Flavourmag ventured east this weekend for the newly-relocated Wireless festival in the Olympic Park.
The Yahoo! Wireless Festival 2013 boasted one of the best line-ups in years, with Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Nas, Will.i.am, Emeli Sande, Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris, Jessie Ware, Tinie Tempah, John Legend and Snoop Dogg all taking to the stage over and performing mind-blowing sets at the 3-day show. On Friday night Justin rocked an incredible set with Jay-Z joining him as a special guest to perform Suit & Tie, while on Saturday the rapper took to the stage for his own set, performing tracks from his highly-anticipated new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
For The Legends of the Summer tour on Sunday night Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake were joined by Rihanna – while his wife Beyoncé rocked the stage across the pond at her Mrs Carter World Tour in Nashville. With the heat hitting 30+ degrees this weekend wasn’t just hot with music. Here we present 10 things we learned at Wireless 2013.
1. Jay Z is the man. His latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail is number one in the UK and that in itself says it all. Whenever Jay Z graced the stage there was an electrifying energy that rippled through the audience. Performing classics such as ‘Big Pimpin’, ‘Bonnie & Clyde’, ‘Empire State Of Mind’ and ’99 Problems’ the audience simply wanted more Jay Z. At the end of the festival everyone put their diamonds in the sky and chanted HOVA. Jay Z’s reaction was ‘oh, shit!’ So its no surprise then that he’s just announced a European arena tour.
2. Justin Timberlake has a huge catalogue of music. It is easy to forget just how many hits Justin Timberlake has because of his hiatus from the music business and foray into the film industry for the past six years. But Justin Timberlake has an endless list of chart-topping classics spanning over ten years. Everyone knows the lyrics to ‘Justified’, ‘Sexy Back’ and ‘Cry Me A River’. His music has defined pop culture.
3. Rihanna or Beyoncé was bound to make an appearance. Beyoncé is currently on her Mrs Carter world tour so my money was on Rihanna. The Roc nation princess was met with a rapturous applause as she performed ‘Run This Town’ with Jay Z. Dressed in a leather pencil skirt with suspender straps, grey beanie and dark shades the singer owned the stage. It was a great surprise but it wouldn’t be a Jay Z concert without a special guest.
4. Nas is a lyrical beast. Nas’s style of rap is that of a real lyrist. He has honed his craft and is real hip-hop. Performing hits such as ‘One Mic’, ‘I Can’ and ‘Hate me Now’ the crowd hung onto his every word. Nas has been the blueprint for many of today’s rappers. Surprising that he has not achieved as much as commercial success worldwide as Jay Z.
5. A Tribe Called Quest know how to start a party. Their vibe is effortless, lyrical and simply timeless. The rap trio (Q-Tip, Mc Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad) took the audience back to Hip-hop in the late 1980’s and we loved every single second of it. Performing on the main stage, their smooth anthems such as ‘Bonita Applebum’, ‘Can I Kick It’ and ‘Electric Relaxation’ got the crowd jumping, literally. Q-Tip went so hard rapping you could even tell he was losing his voice.
6. You are bounds to miss seeing some artists perform. There were four different stages (Main stage, Pepsi Max stage, SBTV stage and the Yahoo stage) so that equals a lot of artists and a lot of clashing time slots. For instance I watched 2 Chainz perform but missed A$AP Rocky’s performance because they were on at the same time. I’m still a little gutted about this. Unfortunately you had to commit to seeing certain artists over others.
7. The walk to the Wireless festival was far too long. It was a 30 minute walk from the train station to Queens Elizabeth Olympic Park where the festival was held and in my opinion it was far too long. There was a sense of ‘Are We There Yet’ as you walked for what seemed to be an eternity to see your favourite artists perform. At the end of the night I know everyone’s feet were crying tears of pain as they made that 30-minute journey back to the train station. Many would like to see the festival back in Hyde Park.
8. The food does not look anything like the picture on the food stands. Festivals are known for their greasy junk food and endless supply of alcohol. But knowing which stand to eat or drink from is the tricky part. Many go by the pictures and this is a bad idea. For instance despite this one particular stand having a picture a burger with onions, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, gherkins and much more, I was handed a burger with a small slice of cheese and a dry piece of lettuce. My tip is don’t be deceived by the pictures on the stand because the food you buy will be nothing like it.
9. There was no phone signal. Thousands experienced absolutely no phone signal at Wireless (ironic really). Despite living in an age of modern technology, where were supposed to have the fastest internet and latest software most could not get one bar of service. Many had to leave the tweeting and instagraming to until they got home.
10. We need to pray for America. Each artist that performed on the main stage asked the audience to pray for America following the not guilty verdict announced Saturday night in the Trayvon Martin case. If you don’t know about the case, George Zimmerman, a security neighbourhood watchman killed a young black boy, Travyon Martin as he walked home from going to the corner shop. The verdict is honestly a miscarriage of justice and is reminiscent of our own appalling handling of the Stephen Lawrence case. Many of the US artists that took to the stage at Wireless were disappointed in the verdict. Their message was for peace and unity among Americans.