For its second year, Billboard Hot 100 brought the best mainstream acts to Long Island. Just as you would imagine, with the radio friendly lineup came a wave of intoxicated 16-20 year old Kylie Jenner wanna-be’s and bro-tastic frat boys that made me question our youths future. I began to question my sanity as well but realized, live music cures all.
What draws me to Billboard is that the line up provides a live experience of pop artists that one normally would never go out their way to see. I realize that generic top 40 music can make some people cringe but there is something to be said about how a basic formula of mindless lyrics and catchy melody can get a song stuck in your head for days at a time. I was hyped that the two sides of my musical personality, the pretentious Brooklyn hipster (Sleigh Bells), and the basic Long Island bitch (Ariana Grande), were being touched all within a few hours of each other.
Sleigh Bells did just that, slay. Alexis commanded the stage getting interactive with the crowd giving each fan a special moment to remember. Over the past year or so Rae Sremmurd have seasoned themselves to a festival crowd. They have the ability to maintain a high level of energy throughout a performance that feeds their crowds intensity. As the night progressed I found myself getting increasingly more excited for Ariana Grande. Opener Bang Bang set the tone for just under and hour of constant hits. Rumored boyfriend, Mac Miller came out to perform his part of The Way but highlight was Ms. Grandes’ new single Into You.
When arriving to a festival early without a schedule it allows for pleasant surprises to happen and William Singe was such on Sunday afternoon. Singe has the ability to make girls cry with his falsetto – watch out biebs. J.Cole was my main event and he delivered, as always. There is no explanation necessary for why Jermaine went platinum with no features, he deserves it. Calvin Harris closed out the weekend and went right into it starting with Florence Welch feature Sweet Nothing. Hit after hit was played and his production was great to watch. Calvin Harris and Rihanna jam This Is What You Came For was played halfway through the set and was all I needed to hear to call it a night. Though everyone else in attendance was still on summer vacation, I had to be back in Brooklyn for my 9-5 Monday morning.
Billboard Hot 100 brings together a fun mixture of radio friendly titans and festival veterans that makes for one of the more interesting daytime festival experiences. It’s hard to say if I am too old for the targeted demographic but, I really just might be.
See more photos from Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival 2016 below.