Panorama Music Festival powered through its second year at Randall’s Island in New York City over the weekend. Fans in attendance for three-day festival were given nothing but beautiful weather to go along with the fantastic performances at all four stages/tents all weekend long. Aside from a non-threatening stage malfunction in the Parlor tent on Friday, the festival’s second year went off without a hitch, with nearly every set starting right on time.
With the festival now nothing but blissful memories, all fans have left are sore dancing feet and a weekend’s worth of great performances to look back on. So her are 10 of the best performances AXS saw at Panorama over the weekend.
Southern California’s Foxygen had one of the earlier sets on Friday, but their incredibly stylish performance of baroque pop material made for a great introduction to the weekend. Fans who found themselves ditching work and starting their weekend a little early may have found themselves arriving just as Foxygen were starting their wildly energetic mid-afternoon set. Sam France’s face covered in sunblock was an entertaining site to see to go along with his welcome praise of concert photographers in the pit.
Angel Olsen had performed at the Newport Folk Festival just a day before her Sunday afternoon set in the Pavilion tent. She was all warmed up and ready for the always demanding New York City audience with an eight-song set that included blissful performances of songs from her MY WOMAN LP, including “Shut Up and Kiss Me” and “Sister.” While she doesn't exactly have the musical angst of Nine Inch Nails, hearing another singer-songwriter was a warm counterpoint to all the electronic artists also performing at the event.
Tyler The Creator
It’s safe to say that Tyler The Creator’s Friday evening set was the first real big hip-hop performance of the weekend. Fans flooded into the Pavilion tent for his twilight set ahead of Solange, and the Flower Boy rapper delivered a blistering set. So blisteringly hot, in fact, that he casually ditched his shirt just a few songs in due to some well-earned perspiration. The packed tent was filled with energy bouncing from the audience right back into the stage monitors as fans danced, jumped and sung along to nearly every lyric, even those on his week-old album.
Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor and company were charged with the responsibility of closing out the entire festival on Sunday night, and their mix of melody and rage was in perfect balance. After a tiresome weekend, many fans had to dig deep within themselves to find the energy as Sunday night drew to a loud close. Nine Inch Nails were exactly what was needed to help everyone power through those last few hours with an 18-song, industrial rock set, which even included a cover of David Bowie’s “I Can't Give Everything Away.”
Jagwar Ma have been riding the Australian psychedelic pop wave to the point where they can now hold their own, as seen and heard during their set on the Panorama stage on Saturday afternoon. The trio were able to mix their psych-rock energy to do with dance beat samples and and pop-melodies in what was a brilliant mid-day set.
Another psychedelic rock band from down under, Tame Impala’s Saturday night headlining set was a wild dance party from the moment Kevin Parker and company kicked off the first notes of “Let It Happen” two songs in. Their performances of hits including “Elephants,” “The Less I Know The Better,” and “The Moment” were made even better with lasers and wildly trippy visuals. Fans got exactly what they were looking for with the band’s headlining performance, which was a melodic vehicle used to launch themselves into outer space for a few hours.
The last time MGMT performed in New York City, it was December 2013 and the rock band were promoting their self-titled LP which was released earlier that year. There didn’t seem to be any cobwebs to shake off as they played their older hits, which included “Weekend Wars,” “Time To Pretend” and of course “Kids.” Hopefully it was enough to keep fans happy until their long-awaited follow up to 2013’s MGMT is released sometime later in 2017.
Frank Ocean’s appearance at Panorama wasn’t as certain as fans would have hoped heading into the weekend. The R&B singer had cancelled a pair of big festival headlining appearances already this year, but his performance at FYF the weekend prior calmed any nerves that New Yorker’s had as they arrived on Friday. Ocean’s headlining set was anything but conventional, as he was the only artist of the weekend to utilize a catwalk-style stage setup.
A Tribe Called Quest
New York City’s hip-hop pioneers may have been the most anticipated performance of the entire weekend. It was A Tribe Called Quest's first public concert in their hometown since 2013, and their set was filled with hits from their 1990s catalogue, along with new material from 2016’s We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service. As with their other performances, their set included a warm tribute to late member Phife Dawg. Fans seemed aware that this may have been their last ever performance in New York City, and responded with the appropriate reverence.
Bleached helped kick off Saturday inside the Parlor, and were the first artists to perform inside the tent following a partial stage collapse on Friday. That didn’t stop or scare the LA rock quartet, who had the tent surprisingly packed for what was an early 3:10pm set. The group used their garage rock noise and youthful energy to get the blood pumping and ready to go as fans kicked off day two with the fun group of girls.
Check out a slideshow featuring some of the best photos from Panorama 2017 above.