Jambalaya really was the right name for Scoremore's one day festival offering at The Palladium on Saturday. It was an appetizing and sometimes surprising mix of hip-hop and EDM artists that only the folks at Scoremore could assemble.
Headliners Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future would have been enough of an event themselves. Add hip-hop superhero Big Boi and Canadian Electronic Music duo Zed's Dead, and Saturday promised a startling mix of both artists and audience.
This bill was filled with professionals who know how to cater to their particular demo. So let me be clear, the sets from everyone Saturday night were memorable. Big Boi with a full band was especially impressive, even if some of Jambalaya's crowd was too young to know .... um, any of it. Delving into past material is an old habit for any good music nerd but the chants for Zed Dead at the end of Boi's set suggest that hasn't happened yet for these particular Electro fans.
Zed's Dead commanded the crowd from their decks and the entirety of the North Texas tween to late-tween set danced in seeming unison. It went: arms up, beat drops, wave your body around.
Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt are slightly less ferocious now than I remember during the Odd Future-rocks-your-world-at-2011-SXSW tour, but their clear chemistry on stage and ability to unite the disparate crowd suggest a maturity and progression for these artists, even if they willfully contradict such growth.
As one of the resident old ladies in the crowd, I have to admit I was feeling a little out of my element and the Big Boi die-hard in me was feeling some feelings about his early set time and his place on the bill in front of these whipper-snappers. Even Big Boi from the front of the stage asked, "How old are you?! Are you 5?" to someone I couldn't see in the front of the crowd.
Boi's drummer in particular was translating the 808's from his catalog with particular flair, distracting me momentarily from those previous feelings. As he finished an OutKast medley in the set, a young man walked up to me and a friend and politely asked if I'd like to have some Molly. We declined as mannerly just as the opening beats of "Kryptonite," boomed from the speakers. It felt like some sort of line in the sand being drawn between the different generations present. We were there for different artists. We were there for different drugs.
I admitted that I was thrilled to see Big Boi with a live band, but was disappointed by how disengaged so much of the crowd was. "Don't you remember listening to Aquemini and not knowing what the future was going to be like?" I asked, maybe overstating the experience a bit.
"Yeah," someone replied, "And now it's going to be like Odd Future."
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I glanced around the sedated crowd, understanding my experience of the evening would be in the minority. These tween to late-tweens were having a great, if Molly-d time, and there was no denying their connection to each other, even if it wasn't my own.
Sometimes, on nights like Saturday you go for the music, and you see something else entirely: A generation that's not your own, moving to sounds that speak to you very differently and trying to connect it all. It's an interesting exercise.
And during Earl and Tyler's set I saw the influence of so many who have come before them as they twist and turn it into something new. And for a minute, even an old overdressed lady didn't mind the kids on her lawn so much. But I am not going to wear those sunglasses that light up. I have to draw the line somewhere.