The music festival field is so incredibly crowded. Why would anyone want to introduce yet another weekend that costs hundreds of dollars into the already very congested field? Well, Panorama Music Festival was not phased by the competition and decided to forge ahead with their technology-tinged music festival this past weekend. Did it live up to the hype and is it worth tripping out to the Big Apple around this time next year? Here’s what worked (and a little of what didn’t).
Best: Merciful Shade
I know this isn’t about music specifically, but the first thing anyone who attended Panorama would tell you is that it was incredibly hot for all three days. Thankfully, two of the three stages were under some sort of cover. So, when you’re lucky enough to hear the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, you can thankfully enjoy the sounds of New Orleans without the sun beating down your back. Well, 66 percent of the time anyway.
Best: Diplo Gave Straight Fire
But then again, sometimes the heat works in favor of the set. Despite some folks’ feelings on EDM or dance music in general at festivals, Major Lazer is readymade for these kinds of things. While I would initially say it was unfortunate that Diplo and co’s set was at the Panorama Stage (a.k.a. the one without any shade), the scorching temperatures actually added to the whole vibe of the set. It was dancehall and pyro and fireworks and twerkers and just all sorts of chaos. I wouldn’t stand in that heat for some weepy slowcore folk act, but I’ll dance in it.
Best: Brittany Howard Is The Real MVP
While watching Alabama Shakes crush their late evening set on Friday as the sun was finally setting, I had a peculiar passing thought: Why is Brittany Howard’s name rarely, if ever, mentioned among the best frontmen in rock right now? As a performer, she’s impossibly soulful and incredibly skilled — her magnetism onstage is unlike any other, and she’s been this way for about half a decade now. There is a very easy and obvious answer to this question, yes, and we do have to battle the scourge of sexism and racism (and every -ism) in the rock canon, but this is something that people can fix right now by treating themselves to an Alabama Shakes show and feeling the Earth move.