By Max Stewart
When cutting the ribbon on a new Atlanta music venue, you gotta bring in the real ATL music royalty. And that is exactly what The Eastern in the Reynoldstown neighborhood of Atlanta did. With legendary Big Boi of Outkast kicking things off, the city welcomed with open arms a slick new music venue after a year of virtually no live shows due to the pandemic. It was an all-time performance that featured a hearty mix of Outkast songs amongst solo originals and a few covers. Big Boi was joined by his full band that is featured on many of the formative Outkast tunes, as well as another ATL music legend, Sleepy Brown (who has long been connected with Outkast and sang the lead vocals on “The Way You Move”). We even got a sit in from the Southern rap pioneers, Goodie Mob, for their new song “Pray 4 Da Sheep,” which features Big Boi.
Complete with an ‘ATLiens’ hat and Atlanta Hawks shorts, Big Boi is all ATL. When playing tunes like “Gasoline Dreams,” “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” “ATLiens,” “So Fresh, So Clean,” it was a cathartic moment watching the fans’ eyes light up and rejoice in the many stylistic flavors of Big Boi’s setlist.
The Eastern is no doubt a legendary room that will host many incredible evenings, and it was perfect to have Big Boi christen the place with some southern swag.