Big Freedia at Grog Shop: Concert Review

Big Freedia, right, leads the crowd onstage in a fair bit of ass shakin during Azz Everywhere.
  • Big Freedia, right, leads the crowd onstage in a fair bit of ass shakin' during "Azz Everywhere."
One has to hearken back to as far as, perhaps, Jonathan Swift to find the right words to describe a Big Freedia concert: "Ass. And lots of it, I daresay!"

The Queen Diva herself strolled onstage, dropped off her purse next to the DJ's rig and lit right into one of the hottest shows in the country. And that's really not an overstatement.

Freedia's been making a name for herself and the rest of New Orleans' sissy bounce movement for years now. With her show on the road, crisscrossing North America and shining a beacon of light on unshaken asses from Montreal to South Central, she's proffering a grand statement: Be yaself and don't give a good goddamn what others think. "Shaketh thy ass," to once again invoke Swift.

So at the Grog Shop last night, this mostly miraculous show brought a world of fun to Cleveland Heights' grungy venue. It was LOUD - Freedia was often calling for more volume, More Volume, MORE VOLUME! - and it was brash. She brought along a succinct dance team to round out the "ass-certified" aspects of the show, as she said. And later, during her borderline hit "Azz Everywhere," she brought up about a dozen audience members to shake their stuff and get down. A choice quote from the Queen Diva: "Hands on the floor! Ass in the air!"

Even in the pit in front of the stage, the dancing masses ebbed and flowed in time with the chopped-up, flibbity-bibbity, can't-stop-won't-stop beats and loops. The whole bit is fairly repetitive, but a dismissal like that would miss the point. Freedia's come to free your asses minds and dish up a NOLA-style party wherever her and her dance crew find themselves. Consider yourself lucky - and totally spent by the time it's all said and done - to catch a show like that in our little corner of the otherwise Americana-laced Rust Belt.

On the way out, dig one of Freedia's more excitable videos below:

About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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