Tampa, this was largely a nostalgic night for Big Boi. And sure enough, one expected him to dip in his former group Outkast’s catalog, starting off with the album-chronology-honoring duo of So Fresh, So Clean and Ms. Jackson off Stankonia.
But one couldn’t have predicted how deep he would delve, spanning Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik from their 1994 debut of the same name to The Way You Move off 2003’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below. And behind him a screen played clips of a younger him in Outkast music videos — only adding to the feelings of nostalgia.
Still, Big Boi found time to visit his solo debut Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty with tracks like Daddy Fat Sax and the irrepressibly poppy Shine Blockas (which features Spring Breakers star Gucci Mane.) And as his closer, he performed three tracks off his newest album, including electronica-drenched CPU and new single Apple of My Eye.
All in all, it was a pretty successful night of genre-hopping for Skatepark of Tampa, and one that raises the question — what do they have planned for the 21st anniversary party in December?
-- Jimmy Geurts, tbt*