So, last weekend, I attended Wireless Festival for a fifth time. Most people reading this are probably going to be like, ‘wow, you’ve been 5 times? give it a rest’, but this is the year that has finally convinced me to give it a rest. It had its moments, and I did enjoy myself when all factors are taken into account, but in terms of the quality of the festival and the performances from each artist, this year slacked quite badly.
When the lineup came out back in January, I think Friday was the day that people initially shirked and didn’t pay much attention to, but I realised closer to the time, that Friday’s lineup was actually so much better than Saturday lol. Maybe because I don’t listen to UK artists as much as US artists, or because neither of the headline artists for Saturday really excited me in the lead up to the day, but Saturday just didn’t do it for me. Not even Migos could save it for me. I’m so tired of those guys now, which will come as a SURPRISE for people who know me personally, as those used to be my number 1 guys.
Over the course of the day, I saw Migos, some of A Boogie, Belly, Davido, Hardy Caprio (sort of), and French Montana’s performances. If I had to choose, the standout performance of the day would probably go to Davido, (this coming from someone who doesn’t even listen to afrobeats) and trust me, making that choice was extremely difficult; it wasn’t a day graced with Beyonce-esque performances. Here’s my breakdown of each artist’s performance.
- Migos performing their hit songs didn’t really do it for me this year, and their set seemed like it lasted 25 minutes. I missed Yung Fume for these people.
- All I wanted from the French Montana set was for him to perform Shot Caller, which I missed, so I was disappointed. It seems as if I missed most of his old hits, because all I recall is him doing Unforgettable. A set that had potential, but I was way too late for me to even witness it.
- A Boogie’s set seemed lit, but I didn’t know enough of his music, nor did I possess the desire to get further into the crowd, so I couldn’t even take in his performance properly like that.
- As said before, Davido was the set I enjoyed the most, which is so surprising, because I don’t listen to his music. Saying that, I think you’d have to have lived under a rock to not know the lyrics to at least one of his songs. The energy of the crowd, and the pride I felt for a fellow Nigerian man to be headlining such a major festival, helped me to enjoy his set thoroughly. It was so damn hot though.
- Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy Hardy Caprio’s set, because you see, I’m not 6 feet tall. What I saw of his performance was the guy in front of me’s shoulders. I knew Hardy Caprio was a big name within the UK scene, but I didn’t expect him to attract such a massive crowd. Big ups to him.
J Hus being taken off the lineup was obviously a disappointment for most of Wireless attendees’, and I honestly think his set would have topped any one else’s. In fact, he should have been the headline act, ahead of Stormzy. I mean, he does make the better music of the two. My expectations for Saturday (performance wise) were low, and I was unpleasantly unsurprised.
Watching the England match there was a great experience though; the crowd all going mad in unison when Maguire and Alli scored was great to be part of.
Sunday, in my opinion, was a much better day for performances. Some may say I am biased, but I think in general, if you were to ask what the general consensus for Sunday’s performances were, you’d get mostly positive reviews, whereas it would be a much more mixed pot for Saturday. As we all know, Sunday started off on a BAD note for Wireless and the fans, as DJ Khaled’s absence was announced. I don’t think it was so much that people were desperate to see DJ Khaled, but more so the principle; you cancel the headline artist ON THE DAY, despite knowing months before that he would not be able to attend. That’s false advertisement, if I have ever seen it. Anyway, they said they had been working on a ‘surprise’ to replace Khaled; every Tom, Dick and Segun knew that it was going to be Drake.
I saw much more performances on the Sunday compared to Saturday, purely because I knew from the off who I wanted to see perform, whereas with Saturday, I let the day take me where it may. I saw Playboi Carti, Ski Mask the Slump God, Smokepurpp, Lil Pump, Rick Ross, Drake, 67, Rae Sremmurd and a bit of Mist’s performances. The performances which stood out to me beyond anyone else were that of Playboi Carti and Rae Sremmurd, especially the former. The energy Carti brought to the stage, and the surreality of hearing his hit songs performed live all made for a greatly enjoyable time.
- Ski Mask wasn’t an artist I saw voluntarily, and was rather a strategic watch; he was set to perform just before Carti on the main stage, and there was no way I was going to watch Carti from the back. As people dispersed after Ski Mask’s performance, I bustled forward to get a patterned spot in the crowd. Ski Mask’s performance consolidated my dislike for him; he doesn’t make good music, it’s literally just him rapping lightning quick over noisy beats. I know that description is applicable for a lot of rappers nowadays, but I don’t like those guys either.
- Rick Ross’ set was probably the one I anticipated the most over the weekend, due to the fact I had never seen him live before, and I used to play this guy’s music every single day. I was left a bit disappointed after the performance; he performed his hits, but it seems as if the buzz and wow factor of his performance quickly dissipated, and it became increasingly tiring. Still love him though.
- Smokepurpp’s performance was meh. I like his music, but maybe due to my bad positioning in the crowd, I couldn’t even take in the songs like that. All I was hearing was loud bass and noise, which is a lot less than I expected. Looked like the kids at the front were having the time of their lives though
- Lil Pump’s performance will go down in mumble rap history, as he showed a side to him that many performers within his genre lack; knowing your surroundings, and putting crowd safety first. A guy in the crowd had a seizure during his set, and smartly, he stopped the show, and allowed the boy to be safely escorted out of the crowd. With his music being very ‘moshpitty’, I’m sure this wasn’t the first time he had seen someone bugging out in the crowd, and it would have been easy for him to disregard the guy and continue his performance, so I respect him for stopping it. His performance also helped me realise that this guy is truly one of the top stars in the game. When he performed Gucci Gang, Finsbury Park shook. Lord knows why they didn’t put him on main stage.
- 67’s performance was another one I eagerly anticipated, and they didn’t disappoint. They performed their hits, so I cannot complain. People in the crowd didn’t seem to vibe with a lot of their new stuff though, which is understandable. I missed Lil Uzi for these guys, so they HAD to perform well.
- Rae Sremmurd shelled their set as per usual, and brought a different vibe and energy to the artists that had preceded them on that stage. They even filmed part of their new upcoming music video on stage, which was quite a weird experience, but still enjoyable. No Type will never get old.
- Seeing the OVO owl come onto the screen was a bit mad, and seeing Drake came out did gas me. There was no way in hell I was getting deep into the crowd for it though; I didn’t want to wake up toothless.
As you can probably already see, Sunday was definitely the better day of the weekend, and made the hassle of the morning slightly worth it. Still never again though (unless they bring Gunna).