Music

Nostalgia and Hip-Hop Entice Audiences to Meadows Music Festival

Gorillaz, M.I.A., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Future, LL Cool J and De La Soul were amongst the many acts that drew a crowd to Citi Field.


Meadows Music Festival 2017

City: Queens, NY
Venue: Citi Field

The 2017 Meadows Music Fest was full of nostalgia, rap and surprises. It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect too (almost too hot even) for September. And it helped that the festival was super easy to get around, with four stages arranged facing out in a semi-circle arrangement and super close to mass transit. Unfortunately, one of the acts I wanted to see most, Swet Shop Boys, had pulled out of the festival in the weeks leading up to it. But I had a genuinely good time at the Meadows and hope to see it return.

Over the course of the three-day festival, it seemed like every other act brought out a special guest or two. There was Nicki Minaj and Yo Gotti on stage with Future. LL Cool J asked "are you ready for classic hip-hop?" then brought out Q-Tip, Jarobi, Run DMC, and more. And Gorillaz, well, since they are a cartoon band, all the musicians are special guests, right? Damon Albarn's band included guest appearances by Bootie Brown on "Dirty Harry", "Let Me Out" with Pusha T, Mos Def on "Stylo", De La Soul on "Feel Good Inc", and Del the Funky Homosapien on "Clint Eastwood", the song that wrapped up their set.

Gorillaz, who are currently still touring the US, wrapping up their run with dates at Austin City Limits, were probably my highlight of the festival given that I hadn't seen them before and their eclectic style was presented well from the main stage. Their set overlapped mostly with M.I.A.'s, which was unfortunate as she was another act I wanted to catch. She hasn't been able to play in the US for a few years due to visa issues, so this was a big get for the fest.

I tackled Sunday in a more laid-back style, catching only a few sets, namely Action Bronson, Weezer and Sleigh Bells before the day's headliner the Red Hot Chili Peppers rocked Queens. Red Hot Chili Peppers (and I guess Weezer as well) were definitely nostalgic acts I wanted to see, though I did catch Red Hot Chili Peppers earlier this year. Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and the other guy were wild on stage as they performed tremendous hits like, "Scar Tissue", "Californication", "Can't Stop", and, of course, "Under the Bridge" and "Give It Away". It was a thrilling conclusion to a nice weekend.

Erykah Badu

De La Soul

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