The Best Acts We Saw At Panorama 2016, From The Usual To The Unexpected
It may have been the hottest weekend of the summer, but some incredible performers managed to shine at the first ever Panorama Music Festival in New York, on the same playing field as the wildly popular Governor's Ball Music Festival, with just with slightly more technological flair and fewer oversized Miller Lite cans littering the ground. The new festival's subtitle is "Music. Art. Technology." and the set-up certainly lived up to that distinction.
In addition to the requisite main stages for the big names attracted by the fest, there were two domes dedicated to art and technology, making it sort of like the modern art museum version of a music festival.
The vibe was also decidedly less raucous than that of Governor's Ball. Perhaps it was that festival goers have already had so much summer fun that they've reached the chill vibes part of the season. Or maybe the fact that the festival didn't sell out made the space less crowded and therefore far more easy going. But whereas New York's first huge outdoor music festival gets people romping around in the mud without a care, Panorama was more like a lovely summer's day, where you spend your time shimmying your way to a shady spot, sipping on a cool drink, and taking in a few delicious snacks along the way.
And then of course, there was the music...
1. Kendrick Lamar
If you haven't seen this man perform, get on that immediately. He had the Panorama crowd absolutely eating out of his hand, even when he reached deep into his early catalogue. His cinematic imagery (including Prince, young Bill O'Reilly, and President Obama dancing with Ellen DeGeneres) on the giant screens surrounding the stage were only icing on the cake.
2. LCD Soundsystem
Obviously. James Murphy and Co. are one of those acts that you worry is going to be disappointing, especially if you're like me and missed out on a ticket for their farewell show at Madison Square Garden. But thankfully, they're worth the hype.
Sia's performances aren't exactly festival fare, so much as they are fit for a modern art museum. She instead opted for a dark corner at the back while dancers mimicked the star-studded cinematic presentation on the big screens featuring Paul Dano, Kristen Wiig, Gaby Hoffman, and of course Maddie Ziegler. Some fans seemed miffed by the placement of visuals over reality, but if you think about the whole thing as art, then it's totally bonkers and totally amazing.
I'm not usually one to dabble in the EDM tent, but if you're going to give it a shot, Flosstradamus is the way to do it. Their performance is nothing short of an experience.
5. The National
They're the band you always forget is completely amazing, until you're outside in the oppressive heat, drinking a 10-dollar beer, and realizing that their last album was LIFE.
6. The Lab
OK, technically this isn't an "act," but the artists that came together to create a video-music experience in an air conditioned dome in the middle of the festival, which also happens to be sitting in the middle of a nationwide heat dome, are absolute GENIUSES.