When you look at the names of this year’s RTD line up, you’d immediately think that you’re in for one continuous journey of superb performances. Although to be honest, this is faintly true. When it came to the environment daisies was set up in a manner which had the potential to make you feel like a child again – it was a gorgeous playground which summoned your inner wanderlust. And with that being said, there were some acts that were surprisingly disappointing to the point where I was shook with inspiration to just leave and wander around. Let me release you from the grips of suspense, these are our Top 5 acts Rocking the Daisies 2019! Keep in mind they are in no particular order.
I can’t even begin to describe my size/sighs of relief (see what I did there) when RTD announced the blockbuster sequel of Joe Kay and Sango. For many years now Sango has been among my favourite producers, so much so that I even started Capoeira classes because I was digesting his Brazilian influenced sound for breakfast, lunch and supper. This is far from the reason why he’s on this list though. CULTURAL OPULENCE is the phrase I’m looking for… His set displayed an abundance of this. We were acquainted with sounds from not just Brazil, but also Togo, East Africa, old school Detroit House, West Africa and even South African Kwaito classics. Eventually, it got so ‘lit’ that security had to step in because girls were dancing on top of the DJ booth! Something which can’t escape mention was how the lineup flowed ever so exquisitely as the two acts before also provided us with a culturally rich experience to sort of prepare us for Sango.
When my friends that didn’t go to RTD asked me “how was Matty”, I felt so bad. I’m an honest person, and so I knew I had to look them in the eye, pause and tell them “THE 1975 WAS ONE OF THE BEST PERFORMANCES I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE”. Thus beginning their FOMO trip. Rumour has it that the band carried approximately 10 tons of equipment for the show including this ginormous rectangle that would frequently light up in the most luminous of colours. I loved the fact that they didn’t have to rely on the audience knowing their songs to provide a showcase that was unforgettable. From their attire to the stage presence, to their backup dancers… The meticulousness and soul that was poured into their performance could seriously be felt and seen. Another reason I’d say they were the best act is that their set was incredibly thought-provoking. The Greta Thunberg skit they showcased was only the beginning; later flashes of these somewhat deep phrases and critiques would repeatedly flash on the screen. THANK YOU, RTD FOR SELECTING The 1975!
The first time I ever saw PH live was at Madison Avenue 3/4 years ago, although my presence for his performance was abruptly cut short. Surprisingly enough, this was my first time I’ve witnessed a PH Fat set from start to finish and MY GOSH… If we classified PH as a Hip Hop artist, his performance certainly would’ve been the most outstanding out of the rap artists. He wasn’t just a man hopping on stage with a mic reciting lyrics. His choreographer truly captured the essence of performance art as ‘A E S T H E T I C’ in all of its finest forms permeated in his set. The manner in which his tracklist flowed displayed a beautiful paradox between the light (love/tenderness/gentle) and the darkness (rough/raw/eerie), and this was heightened with the extras that were brought onto the stage. We could feel the lightheartedness of the girls parading on stage, yet we also felt the intensity of the masked goons dressed in all black. In short, Mike’s show wasn’t only about the music, but a performance which flirted with all of your senses.
I’m not the biggest fan of Tash and their music isn’t entirely my cup of tea. But I can’t deny the fact that they made the audience feel a type of way. Something that completely blew my mind was Tash’s vocal range and their virtuosity when it came to the guitar riffs. Sultana’s drum programming also slapped harder than an angry African mother. I could write a whole coffee table book on why Tash is a terrific musician, although it’s the fact that everything seemed extremely effortless with them. The performance was so comforting and casual that it felt like I was at their house and Tash was playing us the songs they loved. The fact that their shoes were off and the setup resembled a bedroom literally emphasizes my previous point.
I didn’t spend a great deal of time at the beach bar, to the point I can probably count on one hand the number of times I visited it. However, the other two stages had moments of ‘uninspired’ performances. I don’t know who Lawrence Dix is; all I can say is that his set was my escape and my sanctuary for a good period of time. The type of music he played personified eclectic to the core and the accompanying visuals played a role in making his set come alive. You know those sets where after a song is done you say to yourself, “okay I’m going to leave now”, but the magnetism of the music is so alluring that your body disobeys and fights to stay… It was one of those experiences. The musical trip ranged from tranquilizing to upbeat and when I looked around, the glow of satisfaction on the crowd’s face was such a pleasure to see.
The performances that I missed or saw very little of which deserves an honourable mention include:
- Rouge: I only saw her last track and I loved her energy. She performed her hit which is a Trap banger, though this all manifested through live instrumentation and she had like 5 dancers which mirrored each other’s movements in such a timely fashion.
- Sho Madjozi: Unfortunately missed but heard A LOT of great things.
- Jay Prince: Amazing performer which brought the best of R&B and Hip Hop and meshed it together to create something the crowd fell in love with.
Let us know who was your favourite RTD act for this year was in the comment section below.