There’s no party like a throwback party, and that’s exactly what the crowd at Tempe Beach Park got at the Fiesta de Taco: an all-star lineup that featured Flo Rida, 2 Chainz, Lil Jon, Ying Yang Twins, and T.I.
The California-based event announced its triumphant return back in March after several years of pandemic-related hiatus, and the Arizona date was an added bonus. Fans were ready for tacos, luchador fights, margaritas, and their favorite hip hop acts.
It was far too hot on Saturday for apple bottom jeans (let alone boots with the fur) but the crowd still got low all day long. DJ Lewiss Lux spun tracks from the past 40 years and welcomed fans to the park, and T.I. properly started the party with his set that featured “Bring Em Out”, “Live Your Life”, “Whatever You Like”, and plenty more. The crowd rapped along, clearly remembering the words from years past, and it set the tone for a nostalgia-tinged function.
Ying Yang Twins also brought the hits to their set — “Badd”, “Ms. New Booty”, and “Salt Shaker” among them — and strutted up and down the catwalk but not taking it too seriously. The two were having fun being back on stage, laughing at themselves and at each other for their antics. It was just the primer for Lil Jon, who had possibly the most stacked setlist of the whole day. The Atlanta-based artist has been a staple collaborator across genres, which is never more apparent than when the tracks are played back to back: “Get Low” and “Yeah!” and “Turn Down for What” just for starters. Bringing Ying Yang Twins back on stage to reprise “Salt Shaker” was a highlight, as was extending the party past his scheduled set end time — why cut off a good thing?
Post-sunset, the crowd welcomed 2 Chainz with a swelling chorus of “Truuuuu” and he was delighted. He treated fans to the essentials like “I’m Different” and “F**kin Problems” and had us sing along (“She had a big booty so I call her big booty” from “Birthday Song” was the most confident line shouted). It was, in fact, a vibe. What was not a vibe, however, was Flo Rida’s delayed charter coming from Lovers & Friends Fest in Vegas. But he made the extra hour worth the wait, spraying the crowd with champagne first thing and making it rain once again with $1 bills — just in the first three songs. Flo Rida was all about the fan engagement, bringing people on stage and adding plenty of commentary between songs. The crowd ate it up, and you could say we have a “Good Feeling” the event will be a springtime staple in years to come.
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Story and photos by Taylor Knauf