After an exciting first day, I couldn’t wait to get back on the festival grounds for day two. Since we were more familiar with the area, it didn’t take us nearly as long as the first day to get parked. Of course with the large amount of people, there were multiple lots for day parking attendees. Me and my group of friends ended up in the red lot, which was different from the first lot we parked in, but it was a little closer to our hotel.
We parked fairly quickly so WE THOUGHT the process was going to be breeze. Little did we know that this was also an entrance for those people who wanted to enter the car campgrounds. That added another 15 minutes to our wait in line because of the increased security check at the gate. Every single part of this check was more intense, including the “pat down”; it felt more like slap down. Once we got through that line, we realized that we had a decent walk before we got to the main part of the festival grounds. Once we arrived there, we were greeted with yet another security check.
We planned to get there early enough to go see artists Chloe x Halle perform, but this plan was foiled by the long wait times. They had an early set and since we missed them, we got to take time to eat and enjoy the art around the festival. Since we were there before the masses, we got to go experience the art installation “Spectra” without the huge crowds. There was only about a five-minute wait, which seemed a fraction of the time based on the lengthy lines we saw the day before.
The structure, Spectra, was a seven-story spectrum of color that offered 360-views of the festival grounds and the surrounding areas. It was created by the UK based studio NEWSUBSTANCE. They are known for their show design and bespoke performance structures. Overall, it was amazing to experience because it offered breathtaking views through these colored window panels. This was by far my favorite of the art installations that were built for this year’s festival. Check out pictures of this remarkable structure below:
After my friend and I left the Spectra structure, we began our day of performances; see the list below of all the artists that I saw:
· Marian Hill
· Nile Rodgers & CHIC
· Party Favor
· Alina Baraz
· Tash Sultana
· Tyler, the Creator
· Jorja Smith
· Post Malone
I have to go into detail about this day of performances because this was by far my favorite day. Almost every performer I saw this day knocked my socks off. Now I’m sure most of you who read this will automatically assume Beyoncé provided the best performance, and that a pretty safe assumption because she did. She tore the stage apart and everything about her set was amazing. This is why I think she had the overall best performance of the day, if not the weekend! Having said that, her performance wasn’t my personal favorite of the day. Take a look at the list below to see some of my highlights of day 2:
- Favorite performance of the day – Tash Sultana
- Best stage – Beyoncé
- Best vocal peformance – Beyoncé
- Most energetic performer – Beyoncé/Tash Sultana/Tyler, the Creator (I can’t choose)
- Best crowd – Nile Rodgers & CHIC
- Favorite setlist – Tyler, the Creator
- Favorite surprise of the day – Beyoncé bringing out Destiny’s Child/Party Favor bringing out Jamie Foxx
- Favorite restaurant/food item of the day – Shake Shack – ShackBurger & Fries
- Favorite non-music attraction – Spectra, by NEWSUBSTANCE
…now let me elaborate more on how my socks got knocked off. I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain Beyoncé’s performance because it was plastered all over social media from weekend one. Just in case you live under a rock and didn’t hear about it, let me assure that it indeed was a spectacle. Not only is she a masterful performer, but she also has a ton of time, effort, and money put into every aspect of her performance.
There was a whole band, drumline, and dancers that performed throughout her whole set with her. She later explained to the crowd that she and her team rehearsed for six months to produce her show, SIX MONTHS. I was taken aback when I heard that. To think, she managed to complete all these preparations even with her immensely busy schedule. On top of that, she brought out J. Balvin, Jay-Z, Solange (to dance with, she didn’t actually sing), and she reunited with Kelly and Michelle for a mini Destiny’s Child reunion. So you can see why so many people referred to the weekend as BeyChella.
HOWEVER, as you can see from my list that this still wasn’t my favorite performance. In no way am I taking anything away from Beyoncé’s performance, but my personal favorite set was performed by a fairly-new artists by the name of Tash Sultana. She is somewhat of an Australian musical renaissance woman who can play up to 20 different instruments. Her music sounds like a psychedelic rock and reggae fusion and her musical inspirations range from Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, to Erykah Badu. Her style of music isn’t for everybody, but it’s not a surprise that I enjoy it because we’re heavily influenced by some of the same people.
Her performance was amazing throughout her full set. One major aspect of her shows is that she performs with a loop pedal. This allows her to recreate her songs, live in person. If you’ve ever seen any of Ed Sheeran’s performances, he uses the same method recreate his songs for fans during shows. This is so interesting to watch because, in her case, she would build each song by playing numerous instruments. I will say her set was nowhere near as polished as Beyoncé’s performances, but if you love to see raw instrumentation at its fullest, you would definitely enjoy seeing her live.
Another favorite set of mine, from earlier that day, was Nile Rodgers and CHIC. Before I went to this show, I was confident I would know maybe a couple of songs. But once they started performing, I found myself singing nonstop. Everything from “We Are Family,” to “Good Times,” they turned the festival into an outdoor disco.
A large fact I didn’t know is how many songs he either wrote, produced, and/or arranged over his years in the industry. Like I had no idea he helped write Daft Punk and Pharrell’s song “Get Lucky.” This was one of my favorite songs a few years back, and yes they did perform this as well. Literally everybody was dancing in the crowd, and I haven’t had that much fun in a crowd since I saw Carlos Santana a couple years ago.
After all the sets, I was physically worn out because of all the walking, standing and dancing. My nose was also severely congested due to all the dust out in the desert, but day two was still so amazing! In terms of festivals, I wouldn’t be surprised if this day ever ended up being surpassed!