The second-annual Panorama Music Festival played host to three sun-filled days of music, food, and pure summer fun. New York’s Randall’s Island was transformed into a multi-stage arcade for the sense, bringing in huge crowds and huge headliners. Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, and Nine Inch Nails each closed down the main stage on their respective dates, tying a ribbon on days filled with everything from buzz bands to true music legends (such as A Tribe Called Quest’s magic hour Sunday set).
Amidst the usual suspects of music festival success came a few real standouts – below we’ve racked up the 5 best moments of Panorama 2017, so you can either relive all the glory or crumble over all the neat stuff you missed.
5. Future Islands
Future Islands, Panorama Stage. Source: GoldenVoice
Baltimore sons-of-synthpop Future Islands graced Panorama’s main stage with high expectations as they transitioned festival-attendees from the early afternoon hops to the evening’s entertainment. Everything you’ve heard about Future Islands’ live show is true; frontman Sam Herring is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, running like a madman across the stage, knuckles dragging, growling into the mic with an almost cartoonish ferocity – all of which this crowd ate right up. You have to stop and think what someone completely unfamiliar with the band may have thought of the spectacle – would they understand it in the context meant by the four-piece, or be fully turned off by the very execution? Either way, they certainly know who Future Islands are now, whether they like it or not.
4. Tyler, The Creator
Tyler the Creator, The Pavilion. Source: GoldenVoice
Odd Future captain Tyler, The Creator recently released his most critically-acclaimed album to date, the biting rap opus Flower Boy. The turnout for his Friday evening set is certainly an indicator that his fanbase is only growing, evidenced by the crowd overflowing out of the Pavilion stage coverage and onto the main field. Tyler performs with a gripping balance of calm control and palpable anger, excitement and passion. This is the start of a big era for the young rapper, and seeing as this was the first show in support of the new record, a fittingly big start.
3. A Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest, Panorama Stage. Source: GoldenVoice
A Tribe Called Quest. New York City. Summertime. Need we say more? Yes, because these hip-hop legends simply deserve it. Clearly a stand-out for many attendees, Tribe sounded tighter than ever, providing a set that honored both their current incarnation, with highlights from last year’s adored We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service as well as all the hits you came for. The group also made sure to honor Phife Dawg, allowing his verses to ring out with the crowd rapping along in tribute. They also announced it would be their last NYC show, and while Tribe has made claims similar to this in the past, a last hurrah of this nature would certainly be a send-off from the very top of their game.
Just getting straight the the point here: the food at Panorama was excellent. All of it (well, everything I partook in, that is). From Big Mozz’s not-too-greasy mozzarella sticks, to Spicy Pie’s fresh squeezed lemonade, it was easy to eat good. So next year, be sure to take some time in between tunes to treat yourself to some unique, memorable bites. You’ve earned it.
Pinegrove, Panorama Stage. Source: GoldenVoice
I am, as the kids say, a “huge fan” of the Montclair country-rock hybrid Pinegrove, so while I’m certainly biased, make no mistake: this band is as good as you’ve heard and better. Their live show is a crash course in command-of-material, trading some of the folksier roots of their recorded work for a fuzzier rock edge. Lead singer Evan Stephens Hall is a truly magnetic performer, yowling his earnest lyrics with a visible passion, elevated even further by the complex harmonies of Nandi Plunkett. The band completely owned the monstrous main stage, a sign of how far they’ve come since their DIY upstart, and a major stepping stone in the big things to come.
The 2017 Panorama Music Festival took place July 28th, 29th, and 30th on Randall’s Island in NYC. More info at http://www.panorama.nyc.