Before Kanye West cut his Meadows festival performance short after learning Kim Kardashian had been robbed in Paris, his set was decidedly no-frills, barely taking any breaks between songs or saying anything extraneous.
Letting the music speak for itself had been a powerful strategy as he ripped through songs from “The Life of Pablo” such as the controversial “Famous,” and a wide array of hits including “Jesus Walks,” “In Paris” and “Flashing Lights,” where he did some ad-libbing.
If opening day of The Meadows was about showing off its eclectic roots in Queens, the final day was all about hip-hop.
After all, West and Chance the Rapper, two of hip-hop’s biggest and most creative stars of the moment, topped last night’s bill for the festival in the Citi Field parking lot.
Chance the Rapper’s set reflected the offbeat, clever sensibilities of his recent “Coloring Book” album, his distinctive flow accented with a live horn section. He also bantered with a giant lion puppet named Carlos, who encouraged him to play some of his older material, leaning into a high-energy version of “Brain Cells.”
Great hip-hop was pretty much on display throughout the 10-hour day. Pusha T delivered a strong, hard-hitting set, including his memorable verse on West’s “Runaway.” Mac Miller rolled out a more pop-leaning brand of hip-hop, including his dance-oriented new hit “Dang!”
Of course, other styles represented Sunday. Metric delivered an energetic set of indie rock with the festival’s longest guitar solos, aside from the ones from Twin Shadow in their tribute to Prince’s “Purple Rain.”