Anna: Garrett Borns, better known as BØRNS, came out on stage in with a sway in his hips. The singer-songwriter from Michigan drew quite a crowd in the middle of the afternoon and there was an ethereal quality about his stage presence. His performance and music brought a dose of Southern California to the overcast grey skies of Queens. With sunny falsettos and heavy guitar, the set was a release of dopamine for performer and festival-goer alike, much like the title of his last album. The crowd was clearly in love with both the lead singer and his music; girls in the front row screamed at the top of their lungs, singing every lyric and riff. Nina Westervelt, a photographer for NYLON Magazine, said that it was hard to control herself not to take off her bra and throw it up on stage. With self control and a lot of love, Borns was a hit.
Chris: If you don’t know who Chance the Rapper is, I don’t think we can be friends. I’m going to need you to please reevaluate your life and go listen to his latest mixtape “Coloring Book” on any music platform. Chance the Rapper is a hip-hop artist from Chicago, Illinois and what makes him so unique is the fact that he has blown up so much in the past year as an independent rapper, the first to appear on SNL. And with that said, he drew a huge crowd. As we all, more or less patiently, waited for Chance the Rapper to come on stage at 5:45PM, you could see how happy the crowd was. Chance’s voice crooned through the microphone.“ooUU!” The crowd responded enthusiastically, “ooUU!” The instrumental for “Angels” started to play, and Chance ran on stage and started doing the thing he loves most. The crowd went wild. He is so genuine and energetic and happy; you can’t help but smile once you hear his famous adlib “IGH!” ring through the speakers as he’s jumping around the stage. As huge as he is, he remains one of the most humble artists out there, taking time throughout his performance to thank everyone for coming out and listening to his music and giving him the chance (ha) to make music his life. For the Colouring Book Tour, his concerts are written like a musical. He has moments of dialogue between Chance and Carlos the Lion and instructs his choir of puppets to sing the angelic vocals on songs like “Blessings” and “How Great.” He ended his magnificent set with “Summer Friends,” bringing out Francis and the Lights to join him on stage. He told his fans that their blessings weren’t at his concert and that he didn’t have them to physically give them out, but that they were coming soon. I say that he was wrong, because I received my blessing the minute Chance the Rapper stepped onto the Meadows stage.
Anna: For anyone that has seen the 1975 live, their concerts are always a spectacle visually and musically. With large speaker sized light boxes set across the backdrop of the stage and the band’s signature rectangle frames of LEDs, the 1975’s set was just like one of their full length concerts. I didn’t have the chance to see them last December when they came to New York for their last tour, so I hadn’t seen their new aesthetic in concert yet. Prior to a short disappearance from social media a couple summers ago, the 1975 kept to a strict black and white aesthetic. After their brief hiatus, Matty Healy was back in pastel pinks and baby blues, a near 180° flip from their previous look. This was apparent in the light show that accompanied their performance. A monochromatic wash of pink lit up the stage as Healy crooned songs like “Somebody Else.” Healy ran around the stage dancing and swaying his hips to the band’s hits like “the Sound” or “Sex.” Kicking off the North American leg of their latest tour, the 1975 was the perfect way to close the night before Kanye’s set.
For Kanye, the place was filled to capacity, restless and without room to breathe. Those who weren’t huge Kanye fans knew of his cultural influence and wanted to see him live. With fans frustrated and shouting complaints, Kanye was supposed to go on at 8:15PM, but didn’t start his set until 8:48PM. that’s Kanye West. The man can do whatever he wants and people will support it.
The lights dimmed, fans screamed at the top of their lungs. The sample used for “Father Stretch My Hands” started to play on loop. Then, Metro Boomin’s producer tag, ““If Young Metro don’t trust you they gon’ shoot you,” blasted through the speakers and everyone went nuts. The beat dropped and a fireworks display shot up into the sky. Kanye West ran out, screaming his lyrics into the microphone without a second to breathe. Song blended into each other, as if he was rushing to get the concert over with, but somehow still taking his time. The most surprising part of his set was when he jumped into the crowd to dance and turn up with his fans. Everyone who wasn’t in the front was envious at that point. Those who were had been camping out for most of the whole day to secure their spot and their patience paid off.
In the midst of everything, the unexplainable happened. “Heartless” started to play and Kanye started to sing the beginning vocals when he suddenly stopped. He made the DJ cut the music and explained to his fans, “I’m sorry. I have a family emergency. I have to stop the show,” and proceeded off the stage. The crowd was startled and upset. Fans booed him as he walked off the stage, yelling “Refund! Refund!” Ungrateful and disrespectful, the crowd didn’t seem to understand his commitment to family. Yes, it was upsetting Kanye started so late and then left a half hour into his set, but I and a few others understood that he was being serious. Kanye wouldn’t just stop a show and leave for no reason. The media later revealed that Kim Kardashian was robbed and held at gunpoint in Paris and that Kanye rushed to go see her. Even though his set was cut short, those thirty minutes were pure bliss. He gave the crowd pure Kanye on stage and went crazy with his fans. Though unpredictable, Kanye provided.