Best in Show: Outkast
Are they together or aren't they? We're just going to bank on the fact that New York audiences will likely never again get to see reunited Outkast in our hometown, particularly on the Governor's Ball scale, but oh, was it a glorious send-off. They opened with "Bombs Over Baghdad" – opened with it! – and did not let up for a good hour and a half, impeccably running through hits from every album and seeming extremely happy to do it. The duo traded single tracks from Speakerboxx/The Love Below and seemed to be aware they were weeding out the true fans when Three Stacks dropped "Hey Ya" halfway through the set, with Janelle Monáe appearing onstage as a backup dancer.
Some people left after that pop sing-along, but more stayed, and when Killer Mike came out for Big Boi's perennial club banger "Kryptonite," everyone still on the island lost their minds. Not a hit went unturned: "Elevators (Me & You)," "Player's Ball," "ATLiens," "Ms. Jackson," "Hootie Hoo," etc, with a surprise appearance by forever-underrated R&B giant Sleepy Brown, who sang the "Way You Move" hook in silk pajamas. Andre 3000 reminded us of the 1995 Source Awards incident in which they were booed for not being from New York, back when regionalism still mattered, but to this crowd of New Yorkers going bananas and rapping back every bar, it was clear Atlanta is always welcome at the table. They ended on the brilliant "Int'l Players Anthem" and "The Whole World," an epic outro and that felt like a giant hug. Bye, Outkast. Come back again some time. J.E.S.