Big Freedia's fan Kevin Hart was not only in the photo pit for her Jazz Fest set on Saturday – he WAS the photo pit once everyone was cleared out to make room for the actor/comedian. This gave him a front row view of the backside of the New Orleans Queen of Bounce, who twerked her way through “Please Excuse” as fans took selfies with Hart and Freedia as a backdrop. “Please excuse / I don't mean to be rude / but gimme that mic let me do what I do,” rapped Freedia with the crowd waving spirit fingers back at her.
After the crowd hysteria, there was an emotional moment in the show when Big Freedia dedicated “Get Lucky” and the set to her mother Vera Ross who passed away on April 1. The bounce star noted that the sun in the sky was shining brightly for “queen hero, and I'm so proud to be her child.”
Freedia then brought New Orleans brass collective The Soul Rebels up for a version of “Get Lucky” with her own unique twist on Daft Punk's hit and exhorted the crowd to “get up off your motherf*cking feet if you feel lucky.” Robin Thicke was performing on the Congo Square stage after Big Freedia, and one wonders if being feet away from an originator of twerking gave him a Miley Cyrus at the Billboard Music Awards flashback.
Big Freedia bounced onto the scene more than a decade ago, and with DJ Juane Jordan, performed tracks from her early years all the way up to “Explode,” the first single from the upcoming album “Just Be Free” which will debut in June on Freedia's own Queen Diva Music Label.
A masterfully outrageous entertainer, Freedia's set included a lineup of bounce dancers in gravity-defying shorts who could have levitated the stage if twerking was connected to any kind of combustion engine. Making the leap from musical hometown hero to reality show star, Big Freedia is about to debut a second season on Fuse-TV with her show “Queen of Bounce.” The queen diva's reality television world and her Jazz Fest set are both, in a word, fierce.
Photos by Haley Odom/AXS.com
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