Following the first day of the 2013 Yahoo! Wireless festival it was hard to believe that things could get much better. Justin Timberlake’s headline set raised the bar for the weekend so could Saturday’s line-ups come anywhere near as close? With the sun scorching and more people than ever attending, it looked like we were set for another fantastic day as we walked through the entrance gates at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The buzz was in the air for Jay-Z’s headline set but first we checked out a variety of artists across the five stages.
The day started for us with a performance from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Taking the main stage by storm the American rapper who is praised for his positive lyrics was on early in the afternoon and delighted the crowd that came to watch him. Wasting no time Macklemore kicked off his set with the single that shot him to fame, Thrift Shop and everyone was singing along. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis continued their set with a beautiful rendition of Same Love, which always puts a tear in our eyes for being so honest and positive. The atmosphere in the main arena was off the charts and with the sun shining bright this seemed like the perfect start to our day.
We continued our adventure on the other site by the Yahoo, SBTV and Pepsi Max stage. Certainly one of the highlights of our day there was seeing Iggy Azalea perform some of her hottest hits. The Australian rapper that never shies away from a good lyric impressed us with her sexy moves and slick delivery. Bounce was the perfect excuse for the whole Pepsi Max tent to go crazy and jump about but other hits like Beat Down had a similar effect with its dirty beat.
Having seen Monsta perform at Wirelss’ launch party we decided to go check them out by the Yahoo stage and stayed long enough to enjoy their hits Holdin’ On and Messiah. Other acts that were quite popular on that stage were London artist Mikill Pane and American poet and rapper Watsky whom we spoke to.
A festival wouldn’t be complete without a secret gig and the Pepsi Max stage was packed with a curious audience waiting to find out who this year’s was. Our very own Tinie Tempah took the stage and the crowd went absolutely crazy, jumping, mosh pits, crowd surfing and flying tops were all part of the show. Tinie Tempah came back to the stage after a few months of absence, the English producer and singer was full of energy and tight deliveries. The crowd went along with all his demands taking off tops and posing for pictures. Singing his hits London To Ibiza or Drinking From The Bottle got the crowd going but it was Pass Out that made the crowd lose its mind. All in all it was a good come back from Tinie Tempah, which seems to be back in great from.
Closing the Pepsi Max Stage for the day was superstar DJ Calvin Harris. Performing on-top of a video screen covered DJ booth, Harris played a mixture of chart hits and his own songs over the course of his set. The stage was packed with fans wanting to dance their cares away before enjoying the hip-hop of Jay-Z later in the day. The set opened with Sweet Nothing featuring Florence Welch and continue to up the tempo as it progressed. Highlights included the fantastic Bounce which features vocals from Kelis and the Tinie Tempah collaboration Drinking from the Bottle, which the rapper himself played in his set earlier in the day.
Emeli Sande was the last act on the Main Stage before Jay-Z performed and she treated the crowd to hits from her chart-topping album Our Version of Events. Looking mighty summery and moving to-and-from the piano throughout her set, Sande performed hits such as Read All About It (Pt. III), Heaven and Clown. For her closing number she got the audience on their feet and singing along to her monster smash Next To Me. It was the highlight of her set with the audience joining in on all the lyrics and waving their hands in the air whilst the sun shone down.
The last act of the day was the one everyone had been waiting for. Anticipation for Jay-Z’s set was immense and it seemed that there were even more people there than the previous night for Justin. Dressed in his usual getup of black trousers and white shirt with a heavy looking chain around his neck, Jay-Z performed a set that mixed tracks from his new album Magna Carta… Holy Grail with classics from his near 20 year career.
There was no doubt that Jay-Z absolutely slayed the crowd with his incredible set. The atmosphere was absolutely electric with a surprising number of fans knowing even single rap lyric and everyone waving their hands in the air throughout the set. Switching effortlessly from new to classic material, Jay-Z entertained with hits such as Jigga What, Jigga Who (Originator 99), Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) and Big Pimpin’.
The crowd reacted deafeningly when the opening moments of Empire State of Mind played singing Alicia Keys’ vocals drowning out the backing track. Other highlights included Run This Town, Dirt Off Your Shoulder and On To The Next One. In the middle of his set Jay-Z performed his verses from the Beyonce hit Crazy in Love and his half of ’03 Bonnie & Clyde which also featured Beyonce on the original recording. Of the newer material Clique brought some serious hip-hop beats to the evening whilst Magna Carta track Picasso Baby was a welcome addition to the setlist.
The best moment came when Jay-Z performed his classic hit 99 Problems which had the audience dancing, singing and rapping along. Justin Timberlake made a surprise appearance during the encore to sing Holy Grail, returning the favour from the previous night when Jay-Z surprised fans by appearing onstage to perform Suit & Tie with the singer.
With one day to go we’re tempted to say this is the best year of the Yahoo! Wireless festival to date. Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are set to close the festival with their joint Legends of the Summer show. We can’t wait and we’ll be as near to the front as we can get singing our hearts out.