Photos Courtesy of Michael B. Jordan
Completely Inaccurate Time-Stamps Courtesy of American Harvest Vodka
ONE MusicFest celebrated it's five year anniversary on Sept. 13, 2014 and it was a great time. Take a look at my totally inaccurate, time-stamped play-by-play of the festivities. (Congrats to J. Carter, Moetown Lee and crew for putting on wonderfully fun event).
2:15. Sad face for missing Cody Chestnut. Shoot. Now I'm missing Bilal! Oh noooo! He's singing "Something to Hold On To"! This is like, my sixth or seventh favorite Bilal song ever! Noooooo! Move faster ticket lady! Faster!
2:30. Made it. Yessssss. Hi, Bilal. *Wink*
2:33. Bilal has to be the only singer that can sing and chew gum at the same time. He's seriously chewing gum and still sounds flawless. I'm amazed. Bilal is awesome.
2:42. Minor epiphany. Watching Bilal is kinda like if a weird painting that you sorta didn't completely get but was so intriguing you couldn't help but stare it at anyway came to life. Or something. Bilal is incredibly dope and awesome. I love Bilal. Did I mention that he's awesome?
2:54. I need water because it's definitely 120 degrees outside and my skin is melting. Also, because I jumped non-stop while shouting the lyrics to "All Matter" and that may not have been the best thing to do while baking in the scorching sun. Oh, okay. No water? Italian Ice laced with vodka from the flask we snuck in? Even better. How's that for respecting your stupid "don't bring anything in here" rule, Lakewood Amphitheater?
2:55. Yum. Vodka enhanced Italian Ice is very refreshing.
3:22. Back to the Zeus stage for Alice Smith. Alice Smith is pretty. Alice Smith's vocals are strong. Mike says she looks like Rihanna. I frown...hard. Not because Rihanna isn't pretty but because... what?
3:40. Time to trek back across the rocky parking lot to the Hercules Stage to check out Isaiah Rashad (so glad I don't have on stilettos like some of these confused, crop-top wearing festival goers). I smile and bob my head because this guy is practically dripping with charisma. He shouts out "423"—Chattanooga's area code. I wonder if Usher likes Isaiah Rashad? Everyone is really happy to be there because dude is really jamming and it kinda feels like you may be witnessing the next big thing in hip-hop.
4:25. I'm so hot. Water. I need water. Wait? Huh? $4.50 for a 16 oz. bottle of Dasani? Come again? Is it magical Dasani? Did it come from that mystical river in Tuck Everlasting? No? Okay. No. I didn't mean, 'Okay, I want to pay $4.50 for your totally not-worth it water'. I mean, 'No, thanks, I'll find other means to hydrate.' Stop looking at me like I'll be back. I'm not coming back for your $4.50 water.
4:27. Hey! Vodka looks like water. Maybe I should add a little more vodka to this nearly empty, melted Italian Ice. Ahhh. YEP. Hey! Fabian's work! Andre 3000 is painting me!
4:35. Dude. Is that paint-splashed vinyl wall art? Coolness. I'm totally getting that.
4:40. Crappity-crap sticks. I missed Amel Larrieux. How did that happen? Probably that whole vinyl and vodka thing. Ha. Vinyl and Vodka both start with the letter "V". Hee. I should probably get something to eat.
4:45. Yum. Salmon tacos. I have to eat faster. I'm not missing Daley. Screw it. I'll stuff these salmon tacos into my bag. They'll be alright.
4:47. Daley! Oh, Daley. Yay, Daley! You're singing "Those Who Wait"! I LOVE THIS SONG. I can't wait until he does "Look Up." He'll probably close with that.
5:00. I sorta want to run my fingers through your hair, Daley. Too much? Alright. You know, instead of doing so many Usher songs during your ode-to-Atlanta medley you should've added Silk's "Lose Control"—you would totally kill that.
5:17. You just said "turn up" in your British accent. I should be annoyed, but I'm not because you're Daley. Can't wait for "Look Up".
5:30. Wait. WAIT. Wha-? Where are you going!? WHAT IN THE HELL!?!? YOU DIDN'T PERFORM "LOOK UP"!!! NOOOOOO! COME BACK, DALEY!!! YOU MUST SING "LOOK UP"!!! With the fury of a hundred exclamation points and question marks I beseech you!!!! WHY!!!!!!?? Dammit, Daley!
5:31. Eh. This salmon taco sure is good.
5:55. Back to the Zeus stage. Jhene Aiko is cute. I dig her album but I kinda don't really care that much about seeing her mostly because that one time I watched a live performance on YouTube it was sorta not-good.
6:07. Huh. I'm starting to get the Sade comparisons. Not that Jhene sounds anything like the legendary Sade but she's totally wearing a Sade-dress. And her freshly suited band is kinda Sweetback-ish. Yeah, she's definitely channeling Sade right now.
6:11. Now she's drinking tea. Hold on. Did she just say the most important song ever is Tupac's "Keep Your Head Up"? Um. It's a great song but... Alrighty then. She's like, really feeling it though. Clearly she was born in the 90s. She doesn't sound half-bad. Okay, Jhene.
6:13. Don't mind me and my profuse sweating. I'm cool. Not literally but I'm alright. I can tough it o-... Oh, forget it.
6:15. Hi. Yes, I'm back. Stop looking at me like that. Don't even try to keep the change.
6:16. $4.50 Dasani water sure is tasty and refreshing.
6:17. Back to the Hercules stage. Dres the Beatnik should definitely try out for one of those lip-syncing shows. This guy knows the lyrics to everything and when he doesn't he's great at looking like he does. The live version of Prince's "I Wanna Be Your Lover"? I hear you, DJ Rasta Root.
By the way, Rasta Root, where did you get that nifty flying-plane, drone camera machine thingy? It's so cool... You know, actually, on second thought, can you please put that away? You're kinda freaking people out.
6:50. Redman and Method Man could teach a thing or two to these newbies about how to entertain a crowd. Damn, they have a lot of energy. Damn, I'm entertained. Damn, they better not hit me with that water bottle. Damn, this vodka tastes even better straight from the flask.
7:01. Sheesh, they are really animated. I'm getting tired just watching them. They said they missed soundcheck but you definitely can't tell—they have this down to a science. And Redman is cut. I know he didn't have these muscles before. Wow. Gym much? Meth is still adorable. He's so high he can touch the sky. He also has great breath control to be such a weed-smoker with assumedly compromised lung capacity. Impressive.
7:30. Welp, gotta go guys, Kendrick is coming on. Back to the Zeus stage.
7:40. Great song to start with, Kendrick. Earl Stevens had me thinking rational too. Ya bish.
7:50. Kendrick kind of looks like Mos Def right now. That whole I just rolled out of bed and didn't shave yet thing totally works for him. I like this Kendrick. Kendrick is really, really dope. He's so serious though. Like, he means what he's saying with the very essence of his tortured, complex soul. That's so cool and appreciated. I think he may need a hug. I want to hug him.
8:02. Oh, Kendrick. Don't do the remix verses to "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe." Nobody wants to hear that. No, seriously, dude. No one.
8:10. Kendrick Lamar rules. Great song selection, all things considered. Perfect amount of energy. Way to close out your set, Kendrick. I believe you will be back. What an inspiring kid.
No, little people standing in front of me awkwardly holding hands because this is clearly your first date ever in life, Kendrick will not be doing an encore. Yes, I would've loved to have heard "Cut You Off" because I wanted to rap, "You boo-'d, you tee'd..." too—but, no. Not happening. Lakewood is very serious about their curfew and will happily pull the plug in the middle of a set. I've witnessed it.
9:30 Yay. Nas. Nas looks hot (literally and figuratively) in that hat. It's crazy but he looks pretty much exactly the same as he did in 1994. Must be nice. Happy birthday, Nas! Happy 20th anniversary of Illmatic, Nas!
9:41. He's seriously going to do every song from Illmatic. Lest I be stoned, Illmatic isn't actually my favorite Nas record. Even still, my heart pumps with the beat of a thousand DJ Premier tracks.
9:55. Nas, last time I saw you it sorta seemed like you were having an asthma attack midway through your set, but you're in top form now! Happy Birthday, Nas!
10:00. Dammit, I lost my ID. Where is my ID?! Shoot. Okay. Oh, well. I'm forced to take the L but at least I had fun. Long live One MusicFest!