This year marks the 10th anniversary of Wireless Festival and to celebrate the occasion we were blessed with an extra one-day special event, on top of the three day event, at London’s Finsbury Park. With temperamental weather throughout the day, luckily the drizzle of rain wasn’t enough to take away from the spectacular performances by some of the world’s biggest and best artists.
Canadian hip hop star ‘Drizzy Drake’ was a no-show at 2014s Wireless Festival but this year British fans finally got to see the rapper headline the event and, if we’re being honest, it was totally worth the wait. Others acts on the bill included Rita Ora, Katy B, Kid Ink, Chance The Rapper, BBK and many more.
Check out what we thought of some of the days acts below!
G Eazy – 7/10
Performing earlier than expected due to a last minute change, slicked-hair, dapper rapper G-Eazy was the first on the main stage. Eazy performed an incredible set at the 2014 Wireless Festival and this year was no different. Despite the change in times, Eazy performed some of his most popular tracks and as the size of the crowd started to increase, the amount of people singing along to his tracks started to grow too; those who hadn’t come across his popular tracks such as ‘Been On’ were now slowly becoming his biggest fans. He even brought his mother on stage for a short while jokingly asking the crowd who was going to be the first to get her ‘high’. His playful attitude and chilled flow took well with the quickly growing crowd. Eazy is well on his way to becoming a bigger star than he already is. SR
Kid Ink – 8/10
Los Angeles, tatted-up rapper, Kid Ink took to the stage just as the sun began to shine and quickly put the crowd at ease with his club bangers ‘Show Me’, ‘Iz U Down’ and ‘Be Real’. As his show went on, Ink’s crowd grew massively and was eventually met by thousands all chanting his lyrics back at him. His performance even convinced those sitting down to stand up and dance despite the murmurs at the very start of his entrance as to whether that was really him behind his black hooded face mask. He definitely left the stage with a handful more fans and did what he does best. He put on a performance to remember, filled with energy from start to finish. SR
Katy B – 7/10
London born, Katy B entered stage shortly after Kid Ink, armed with her troop of back up dancers. Katy performed a vibrant set, keeping the energy high amongst the crowd all basking in the sun. She was later joined on stage by Lethal Bizzle and instantly met with a roaring crowd, all jumping in excitement at the surprise. For a dubstep/garage artist met with an audience of Drake fans, she performed really well, playing a selection of tracks from her debut album On A Mission such as ‘Broken Record’ and ‘Lights’ On’ which, according to the reaction of the crowd, are still loved and remembered, despite Katy going under the radar for a while. Overall she performed outstandingly and displayed some impressive dance moves throughout, leaving the crowd on a high. SR
Boy Better Know (BBK) – 10/10
BBK have had an amazing 2015 so far and their set at Wireless was proof. They initially had a 2pm set time and got bumped up to 6pm because…well they’re BBK! Despite featuring pretty much everyone who has ever worn a BBK tee, it was JME’s showcase, so he simply started the set with an offstage ‘YO!’ and launched into ’96 F__keries’. As if by magic Jammer then runs out of nowhere to try to get someone killed with grime classic ‘Murkle Man‘. Naturally the crowd does the majority of the work leaving Jammer to leap around the stage as if he’s been in a cage waiting for this moment since 2007. Skepta performs instant classic ‘That’s Not Me‘ and the results are self-explanatory. After the third song you begin to realise that despite BBK’s well thought out and structured performance, right now there’s so much love and pride for them that they could sit in a circle singing ‘Kum-byah’ and the crowd would enjoy every second. Not only does a circle pit form before the first track has even finished, but Skepta politely asks for another and naturally the crowd obliges. Skepta concludes the set by reminding everyone that it’s JME’s night and that JME will perform Skepta’s favourite song from JME’s new album Integrity, ‘Man Don’t Care’. I’ve run out of hyperbole so I’ll just say it was pretty well received. So much so, it took two reloads before they could even make it to Gigg’s verse, and then…Giggs appeared and, one more reload later, this reviewer may have accidentally elbowed a girl in the head….(and apologised profusely). AP
Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment – 10/10
My first mistake was thinking that despite Chance The Rapper’s surprisingly high position on the bill, it would still be relatively easy to get a place close to the stage in the crowd. My second was assuming that I, (confident in my indie credibility) would know the majority of the songs given his lack of fanbase in the UK; my final mistake was despite already knowing he (and The Social Experiment) are an incredible live act, thinking they wouldn’t deliver the strongest set of the whole festival. Simply put: Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment delivered an incredible live performance.
Opening with ‘Everybody’s Something’, taken from the mellow midsection of Chance The Rapper’s 2013 ‘Acid Rap‘ mixtape, he takes the stage by storm creating an instant sing a long. He rides the energy of anticipation into another laid back track ‘Pusha Man’, but once again loaded with a ridiculously catchy chorus. The songs by themselves are well written, but the band and Chance’s gel with them is what makes it an experience. In-between songs the band take turns yelling a call and reply of ‘ooo-oooh!’. The Social Experiment aren’t a backup band they all have definable personalities that come across in their performances and they also all ensure that they aren’t just playing cover versions of Chance The Rapper songs. The band doesn’t so much bring a new element, as completely transform the songs, to the point revisiting them in audio form finds them a little lacking. Essentially a Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment live album needs to be next on the agenda.
Chance The Rapper, is an unbelievable performer. He completely captivates the audience with his on beat robot to his seizure like dance moves. He has clearly drunken too much cola but every move has it’s purpose. After ‘Smoke Again‘ he ‘apologises’ for not properly introducing himself and seems genuinely sorry. Which is ridiculous as he has had the crowd in a delirium and then proceeds to win the 9 people out of the thousands who weren’t completely sold with his next move. He ‘asks’ if he can play a song off of his first mixtape and, despite it being less popular than the current, he manages to make the crowd lose their minds and sing near every word. It’s a true testament to The Social Experiment’s cohesiveness as a band, that you don’t need to know every single song to have a great time. AP
Rita Ora – 5/10
Bless Rita Ora, for those a little confused as to why she hasn’t taken off yet, her performance at Wireless provided the answers. She’s beautiful, with a decent to strong voice, charismatic, hard working and charming, but the one thing she lacks? Songs. The set opens with ‘R.I.P.’ which is a great track but clearly should’ve closed the set. It’s practically anthemic and had the strongest sing a long of the night. It’s also telling that Rita Ora’s biggest song is a Rihanna cast off, as Rita ‘covers’ three of Rihanna’s songs, which the crowd enjoyed, but honesty because they like.. Rihanna. Rita even brought out Krept and Konan to perform ‘Freak Of The Week’ while Rita twerked…
When Rita Ora is armed with a killer song that she believes in, she can do some serious damage. She closes with ‘Hot Right Now’ and you can see a physical change in her performance, she knows it’s a crowd favourite and whether she’s performed it too much, you can’t tell. She performs with so much gusto that it washes away the feelings of an average set, then you remember her set and wonder why she can’t have stronger songs. AP
Drake – 10/10
Drake is currently out on his Jungle Tour with Future, and decided to stop off for a little 30 song headliner at Wireless Festival. Rating Drake’s headline performance is a little unfair at this point, because it’s Drake really. He comes on to ‘Legend’ a four month old song, with zero promo, video…nothing. And the crowd sing every single word. And he doesn’t even play the whole song! He then performs songs that didn’t even appear on a specific project, he just released them for free. Seeing everyone sing the words to ‘Trophies’ and ‘We Made It’ really shows his power, it’s quite a feat to have this many actual fans. Drake has featured on so many tracks that he has made it huge just from single verses, so he performs hit after hit and every one is met with a frantic reception. After getting the crowd to sing The Weeknd‘s entire verse on ‘Crew Love’, he disappears.
Without spoiling too much, we’ll just say Drake literally brings his Jungle Tour to Wireless, and it’s stunning. The level of expectation has been exceeded and anyone who claims that they can only bring a bare bones version of their tour to festivals is clearly just penny pinching. At this point the crowd are mesmerised and the performance is just one long sing a long. Screaming girls pass out and are taken to safety as Drake pits the crowd against each other and doesn’t expect the crowd to take it to heart. With a very typical ‘right side’ vs ‘left side’, when Drake decides he can’t pick who won, the crowd boo loudly. He relents and picks the left side (to be fair they had way more girls, it was simply unfair).
The band mostly provide more bang for the instrumentals, but do also perform a surprisingly catchy reggae interpretation of ‘Find Your Love’. Mostly though they are there to react to Drake and support him as opposed to play with him.
As the set goes on, you’re aware it’s coming. The sets unofficial climax. Quite how a song like ‘Know Yourself’ has become as huge as it is, is baffling. It’s not particularly catchy, is very moody and basically leads up to a one moment, yet it’s what everyone wanted. And then this happened…
As some people started to leave, for those who stayed the set continued with the intensity of ‘Energy‘ where, for once, we hear Drake not rapping about an ex, and instead get quite animated about his enemies, of which he has a few. He finished the set with a full rendition of ‘Legend’ and, if that didn’t bring the house down, the fireworks definitely did. AP
Reviewers: Shyam Rajdev / Aaron Page