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Concerts Rap and Hip Hop

Vivid Seats Live Year in Review: OutKast at Summerfest 2014

December 18, 2014 by Alyssa

2014 in Review

As part of our end-of-the-year blog series, Live Year in Review, Vivid Seats staffers will be looking back on some of the best live events attended in 2014. In this installment, Alyssa reviews the June 29 OutKast concert at Milwaukee’s Summerfest.

Every June and July, Milwaukee hosts Summerfest, “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” on the Henry Maier Festival grounds along the shores of Lake Michigan. Any night of its annual two-week run, you can watch a smattering of country, rock, hip-hop, and EDM acts, but on June 29 this year, Summerfest brought something extra special to the main stage: a resurrected OutKast.


To put things into perspective, the last time OutKast toured, I wasn’t even old enough to drive. Over the years, though, the catalog of this hip-hop duo has only grown in esteem, and so it was incredible to watch live performances of songs I’ve played a million times from pioneering albums like ATLiens, Stankonia, and the impressively 11-times Platinum Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

When OutKast reunited for its 20th anniversary in 2014, the hip-hop duo skipped the standard reunion route and instead joined the international festival circuit. Two months after a rocky first set at Coachella, OutKast came to Milwaukee with a much-improved show and delivered the most fun concert I have ever attended.

It might have helped that Summerfest is much more low-key than your typical festival experience. Instead of spending all day under the blazing sun in the middle of a crowd, I watched local bands from under shaded pavilions. Even the Summerfest main stage, Marcus Amphitheater, is closed off from the rest of the grounds, so the OutKast performance felt more like a standalone concert than a festival set.

From start to finish, the OutKast Summerfest concert was perfectly polished and packed with all the big hits. Even from back in the lawn, the crowd’s enthusiasm was overwhelming, so when André 3000 and Big Boi opened the show with the hyper-energetic “B.O.B.,” an amphitheater-wide dance party was already in effect. 


Of course, “Hey Ya” (arguably one of the most perfect pop songs ever written) was a highlight of the night, especially since OutKast brought a gaggle of fans on stage to dance. (For the record, I am infinitely jealous of all of those ladies.) If you told me five years ago I would get to yell “Ice cold!” back to a real, live André 3000, I wouldn’t have believed you, but sometimes concert dreams do come true:


A number of deep cuts also made the OutKast Summerfest setlist (“Crumblin’ Erb,” “She Lives in My Lap,” and “Hootie Hoo”), much to the delight of diehard fans. Over the course of 24 songs, ranging from big hits and cult favorites, the show never lost steam. The audience was feeding OutKast’s performance on more than a decade of pent-up energy, and we were all left reeling as we spilled into the parking lot.

Since the reunion tour ended, it’s been rumored that OutKast may never perform as a duo again. The two rappers have notoriously gone their separate ways, and André 3000 in particular has admitted in an interview on The Fader that he felt like a sell-out on the reunion. All I know is that I’m incredibly grateful I was able to see these hip-hop pioneers live, and I know they’ll leave a legacy as two of the greatest performers in modern music history.

We’ll have to wait a while to see the full Summerfest 2015 lineup, but two Marcus Amphitheater headliners have already been announced for June: Florida Georgia Line (June 24) and Linkin Park (June 30). Secure Summerfest tickets for those shows today and experience your own dream concert in 2015.

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