While onslaughts of rain can easily plague any American festival, music-lovers in London don’t seem to mind downpour-filled days. At least they didn’t when Wireless Festival kicked off in Hyde Park to a super-soggy start.
Childish Gambino stormed the Pepsi Max Stage with his booming vocals and witty lyrics. Backed by a full live band, Gambino spit his fire over tribal drum beats and rumbling bass. A brilliant cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” had the audience jiving and sloshing across the grass without a care in the world about the looming clouds overhead.
Soon after it was Santigold’s turn to captivate the crowd. Donning a sparkling cape, the Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter belted out original hits, as well as samples from Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. When “Creator” came on, the hip-hop soulstress invited audience members to join her onstage for a boogie-down dance party that left smiles plastered across participants’ faces.
We left Santigold’s set to catch Afrojack in action on the Main Stage. Instead of spinning his typically-commercial set, the Dutch DJ sampled bizzaro choices like Roxy Cottontail’s “Bounce Little Kitty.” The crowd went ballistic for his dynamic throw-back track selection, and noddingly approved as he transitioned into more popular songs like “Where’s Your Head” and “Pon De Floor.”
Back at the Pepsi Max Stage, Feed Me was wrapping up their face-melting drum’n’bass set, giving way for Knife Party to take the stage. The Australian dubstep duo comprised of Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen released a fury of filthy, bass-heavy tracks into the crowd - which quickly turned from fans jumping about to a full-blown moshpit. Dropping pulsating hits like “Sleaze” and “Bonfire,” Knife Party filled the tent with hysteria as we all screamed along “Until they kick us out people MOVE YOUR FEET!”
Drenched in sweat and dirt, we made our way back to the Main Stage for Deadmau5’s closing set. And while I’d love to blame the lack of energy at Deadmau5 on Knife Party’s previously epic performance, but I just don’t think it’s that simple. I had never seen anything like it; people on their cell phones, in deep conversations with their friends, playing games in the crowd. Only a fraction of the audience was even facing the stage.
Wireless Festival successfully provided an eclectic lineup of beat-bumping performers. Fans braved the storm and found it was well worth the muddy boots in the end. We cant wait to see what the annual London concert has in store for its next edition.