Panorama Fest 2016: Kaytranada glows up, while NYC hails King Kendrick on Day Two

  /  07.24.2016

NEW YORK, NY — Coachella Eas… er, Panorama Music Fest 2016 continued into its second day on Saturday (July 23), adding extra energy to its inaugural weekend with performances by Kendrick Lamar, Kaytranada, Blood Orange and many, many more. Although the Big Apple’s heat wave kept the temperatures in the mid-90s (yes, another sticky and muggy one), the music bouncing off each of the festival’s three stages (Panorama, The Parlor, The Pavilion) kept the thousands of excited attendees cool. Word to Kendrick, nothing was going to kill Day 2’s vibe and much of that was displayed thanks to the following highlights:

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Anderson Paak makes ’em dance

Stage: The Pavilion

Setting a vibrant start to the evening, Andersen brought Malibu to New York City. You could say the warm temps allowed for that said feel to permeate through the speakers and onto the lively festival goers, but more than that, it was the vibes and electric grooves set off from the incomparable performer. To say that Anderson .Paak is an incredible performer would be an understatement. After all, we witnessed this showmanship during his REVOLT Live performance last year. But what the Cali native pulled off on the Pavilion stage was next level. Backed by The Free Nationals, .Paak gave a show that was as buoyantly rich as sonics contained within his Malibu opus (Yes, you read that correct). Within his nearly hour long set, he danced, swayed, strutted and even jumped behind the drum kit all while performing his string of favorites from his two-punch set Malibu and Venice. To kick off an evening that was already set to feature big time performances from Kendrick, Kaytranada, and Sufjan Stevens, .Paak threw his bid in for a possible headlining slot after this show. Like a line from “Am I Wrong,” he conveyed the message: “Hey, I never wanna waste your time.”

Blood Orange sets the vibes

Stage: Panorama Stage

Dressed in a white tank top, G-Unit denim jeans cut into shorts, dark shades and a dad cap, Dev Hynes came to party on Saturday. Flipping through cuts from Cupid Deluxe (“You’re Not Good Enough”) and the most recent Freetown Sound (“Our Lady Africa”), along with past favorites (“Bad Girls”), the pop producer and songwriter doused fans with a splash of infectious 80s soul. Braving the warm temps, his vocals kept everyone (including the energy) around the stage cool as a summer’s breeze along the shore.

Flosstradamus throw the best parties

Stage: The Pavilion

The turn was real, and also lived right here during Flosstradamus’ exuberant set. Like Major Lazer on Friday, the duo threw a party that once again set the tone for Panorama as the sun began to fade behind the New York City skyline. Hits were played (Madeintyo’s ”Uber Everywhere,” Desiigner’s “Panda,” Bob Marley’s “Every Little Thing”), while hands, glow sticks, and beach balls were all tossed in the air. It was a summer bash on the Island (Randall’s Island to be clear), nothing more, nothing less.

Kaytranada glows Up

Stage: The Parlor

If his excellent album, 99.9, wasn’t already an indication to where Kaytranada was going to take it for his Panorama debut, then on this night he set the bar. With a disco ball orchestrating the night’s wave of energy, the maestro commanded the crowd with a party that felt like Studio 54 meets, well, Panorama’s Parlor space. But while the energy glowed, the tight space didn’t help. Like with DJ Khaled’s set on Friday, Kaytranada was booked inside an intimate setting that couldn’t contain the hundreds of attendees that wrapped lines around the tented stage. Inside, it was packed like a sardine can and hot and muggy like a stairwell. Although those factors didn’t effect the show that was taking place on the stage, it did however put a damper on things in the crowd — leading many to find a quick exit due to the sweltering conditions.

Kendrick Lamar, Atten-hut!

As the big ticket of the night, Kendrick Lamar came, saw, and conquered. It helped that the TDE lyricist was dressed in militant gear (camouflaged jacket, cargo pants and combat boots). Hitting with ice-cool, forensic precision as emphatic “Kendrick” chants erupted from the festival grounds to a max volume that travelled across the Harlem River, K. Dot delivered a performance that felt much like a state-of-the-union address. As a vignette played the background with imagery and video clips that included everything from the infamous “Malice at the Palace,” to Prince’s acceptance speech at the 1985 American Music Awards and Bill O Reilly’s wild Inside Edition freakout, Kendrick gave nothing short of a magisterial set that featured everything from freeform jazz to turn up hip-hop, in-your-face funk and most notably the groove. The applause throughout his hour-and-a-half set was tumultuous, while the energy radiating from the stage complimented it to a T. He performed newer cuts like “Untitled 07 | levitate” and “Untitled 02 | 06.23.2014” (better known as “Get Top on the Phone”), took it back to good kid, m.A.A.d city with “Money Trees” and “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” and unloaded the To Pimp A Butterfly sessions with “These Walls,” “i” and “For Free?” — all to name a few. He even took things back to Section.80 real quick with “ADHD.”

As someone who was fortunate to see the TDE lyricist go from performing at smaller venues like New York City’s S.O.B.’s and San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom to hitting stages in Madison Square Garden and now headlining music festivals like Panorama (again, to name a few), K. Dot’s set was such an unexplainable yet rewarding experience. But this writer, and the thousands around him, didn’t only feel this way, so did the main man himself. “We took the stars from up top and brought them down,” he said at one point during the show, while reminiscing on his journey.

The night’s main highlight came when Kendrick offered some light in regards to the recent string of tragedies affecting our country. “Tonight, we gonna celebrate life,” he said. “Celebrate our life and the lives of those we lost these last three weeks.” As a dedication to the current social climate and the tragic headlines made the last couple of weeks, the master of ceremonies provided a moment of solidarity, love and hope all with one song… “we gon’ be alright!”



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