Big Freedia | Empty Bottle | Dance | Chicago Reader

Big Freedia Recommended Agenda Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: June 4-5, 9 p.m. 2014

A few years ago New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia began to find an audience far afield from her city’s club scene, and her booming popularity among hipsters raised some eyebrows. When you see a gay self-described “diva,” flanked by a troupe of twerk-happy female dancers, performing black dance music to a largely white audience as the opening act for Matt & Kim or the Postal Service, it’s hard not to suspect that there’s at least a little exoticization going on. But the relentlessly positive energy that Big Freedia manifests during her shows is enough to power-wash those worries away, along with any others you happen to have brought along. Recently her Fuse TV reality show, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, has garnered her even more mainstream exposure, and on June 17 she releases her latest album, Just Be Free (Queen Diva Music). It’s her most nuanced and musically complex recording yet, with more dynamic range than her older tracks and even a few nods to EDM and pop rap—but her live performances remain as fantastically raw and in-the-red as they’ve ever been. —Miles Raymer

Price: $20

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