Music fests fill out the waning days of summer
David Goodson | 9/13/2018, 11:35 a.m.
When legends transition, although it seems as if time stops, we know the real. It’s been a month already? By the same token, though, we’ll see another summer, but we’ll never see another Queen of Soul.
Fans came out in droves to enjoy the waning days of summer as artists looked to plant or cement legacies in front of thousands at three of the largest festivals that took place in a three-week span. They were, respectively, Afropunk Fest in Brooklyn, Made in America in Philadelphia and One Music Fest in Atlanta.
Featured prominently in all three since the release of his latest project, 2017’s “War & Leisure,” which featured the smash Travis Scott-assisted single “Skywalker,” Miguel has been a virtual road warrior. Right on the heels of the promotional tour for the CD, plans were announced for a North American trek, dubbed the Ascension Tour. The 26-date tour kicked off in Boston Aug. 23 and will wrap up in Seattle Sept. 28.
Sprinkled in those dates were the festivals that serve as the perfect backdrop for Miguel’s evolved musical style, particularly the live versions. R&B, soul and rock all melded seamlessly, much like the eclectic audience that I was a part of, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the 2018 Made in America.
This year’s other big-ticket items on the JAY-Z created and curated two-day Labor-Day weekend cornucopia included Nicki Minaj, added surprise Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monet, Fat Joe, Ty Dolla $ign and, at the first stage appearance since his prison release, hometown hero Meek Mill. It’s the growth of the acts in both popularity and performance that makes this festival special.
Daniel Caesar, a Canadian import so to speak, belted out soulful tunes that were appreciated and lauded. His debut album “Freudian” and its standout cut “Get You” captivated the souls of fans the world over after its release, and now, by way of numbers and his grind, he has earned his first platinum certification with the previously mentioned single.
Pusha T, who played the mainstage two years ago, made his way back there once more in 2018. This time he wasn’t just equipped with solid solo material and popular titles as a member of a group. This year he’s armed with an album, “Daytona,” that the consensus stamps as the album of the year. As a result, the reciprocated energy was ramped up a few notches.
Jay Rock made his presence felt on the Tidal Stage with a performance that indicated he, too, is a force in his crew. Appearing a few hours before his acclaimed label mate on Top Dawg Entertainment/Interscope Records, Rock, although stylistically different from Lamar, was able to incite the energy of his audience, on par with that of his brethren. All that’s needed is the big record to attract an audience as vast. Now on album No. 3, “Redemption,” Rock has a project that will simultaneously satisfy his core base and add some new fans to the fold. Rock is currently on The Big Redemption Tour, a 30-date North American run in support of new album that reaches New York City Sept. 18 at Irving Plaza.
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.