Photo: Big Boi's Instagram

Photo: Big Boi’s Instagram

Music festivals always tend to offer up a weird selection of people and fans. You get moms who post up at merchandise tables bewildered and obviously drained, teenage kids who roll Molly and try to keep up with pulsating EDM beats and then you have the straight laced guys like us who sit back and wonder if we’re in our own Hunter S. Thompson story.

Jambalaya, Scoremore’s three-day, three-city music festival of hip-hop acts blended in with EDM crowd pleasers took off last night at Bayou Music Center letting both fans of a legendary rapper such as Big Boi get to interact with RL Grime & Zeds Dead enthusiasts. The high school kids we ran into a week ago openly ranted and raved about the lineup and how many different party favors they needed just to survive. It would also be worth noting that before the show that there was a mini-controversy involving show headliners EarlWolf (that’s Earl Sweatshirt & Tyler, the Creator for you not right next to your Odd Future element table) where the two either played a prank on fans by announcing Earl wasn’t going to show via Twitter or it really was all for real.

tyler-earl-jambalayaWell, Earl showed. He and Tyler met at the center of the stage and proceeded to dive right into their collective of material such as “Assmilk”, “Orange Juice” & “Pigeons” and lift up a crowd, some of whom had been there since the doors opened at 4:30 in the afternoon. We’d found ourselves catching Earl back in December when the entirety of Odd Future came down at House Of Blues but this was as close to a solo Earl show as we could get and the hype matches the music. Tyler even went into his WOLF bag pulling out “Cowboy”, despite everybody who had praised the album wanting to hear “IFHY” or wished for a interesting wrinkle where Frank Ocean would finally step on Houston soil to give us “Bimmer”. Sadly, neither.

Yet, for the better part of eight hours the kids were entertained. Thoroughly. Jambalaya fixed itself up as a pregame for Free Press Summerfest which happens next Saturday & Sunday and it didn’t disappoint with Zeds Dead trying to cave the walls of the building in with every song they had that could have kicked someone in their throat. They were part of the energy movement that Earl & Tyler topped off and while EDM is always a great party starter, trying to survive its marathon like tendencies is interesting – see the kids who carved out different sections of Bayou for their rest and chill moments like different districts ala Hunger Games.

And while we were noted fans of RL Grime and heard G-Eazy had delivered on an opening set that would have made the FCC faint, we came for Daddy Fat Sacks. The OutKast funkateer’s latest album has some Houston tinged flavor to it with the Cy Fyre produced “The Thickets” but with a video board that doubled as an audio visual trip down memory lane, we quickly realized this was about the party pure and simple. So when the small spacial chimes of “B.O.B” kicked off, we almost dead sprinted to a position to have enough space to jump and leap and twist and shout. That song is arguably the best song the 2000s ever gave us and Big Boi is easily one of rap’s far more unappreciated statesmen – mostly thanks to his partner but that’s another story.

You nod and bounce around to “Ms. Jackson” in your best karaoke, you hand clap and slink around to “Rosa Parks” and that’s when everything becomes a blur – where Jambalaya becomes its own being and you don’t know anything better to do except sit back and enjoy the high velocity ride. Dallas & Austin are next on its fantastic voyage.