For the third year in a row, Trillectro took center-stage in the D.C. hip-hop and electronic communities. Food trucks, clothing vendors and eager music fans filled the RFK Stadium parking lot for a rainy day of music. Although it rained early on, the weather finally held up for a great night of acts like Migos, Big Sean and Baauer among others. However, this wasn’t like Trillectros in the past, as the change in venue provided a bigger space than the H St. Fairgrounds. And with this bigger space came more clothing vendors, more food trucks and even bigger acts than last year. So what did we at WRGW think about Trillectro 2014? Check out what we thought below:
This year’s Trillectro did a great job of putting on for their city. Clothing vendors were almost all either DMV-based street clothing companies or thrift stores. There were lots of great clothing items available; lots of original t-shirts, sunglasses and retro sports jerseys were abundant and definitely cool. Even though it was raining, many people were seen buying from the clothing vendors, especially since their tents were able to provide shelter from the continuous drizzle. This was definitely something I was happy to see again.
They also did a great job of promoting local D.C. artists. As they did last year, Trillectro made sure to add local acts to perform at this year’s festival. Ras Nebyu put on a great early performance, and did a great job of repping his Washington Slizzards crew. It was also great to see Oddisee and Diamond District perform. They put on a great show and showed off their D.C. pride through their clever lyrics. And although he performed late on the Finesse Stage, I was very happy to see D.C. upstart Goldlink get love from both the festival and fans. Overall, Trillectro did a great job in this respect.
Trillectro definitely stepped up their game this year in terms of musical acts. Instead of a repeat of last year’s Wale fiasco the fans that came got to see every music act as promised. Both stages had great performances throughout the day of both electronic and musical acts, with early performers including Ras Nebyu, Willy Joy and Oddisee. As the crowd started to get hype with performances by Sango and Twrk the rain stopped, the crowd turned towards the main stage and the big acts began.
The best acts of the night in my opinion were Lunice, Migos and Big Sean although not necessarily in that order. I had never heard Lunice before arriving at Trillectro, but was pleasantly surprised by both his performance and music. He had great remixes to popular hip-hop songs that continued to energize the crowd. His sprinting and yelling/rapping along with his songs was also a surprise, especially in comparison to other DJ acts of the night. While Migos did not put on the best performance, the trio’s music infected the crowd. People were very into their music, which made their appearance that much better. Finally, Big Sean’s live performance was great, but was almost upstaged by that of surprise guest Travi$ Scott. The wild Houston-based rapper/producer tore down Trillectro and his anarchistic ways provided for a memorable performance for both artists.
While this year’s event went well, the festival’s organization was a little worth questioning. Some of the acts’ set times were switched or changed based on unknown factors. This made it difficult to figure out who was on when. Another issue was the order in which the artists performed, especially towards the end of the festival. I thought putting SZA in-between Lunice and Rae Sremmurd sucked the energy out of the crowd, and Baauer’s set seemed to be more of an intermission than an individual set. Finally, confusion over the location of the media room was frustrating. The promise of a media room, and cover from the rain, was unfounded as neither security nor staff seemed to know where it was or how to get there.
Overall, Trillectro was a great event. Not only did it bring more notoriety to the local hip-hop scene, but they were able to draw quality artists who put on fantastic performances. The change in venue definitely helped, as the added space gave their activity sections more than enough room. Other than the organization issues, Trillectro was a good event that I hope continues. It’s place in D.C. hip-hop is becoming more and more solidified and will hopefully become a staple in the D.C. concert scene as time passes.
– Max Blackman