Live Review: Big Freedia and Limp Wrist at The Echoplex
It's packed and stifling hot inside the Echoplex--the air has that disconcerting palatable thickness unique to being indoors in July. But the sold-out, sweaty, leather-clad crowd presses against the stage as fervently as ever, because Big Freedia has just thrown down the gauntlet.
"You want a booty battle? Imma give you a booty battle!" bellows the New Orleans bounce queen, and they all but lose control.
Her declaration is a lesson well-learned by one fan, whose enthusiasm gets the better of him and jumps the stage to interrupt/participate in the fat-bottomed dance-off between two female fans.
Andrea Domanick Azz everywhere
"Oh, hold up ..." Freedia says, the music appropriately scratching to a stop. If you cross the Queen Diva, you're gonna get burned, or at least schooled in booty-shaking. So while the chubby teen tries his darndest to hold up to Freedia, even taking off his shirt, he's no match for her moves. The verdict?
"You ain't ready," she scoffs. Who is?
That was more or less the takeaway from last night's L.A. stop on Freedia's "Go Homo" tour, a bill shared with queercore punk greats Limp Wrist.
We've seen Freedia perform her brand of relentlessly fast, booty-obsessed beats and samples a few times before, including another stint at the Echoplex with The Rapture last fall. But instead of the artist-finding-her-footing we expected, last night we saw a performer in control of her audience and on a mission:
"I'm so happy to be gay! Put your hands in the air if you're proud to be gay," said Freedia, who, while genetically a man, prefers a different pronoun. "I'm on a journey, y'all. Thanks for helping me spread and stand up for queer pride."
It was one of several sobering moments in the set, when, despite the joy and celebration of her message, a certain weariness came through. But don't get it twisted: Big Freedia and her DJ Rusty Lazer make strictly party music. No sooner had she paused to talk than she jumped into belting an impromptu a capella number that can only be dubbed "Big Dick Daddy," followed by a heavy-on-the-haterade freestyle to the theme of Destiny's Child's "Independent Women Part 1."