Screams, singing and hit rap songs echoed off the walls of the Prudential Center in Newark on Saturday night. Audience members danced and screamed “I love you” to the artists throughout the night. Powerhouse 105.1 boasted a stacked lineup, with well-known names such as Meek Mill, Migos and DaBaby, leading to a sold-out show this year. Powerhouse was highlighted by Cardi B’s surprise appearance, DaBaby entering the crowd and performances of iconic songs such as Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares.”
The show started promptly at 7 p.m. with Megan Thee Stallion energetically kicking off the night in a black bodysuit and high boots. Plenty of seats were empty at the time, but Megan still called up a few girls from the audience, telling them “Simon says bust it open like a freak” before transitioning into her song “Simon Says” as the audience cheered on the girls twerking on stage. Her performance was followed by Polo G, who sang his hit “Pop Out,” and Lil Tjay, who energetically jumped around the whole stage and even climbed on top of some boxes at one point. The show was just getting started, but people were already standing during every set — the first few were a rapid-fire 20 minutes each.
The seats finally filled up around 8 p.m., with all three floors of the arena packed. The hype wasn’t limited to the performances — each artist needed a different stage set-up, so Power 105.1 made sure to entertain the audience with a DJ during transition periods as long as 40 minutes. Audience members took selfie videos singing along as people danced and yelled the lyrics. The radio personas that introduced each artist were not afraid to hype up the crowd, telling everyone to make noise; one even encouraged the audience to scream a collective “f-ck you” at one point.
Saweetie went up next in a large fluffy coat which she took off to reveal a Milano Rogue see-through bodysuit. She promoted female empowerment, telling the girls in the audience “Don’t settle for anything less,” before transitioning into her hit song “My Type.” DaVido followed thereafter as a calmer set with his light-hearted songs that emitted a carefree, beachy vibe.
DaBaby was one of the crowd favorites, and the audience cheered loudly as he entered. His set marked the start of the longer sets of the night, allowing him plenty of time for songs off of his 2019 album “KIRK.” The first collab of the night was during his performance, when he got the audience to collectively chant “baby” and brought out Lil Baby to sing “Baby” with him. Throughout his set, DaBaby jumped around the stage amid inflatable dancing babies and threw water into the crowd. He entered the crowd at one point, where he rapped and danced surrounded by excited fans who were close enough to touch him. Lil Baby immediately followed his performance with an even longer set, singing hits like “Yes Indeed” and “Bad Bad Bad.”
Up next was A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie opening with a Michael Jackson mix of “Look Back at It.” Along with his songs from “Hoodie SZN,” day-one A Boogie fans got to see him perform songs from his first album “Artist,” such as “Jungle.” He also briefly mentioned his new upcoming album, “Artist 2.0.” As the concert approached the three-and-a-half-hour mark, most fans started sitting during set breaks.
Meek Mill went on next, but sang only a few of his own songs before giving the stage to some special guests such as Young M.A and Pop Smoke, who was removed from the Rolling Loud lineup at the request of the NYPD. During the performance, his microphone cut out because he went past his allotted time. By the time he left the stage, it was getting late. Some people left before Migos came on to close. Those who stayed were rewarded with a Cardi B guest appearance — in a Halloween nurse outfit. She was greeted with screams from the audience. Cardi and Offset were not afraid to show their intimacy on stage, as Cardi danced around him and kissed him before leaving the stage.
The showed ended around midnight, marking a whopping five hours with 10 headlining performers. Hip hop fans stumbled out of the venue, exhausted but delighted with the depth of big-name acts that Powerhouse 105.1 brought this year.
A version of this article appears in the Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, print edition. Email Julia Mao at [email protected]