Monday, March 14, 2016

{RECAP} okeechobee music festival 2016

As you might have seen, we had the awesome opportunity to cover the first ever Okeechobee Music Festival in Florida last weekend and had an incredible time! The festival, in the heart of Florida, featured a wide range of electronic, hip hop, and pop performances over four days. Overall, though we saw many more butt cheeks and men wearing metallic flash tattoos in a typical weekend, we had an awesome time. For its first time out of the gate, the festival was extremely well organized, easy to navigate, and had a great mix of additional festival features (beach parties, ferris wheels, tequila, oh my!).

Most Fun: Big Grams
Big Grams (also known as the brilliant pairing of Big Boi from Outkast and electronic duo Phantogram) was the set we were most intrigued for and they did not disappoint. The pairing of these two groups was so creative and the result -- synth pop + hip hop -- was too dreamy for words. The highlight of the set though was definitely when the band's mashed up their hits like Outkast's "Miss Jackson" and Phantogram's "Mouthful of Diamonds."

Best In (and out of) Bed: Miguel
Contrary to what the women next of us was hoping for, Miguel, in fact, did not rap in Spanish but instead put on an awesome show. Known and loved for his sexy R&B, Miguel's set was in fact rocking. He remixed most of his songs to accommodate more head banging and less headboard banging and the result was so much more fun than we could have anticipated. (Bonus points for his mash up of Kendrick's "Swimming Pools" with his hit "How Many Drinks.")

everything's better with palm trees, right?
Click ahead for more!

Best Team: Kendrick Lamar
Fresh off tons of critical acclaim from his latest album, Kendrick Lamar stepped up his live performance complete with a full band that truly took his show to the next level. Backed by his band, Kendrick had a much more theatrical vibe -- stopping mid-performance of "m.A.A.d. city" to wait for the crowd to get hyped while he patiently walked back and forth from the mic until the crowd was loud enough. The theatrics on anyone else (ahem, Kanye) would have seemed to be a dick move but on Kendrick and to the crowd packed full of adoring fans, it was a very effective way to do an immediate encore of a song with as much hype as possible.

Best Collaboration: Mac Miller + Miguel
Mac's latest song featuring Miguel "Weekend" has been on repeat in my head and iPod for weeks and with the two performing back to back on the same stage I thought I'd be guaranteed to see a live collaboration. Unfortunately, my luck didn't come after Mac's set BUT king of cool Miguel ended up pulling Mac onstage to do his rendition of the hit and I was screaming like a 13-year-old girl watching them perform together. I guarantee you this song will be blowing up on the radio soon.


One To Watch: Shabazz Palaces
Early on Saturday between sets we laid out in the sun killing time listening to Shabazz Palaces and were pretty rapidly enamored with him. His style of hip hop, integrated with interesting electronic beats was super compelling -- I'd wager to say more so than some of the bigger rappers we saw at the festival (ahem, Future).

Never Change: The Avett Brothers
Though the brothers were surprisingly beardless, their music was joyful as always. I think it is impossible not to enjoy this band if the weather is warm and you can lay in the grass. Never change.

Other Bands We Saw: Givers, Deer Tick, Dr. Dog, Future, Post Malone, Youth Lagoon, Ween

See you next year, Okeechobee! Stay tuned for John's recap of Savannah Stopover!

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