The Best of The Meadows Music and Arts Festival 2017
    • TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

    • Posted by: Kirsten Spruch

    [Photo Credit: Mark Brown]

    It seems like there's a new music festival popping up every day. Of course, they all run the risk of becoming monotonous, but they all have their own unique personality, which sets them apart. The notoriously boujee Coachella is swarmed with famous people and palm trees, Bonnaroo is every Southern pot-smoking hippie's dream, and Chicago's Lollapalooza is straight up legendary. With an already over-saturated market, The Meadows came to life just last year in 2016 and we wondered: what makes this one special? Created by the same players behind Governors Ball, NYC's biggest festival, Meadows ran the risk of over-saturating themselves. But this year they focused on their niche - Queens, NY. They're also the only festival that technically takes place post-festival season, so that helps too (even though I was very disappointed to find that the pumpkin beer they were selling did not in fact, taste like pumpkin).

    A good chunk of this year's lineup consisted of Brooklyn-based artists, like De La Soul and Jay-Z, as well as artists directly from Queens, like LL Cool J, Nas, and Action Bronson. And that was felt when I attended this past weekend. Everything made it feel so close-knit: the artists, the fact that you could take the 7 train straight there and back, and the fact that Citi Field was in the near distance the entire time. After only its second year, and even with all the festival clutter, there's no doubt that The Meadows offers something different.

    Usually when you arrive to the first day of a festival, you feel a little overwhelmed. You have to find all the stages, which are spread far apart across huge fields, and there are so many other things to see along the way. The layout of the stages at Meadows was perfect - all close together without sound bleeding. Sky Ferreira was one of first shows of the weekend, and her set included her cover of Commodores' "Easy" from Baby Driver.

    sky ferreira meadows

    Other highlights of the day were Two Door Cinema Club, a band that manages to maintain their popularity with consistency. Their set was super danceable, like Tegan & Sara's, who also came with a set that made people dance. They performed singles off of Love You To Death and electro-heavy versions of tracks off The Con (but, if we're being honest, I kind of missed the rawness of the originals).

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    tegan and sara meadows

    Marian Hill put on yet another great show with sultry vocals and glitchy beats and Lizzo… Well, Lizzo's set was actually just insane. People in the audience were asking what she was wearing, but I just wanted to know where I could get myself something like that. Circa Waves was one of the acts that deserved a later set time, but made the best of the 1:30pm slot. Blood Orange also made an appearance right after dropping a new song. And of course, the man himself, Jay-Z, did indeed show up to close out day 1.

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    Day 2 featured acts like Big Gigantic, De La Soul, and TV On The Radio. LL Cool J was a highlight, as he reminded us of how good the classics are and brought out legends like A Tribe Called Quest, DMC and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five.

    tv on the radio meadows

    ll cool j meadows

    The acts on Sunday, Day 3, revived us when we were starting to hit the end-of-festival slump. New Zealand sibling duo Broods was a clear favorite of the entire weekend. Singer Georgia Nott danced with reckless abandon and an envious amount of energy. Rapper Kamaiyah was sick but made sure the show went on, The Strokes' side project CRX took on the main stage, and Foster The People and Broken Social Scene both drew in huge crowds. And to top off the entire weekend, Red Hot Chili Peppers closed.

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