Chris: Our weekend started off with Post Malone, a rapper/singer who only brings good vibes through his music and performances. Walking out with his hair in cornrows, a red flannel and a beer in hand, Post Malone smirked and screamed “How you doing New York?!?” The crowd went wild and the positive energy could be felt all around. Post Malone reciprocated this energy by singing at the top of his lungs (you could hear him progressively losing his voice as the performance went on) and dancing without a care in the world. He was there to have fun, and wanted his fans, old and new, to do the same. After playing his hit single “White Iverson” he thanked the crowd and walked along the barricades, high-fiving everyone he could. His smiles were genuine, and his fans appreciated every single moment.
Anna: Empire of the Sun performed late in the afternoon and presented the crowd with one spectacle of a set. Two dancers in full printed bodysuits walked out in an almost ceremonial fashion at the top of the show, making it obvious that this performance was going to be something between Cirque du Soleil and a cult ritual. For those who didn’t know what to expect, like myself, I was at first taken aback. This wasn’t something I had signed up for. But once the music started, the combination of dance and music came together. An electronic duo from Australia, Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore made quite a statement dressed as futuristic royalty, impressing the crowd with both their older music and songs yet to be released on their next album. With strong bass lines and lyrics that are easy to catch on to, Empire of the Sun was an eclectic hit. Their team of dancers put on a strange but riveting performance you couldn’t take your eyes off of and took you somewhere further than just a stage in a stadium parking lot. A combination of spectacle and dance frenzy, you were in an Australian fantasy.
Chris: J. Cole closed the first day of the Meadows. Although I may not be the biggest J Cole fan in the world, he put on an admirable performance. There is no doubt in my mind that the screams could be heard all the way in Manhattan when he came onto the stage. He took a minute to admire the amount of people that came out to see him. Nodding his head in approval of himself and how far he has come, he started feeling the music, jumping to get the crowd hyped. His performance was very energetic, and pausing only for a few seconds in between each song to catch his breath.
The one thing I do strongly admire about J. Cole though is that even though he is such a huge star now, one that has gone double platinum without features, he still manages to stay humble and true to himself. He took a few minutes halfway during the concert to stop and reflect on everything he had done to be where he is now. He started to tell everyone his life story, how and why he started to get into music, where he recorded his first mixtape, what music means to him, etc. He gave his fans something more than just a festival set; he gave them hope. He told them that if they really want something, they just have to believe in themselves. As long as they are willing to pursue their dream and put in the hard work and time into it, they will be successful. It was inspirational, yet entertaining at the same time, something very hard for me to admit when it comes to J. Cole. But again, credit should be given where credit is due.