It’s about 9:45PM. We’re all packed like sardines waiting anxiously for TIME Festival’s finale, Run the Jewels, set to perform just ten minutes later. If you’ve decided you wanted to see them, you’ve committed. There’s no turning back now.
Hold up. I’m getting way too ahead of myself here. While Run the Jewels was quite obviously a highlight, the day was jam-packed with some killer garage pop, soulful R&B, chill electronica and intense hip hop too. Here are some of best parts of TIME.
K.I.D. show us they are the weirdest kids from the suburbs
And by “weirdest,” I really mean coolest, (however they would never admit to being cool). These punk-pop garage rockers claim to be just what their name stands for- Kids In Despair. The quirky duo, Kara and Bobby took the stage with their outlandish personalities and unique sense of humour. But the band didn’t rely on their strange charm to carry the weight of their set. They were also great at what they do- garage pop! The songs performed, a mix of tracks from their 2015 EP and new ones from a full-length LP expected sometime early next year, were catchy, at times hard hitting and contained some really pungent lyrics, which Kara belted, might I add.
The OverTIME Stage was the place to be during the day
It’s not common that the smaller stage at festivals get more attention than the Main Stage. During the afternoon, the OverTIME Stage was the hot spot! The DJ line-up inspired full out dance circles where festival-goers could jump in and show off their moves. DJ Harrison provided the soundtrack for one of the most peaceful and inclusive dance parties of the day. Not long afterward, the crowd morphed into a rugged pit of jumpers. At the time, I was back stage, awaiting my interview with K.I.D. When I saw the audience had lit up, from behind the stage, I knew something interesting was happening. Rappers Nyck Caution and Kirk Knight, who you may also recognize as being apart of Pro-Era, (if you were there, you probably chanted “Pro-ERA-ERA” a few times during the day), stormed the stage with a head-turning, no-holds-back set. Their rhythm was fluid, their presence was bold, and they inspired one of the most active crowds of the festival.
And just in case you missed some Pro-Era fun at OverTIME, you got some more with JoeyBa$$
Joey Bada$$ fuelled the momentum of what would be the rest of the night. He took the fire that was lit from his Pro-Era buddies, and turned it up a couple more notches. He also brought both Caution and Knight back on stage, just in case we hadn’t had enough of them before, (and we really hadn’t!) This rap show stopper was quite clearly a fan favourite. Most of his audience members knew his lyrics and sang along. And then crowd began to take on a life of it’s own. If you were in the middle of it all, you would have been thrown around by some pretty die-hard Joey Bada$$ fans. What’s a good show without a mosh pit anyway? The rap star enjoyed seeing his fans jump around so much, that he played an extended version of his closing number, “Devastated.”
A little bit of fem power can go a long way between all that hip-hop
Undoubtedly, Joey Bada$$ would be a hard set for anyone for follow. What came next was somewhat unexpected, but was, perhaps, a necessary change from the intensity of the hard-hitting rapper. Kehlani, a gorgeous R&B singer, told the men to take a step back, and summoned her ladies to the front. As she danced across the stage, the young artist was sexy and delicate, but most of all, she was empowered. In turn, she asked her fans to empower themselves. The girls of the audience cooed at Kehlani and her two synchronized dancers, singing along to every word, and dancing with their friends in the crowd. When New Zealand’s Broods took the stage not long after, front woman Georgia Nott stole the attention away from her band, and perhaps even her brother, the second half of the duo, belting out hit after hit. As the lights came down, and we jumped along with her, we knew that this was her night!
“Run the Jewels Fast … F*ck the slow mo”
The crowd that came out this year for TIME Festival was most definitely there for Run the Jewels. And none of them took this rap super-duo lightly. When Killer Mike and EI-P marched onto the stage from out behind the notoriously beloved band logo, playing Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” the show had officially begun. When the classic rock hit dropped, and the duo started rapping, the entire centre of the audience was one, very big mosh pit. As I mentioned before, once you had committed to seeing this show, there was no turning back. Both Mike and EP-I proved they could reciprocate the love their fans had for them, playing favourites like “Jeopardy,” “Lie, Cheat, Steal,” and “Love Again.” Early on into the set, the rappers had a conversation with their audience, provoking a “F*ck Trump/We want Bernie” chant. When it was time rile everyone up again, Mike and EP-I gave everyone a strong warning. They told their audience that the people who had never been to a Run the Jewels show, and were in the first 50 rows, should put away any camera equipment, or expensive electronics. They would give them fives seconds to do so … and then it hit, “F*ck the slow mo.” Run the Jewels broke into their monster hit, “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F*ck)”, with the response of a wild and enthusiastic crowd.
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