Rest easy Big B. I was just getting my head wrapped around the sudden and untimely passing of Mark Robinson – which I didn’t mention because his sister Linda Robinson, a dear friend of The American, asked for privacy – when I got news that Brian “Big B” Keith Jones passed away over the weekend. I am still so shook that I don’t know what to say. For many years, B was famous for protecting Nelly’s personal space. But what most folks didn’t see was the kind hearted gentle giant that was always quick to lovingly greet with a hug, some dap and a smile. It just doesn’t feel real. I’m sending love, light, prayers and condolences to the families of Big B and Mark Robinson in this time of bereavement. I feel like I’ve done more RIP posts in 2019 than I have in the last several years put together. I can’t speak for anyone else, but this year has been a roller coaster of raw emotion and I’m so ready to kick off this next decade that I don’t know what to do!
The Delmar Hall twerkdown starring Big Freedia. Long before Megan Thee Stallion started showcasing 39-inch lace front units and her bionic kneecaps as part of the call and response twerk sessions her shows are known to be, Big Freedia was in floor-length frontals throwing that thang in a circle to the backdrop of New Orleans bounce music. Freedia was back in town for her biannual STL visit and in her own words made famous by King Bey, she didn’t come to play, she came to slay. And she didn’t let a little thing like a knee-high cast put a damper on her party when she came to Delmar Hall Saturday night with the likes of Low Cut Connie. The band isn’t really my beat, so I’ll stick to Freedia’s portion of the show. Freedia was a blunt cut bang away from serving Bryce Dallas Howard in “Jurassic World” realness with that lengthy ginger bob wig game. I must say that I missed the hang time that Freedia usually serves up with bundles that get low to the flo’. Because whatever her leg was going through, she couldn’t throw it like she usually does, but she tagged in all types of folks to share in the fun. I have never seen such a broad range of twerk skill sets displayed at one time. There was everything from struggle twerk to second degree black belt twerkers on the stage at any given moment. And that gentleman with Freedia who performed a twerk/high knee pivot/kick-ball-change combo that would win the calories burned count against any HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout had me worn out from just watching him. I promise if he added about three more combos to that routine, he would have a best-selling exercise informercial brand on his hands that could make Shaun T’s insanity look low impact. I knew from the boot that Freedia was on the injured reserve list, but her dialed back stop-drop-and-lock only meant that her backup team and several brave audience members shared the spotlight – which is really nothing new for a Freedia show. The only thing that was really different was Freedia taking it easy and acting more like a hypeman than a main attraction twerker. I wasn’t the least bit mad with how the show shook out, well except for that velveteen rabbit blouse. The body chain was cute though. I promise that. I thought when I saw the leg boot that it would be lackluster. Quite the contrary. Freedia came close to redeeming New Orleans’ reputation after a certain group of folks who shall remain nameless came through and gave national attention to how St. Louis’ boo game is not to be taken lightly.
Young Thug and MGK rewind. Because I was so busy lighting an aforementioned platoon up in last week’s Partyline, I realized that I left off my recap of the Halloween night performance of Young Thug, Machine Gun Kelly and a few other alternative trap acts that kept the stage warm until the main attractions got their turn at St. Charles Family Arena. I know what you’re thinking, “I didn’t even know Young Thug was coming to town.” Well, you may not have, but all the Brett, Tristians, Amandas and Bethanys came through in the clutch to make it look the whole show wasn’t a well-kept secret. It was clear that when his set was over that most of the folks who came where checking for Machine Gun Kelly. And since he gave the better show of the two, I can’t say that I’m mad that folks dipped out. There are probably some young ladies in ICU at this very moment because of the barely-there costume choices that they decided to remain committed to despite the temperature fell faster than an uninjured Big Freedia dropping it on the beat. Young Thug was cool, but he and those vocal tracks were just no match for MGK. I will say that I did appreciate his costume. Based on those snug khakis and white shirt, he was dressed up as my niece (a first grader at Meadows Elementary) on crazy pants day. What? If it hadn’t been for the design going down the side of his leg, he would have been in full compliance with anybody’s school uniforms. I was a nervous wreck about him and MGK jumping into the mosh pit, but they didn’t seem the least bit bothered by putting their lives at risk for the turnup.
Jess Hilarious returns with local comedy and music vets RockHouse Ent. and Drip Entertainment, who most recently brought the house down by bringing current U.S. Twerker Laureate Meghan Thee Stallion to the Pageant will be back in the building at 6161 Delmar with a special show that will give the crowd a chance to chuckle and croon along. Jess Hilarious, who managed to turn internet fame into a full-time bag that now includes standup and television, will have a chance to redeem herself for that underwhelming Laugh Lounge visit last year. What? Where is the lie? Anyway, she’ll be headlining The Love and Laughter Comedy Explosion – and joined by St. Louis’ own Jovan Bibbs, Maurice G. and Jessie Taylor on Sunday, November 24. The show also features another St. Louis native, national recording artist JuJu with the smoothed out R&B vocals. Because St. Louis has recently made the news as far as how tough we will punish an act that is not bringing their best, I have a feeling this will be her redemption song – and that the hometown folks will make it do what it do as per usual far St. louis funny. The show starts at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6.