Panorama Festival 2016 Highlights: Sia, SZA and More
It was an unforgiving 95 degrees in New York City on Sunday, July 24, an ostensible product of this "heat dome" the National Weather Service warned us about. It was also the final day of Panorama, Coachella producer Goldenvoice's inaugural music, art and technology, held at Randall's Island Park. Fortunately, the day's performances made it worth braving the boiling temps.
While the event didn't quite pack the site with attendees until the sun slowed its assault around 7PM, Panorama Day 3 had plenty to offer — not just by way of mammoth, admittedly beautiful video installations at several brand activations (art, tech and advertising were inseparable from each other at Panorama), but because of sets from artists including Sia, reunited dance-rockers LCD Soundsystem and more. Here's five of our favorites from the day.
DJ-producer Cassy charmed the fest's Parlor stage, a space dedicated to hip hop and dance-leaning acts, on Sunday afternoon. She brought her set to a joyful close with the extended remix of Clivillés & Cole's "A Deeper Love," and people were actually able to dance without sweating through their clothes because the Parlor was (brilliantly) air-conditioned. The enclosed setting was also a boon for the set's sound, rare for dance acts at an often open-air and day-lit festival — but with an 1100 capacity, it led to some long entry lines for popular acts.
The genre-blurring singer put it bluntly and aptly: "It's hot as sh---!" The heat may have dampened her/everyone's face with sweat, but it didn't put a damper on her set. Opening with "Consideration," her Anti collaboration with Rihanna, SZA and her backing band played a wide swath of her selections. Standouts include her feature on Wale's "The Need to Know," her chorus an interpolation of Musiq Soulchild's "Just Friends (Sunny)" from 2000, and "Child's Play." She also pled for the audience to not just take love but to give it, citing our country's "unusually violent summer."
Run the Jewels
Festival staples Killer Mike and El-P delivered yet another incendiary set at Panorama, with an energy level that was somehow even higher than normal, to excellent effect. Perhaps New York native El-P was just happy to be home, a sentiment he expressed by demanding the duo's New York "family" come out onstage, which they did in a small procession. Avowed Bernie Sanders supporter Killer Mike still found a way to work him into their between-song banter, and the two commanded the crowd to shout the "She want my d---- in her mouth all day!" refrain to "Love Again," which most of the crowd was hilariously too sheepish to do.
Kicking off her set with "Alive," what first appeared to be a giant tulle skirt soon revealed itself to be her dancers skittering away to do their work, with Stephanie Mincone dancing onstage as Maddie Ziegler zigged and zagged on the big video screens. Throughout the show, the live dancers were paralleled by their famous video counterparts (Paul Dano, Kristen Wiig) onscreen, with comedian Tig Notaro wielding the mirror-mosaic "Diamond" gloves as a dancer did the same in front of Ms. Furler. Even her stagehands wear those Sia wigs, by the way. The set saw a quirkily adorable moment toward the end, when two dancers donned enormous, raggedy stuffed animal heads. This is acting!
"We're going to try and get through as many songs as we can tonight," frontman James Murphy said at the top of their anticipated reunion set, "so excuse us if it's very fast and we don't talk a lot." As promised, they played nearly every favorite including "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," "Someone Great" and "I Can Change" from their final studio album This Is Happening. The latter, along with "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," served as reminders that Murphy's wit as a songwriter is rivaled by his vocals. A rig of cameras above the band's instruments also illuminated the musicianship of its members. We missed them, and want more shows immediately.
See all the photos from Panorama Festival 2016: