Panorama Fest 2016- Day Three Recap

by Jonathan Vayness (Psychology), published October 18th 2016

photos by Jonathan Vayness (Psychology)

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The thing people tend to forget about festivals is that they happen in the summer, and summer is hot. So when my girlfriend and I landed on Randall’s island for day three of Panorama Festival, we quickly bought some ice cream sandwiches and posted up in the shade on a hill looking down at the main stage, staying there for about the first half of the day. The first artist to perform was Flatbush Zombies. They didn’t seem to mind the heat so much, jumping all around the stage and through the crowd, with a characteristically trippy visual display in the background. Then came a shift in energy with The Front Bottoms, a low point in the day’s line up.

Eventually Kurt Vile came on, lifting me from my heat slump and getting me, and the rest of the audience, up and dancing. Vile’s stage presence is charming and just goofy enough to lower the inhibitions of his entire audience. After a short break, Run the Jewels came on, making an early promise to “burn the stage to the motherfucking ground.” Which they did. Heat or no heat, when “Blockbuster Nights Part 2” comes on, the audience goes wild.

The two main shows of the night were Sia, followed by LCD Soundsystem. In my hunt for a good spot for LCD Soundsystem I ended up closer than I imagined I would for Sia, and I’m glad I did. Sia’s show was closer to performance art than a standard concert. Sia stands off to the side, face covered, singing her songs while dancers perform on the main part of the stage, in perfect sync with a video of celebrities (like Kristen Wiig) performing the same dances. Bizarre, but unique, and for an artist like Sia I really shouldn’t have been surprised. Then finally came LCD Soundsystem, the concert I thought I was never going to see. LCD opened with “Us v Them,” revealing a huge disco ball when the bass kicked in which sent the entire audience into both deafening applause and a sort of synchronized groove. I’m biased, but LCD really did play one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, even playing some of the deeper cuts in their catalog than you would expect at a festival show. Panorama is a relatively new creation, but if this year was any indication of future festivals, I have no doubt its future is bright. Just hopefully not too hot.

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