Big Freedia's ass-tastic Orlando debut was one of this year's hottest tickets

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Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Big Freedia, Will's Pub, Mar. 31

Y’all can keep your trap. Any day of the week, I’ll take bounce music, probably the best thing to come out of the Southern underground in modern times. It’s the most unbridled expression of music’s carnal spirit since booty bass. Bounce is pure sex – unleashed, put to the most slapping beat imaginable and set on repeat.
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Though it’s made some forays into the popular music landscape since emerging in the ‘90s, the fresh New Orleans hip-hop offspring, in its pure form, has remained mostly a regional tradition. However, Big Freedia – bounce’s larger-than-life ambassador – is a figure that burns brighter than almost any other breakout star in recent memory.
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
You don’t make music like bounce if you don’t already have a big personality, and there are plenty of them in bounce. But none have the talent and singularity of Freedia, who owns easily the most booming voice the genre has ever seen. It’s a power that’s not just made her the poster girl of bounce but an icon unto herself that’s inspired a reality TV series (Big Freedia Bounces Back, formerly Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, on Fuse TV, now six seasons running) and appearances on songs by the likes of Beyoncé, Diplo and RuPaul.

Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia’s show was one I’ve been waiting on for years. And she finally debuted in Orlando as one of this year’s most hotly anticipated tickets, a deal so big and overdue that it sold out an astonishing two months in advance. There are few experiences like being in the same room with this kind of sonic and physical intensity. It’s a celebration of human sexuality in its most raw and revelatory form.
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
You can’t talk about the spectacle of a Big Freedia show without her shake team, the superheroic dancers on whose butt cheeks the term “twerking” has risen to the mainstream. This is no typical arena display where an army of faceless, micro-choreographed background dancers orbits the diva. This is a cavalcade of bionic ass that pushes the imagination on human physical ability.
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Besides Freedia, who is a preternaturally gifted twerker herself, her dancers are an assemblage of individual dynamos more akin to a breakdance crew, each a star with their own physical personalities and attitude. Her current squad is made up mostly of younger dancers. But it was the presence of OG shaker Tootie that made it a true Big Freedia show. Even with all the athletics from the newjacks like backflips off the wall, there’s still no bigger star on the team than Tootie, who has consistently outclassed all the dance-school stiffs that insufferable choreographer Wilberto has recruited on the TV show (OK, so maybe I’ve seen a few episodes). Team Tootie till I die.
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
As a queer rapper, the breakout of Big Freedia has always been a great story. But Freedia’s individual force as an artist is what has brought the queen diva to the throne she was destined for all along.  And you ain’t living till you’ve seen to maximum live overload of a Big Freedia show.
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Big Freedia at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Big Freedia at Will's Pub
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com




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