September 20, 2016 Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival Explosive Day 2 Jones Beach, NY 8-21-16
Following an exciting opening day of the second annual Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival, on Sunday, August 21st, Day Two had the stars aligned. Studded with a lineup that would make any top 100 fan salivate, in spite of the grey skies above, the music would go on without any skipping a beat. With the doors opening up at 12 noon, and the first scheduled performance around 12:15 PM, the grounds of Nikon Theater at Jones beach in Wantagh, New York began to fill up rapidly.
An equal amount of artists dressing the lineup as the prior day, at approximately 2:15 PM, on the Sun Stage, an intimate crowd gathered to catch Country Singer Brooke Eden. A Florida native, she was accompanied by her band as she kicked off the set with her hit single, “Daddy’s Money.” Enticing the crowd to sing and dance along, more and more people started gathering to check her out. Going on to perform covers of Elle King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s” and Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” the audience was enthralled as Eden showed off her incredible vocal range. Giving it everything she had, Eden entertained the earlier arriving concertgoers as she closed out with her newest single, “Diamonds,” which is available now on Spotify.
Jumping to the Hot 100 Stage in the amphitheater, Skylar Grey was getting ready to go at around 3 PM. Hailing from the Midwestern portion of the USA, Grey has been working hard over the past decade releasing original music, and it all began with her 2006 debut album, Like Blood Like Honey. Since making a name for herself, Grey quickly drew a large crowd at the festival. Making many move melodically to the music, she had others singing with her hits “I Know You,” from the 2015 Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack, and her most recent single, “Wreak Havoc,” featured on 2016’s Suicide Squad Soundtrack. Continuing to give off a haunting vibe, Grey set the tempo and continued her set with “Straight Shooter.” She ended her set with mentioning that her new album, produced by Eminem, entitled Nature Causes, is due out September 23rd, so be sure to check it out.
Keeping fans locked in on the Hot 100 Stage, New York native Party Thieves was up next at 4 PM. Returning to the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival for the second year in a row, this year would be Jared McFarlin’s debut on the main stage, and he would not disappointed. Having a setup that included two dancers, crazy lights, and a screen full of insane video productions, Party Thieves put on a show that left Jones Beach wanting more. His set included a ton of newly mixed tracks, some of which included popular sounds from Star Wars and The Lion King. Certainly a performance to remember, Party Thieves will continue to spin from now through mid November.
Heading back over to the Sun Stage, at around 4:45 PM, Australia native William Singe was preparing to begin. A YouTube sensation, anyone who makes Facebook a part of their daily routine no doubt have scrolled through their news feed and saw a kid making his own beats and covering some of today’s biggest hits, and that young man more than likely was Singe. Originally a member of The Collective, Singe has since launched his solo career and, as of July 2016, is now signed to RCA Records. Running onto the stage with a massive smile on his face, Singe showed off some slick dance moves that had the ladies melting. Not just eye candy, he performed some covers of today’s hits, including Drake’s “One Dance,” Destiny Child’s “Say My Name,” and Rihanna’s “Needed Me.” Loving every minute of it, the audience sang along to each word, and Singe could not have been more gracious. Thanking all for giving him this opportunity, because people watched his videos on YouTube, Singe is now living his dreams.
Racing back over to the Hot 100 Stage, at 5 PM it was time for Pop band Timeflies to shine in the limelight. Originally from New York and New Jersey, the duo of Rob Resnick and Cal Shapiro came together up in Boston. Like Singe, the duo also made a name for themselves by posting covers of popular songs on YouTube. Since building a massive following, Timeflies has reportedly sold over 150,000 albums and 800,000 singles, combined with 175 million video views and 200 million Spotify streams worldwide; not bad at all. That in mind, as Resnick was in the back spinning, Shapiro was moving from side to side, getting the crowd amped up. Doing a fine job of raising the energy, during “Swoon,” as the song grew more and more intense, Shapiro threw a chair across the stage, a tradition the duo has began when perform this song. Bouncing in and out of catchy sounds, the crowd absolutely loved the set Timeflies delivered, proving so with non-stop singing and dancing.
Keeping fannies in the seats over at the Hot 100 Stage, at 6 PM original Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex was ready to spin. A legendary MC in the Hip Hop community, the amphitheater was filled as Flex mixed some of today’s biggest Rap music. Initially having slight difficulty getting the crowd involved, Flex finally said, “I’m here for another 35 minutes. All y’all better put your hands up!” As soon as he said this, he went into a mix of Fat Joe’s “All The Way Up” and the crowd went absolutely insane. From that point on, Flex killed his set, playing some of the crowd’s favorite songs and proving why he is still a champion as an all-time great DJ.
Meanwhile, over at the Sun Stage, the DJs known as Galantis were hitting the platform at 6:45 PM. Sadly, this was the same time the rain started to fall, but weather aside, Galantis drew one of the largest crowds of the weekend. Swedish natives, the duo consists of Christian “Bloodshy” Karlsson and Linus Eklö, aka Style of Eye, and were about to spark a massive party. Making their way out, Galantis pumped up the volume by playing some of their biggest hits as well as playing the drums for extra excitement. With the rain falling, the crowd sang and danced to tracks such as “Peanut Butter Jelly,” “Runaway,” and their newest single, “No Money.” With Galantis’ trademark Seafox logo lighting up the stage, the crowd waited for the bass drop to each of their favorite songs as the duo put on one of the most epic sets of the entire weekend. Fans of EDM and House need to check out Galantis today.
As the clocks struck 7:45 PM, the Hot 100 Stage area was packed out. Sections were being shut down, and the crowd even filled out the upper mezzanine as they prepared for J. Cole. Jermaine Cole, better known as J. Cole, has been one of the hottest artists in modern Hip Hop over the past few years. Nominated for countless awards since 2011, the North Carolina native was ready to bring Jones Beach to its knees.
From the start, J. Cole came out swinging, and the audience embraced him with open arms. Performing one of the most intense live songs a crowd will ever experience, J. Cole started his set of with “A Tale of 2 Cities,” and once the chorus hit, hands were in the air as everyone screamed the lyrics. Rattling out hit after hit, J. Cole’s set was packed with older songs as well, including “Work Out,” “In the Morning,” and “Power Trip.” Thanking those who have been with him since day one, Cole also welcomed new fans in his family as he put on one of the most impressive shows of the weekend. A hope for modern Hip Hop, Cole showed all of Billboard why he was a selected headliner.
With the rain subsiding for a bit, many made their way back out to the Sun Stage for DJ Marshmello’s closing set at 8:45 PM. One of the most sought out DJ’s that is out there right now, not much is known about him, mainly because his identity remains a secret . In fact, during his sets, he dresses in all white and wears a giant marshmallow mask. Provoking curiosity, a massive gathering formed in front of the stage and Marshmello had people singing, as well as even having some fans crying. Playing a mix of remixes from other DJ’s and two of his biggest hits, “Want U 2” and his newest single, “Alone,” Marshmello gave the crowd exactly what they wanted.
One of the final acts at W Hotels Next Up Stage, Miriam Nervo and Olivia Nervo, better known as Nervo, were ready to go at 8:45 PM. Out of Australia, these twin sisters have been wowing audiences since they were eighteen as record producers, singers, models, and DJs. Multi-talented and inspiring, they were ready to give Jones Beach a show they would remember.
Starting off with remixes of Adele’s “Hello,” and the Chainsmokers hit, “Don’t Let Me Down,” the crowd were immersed as they sang and danced along. Continuously cranking it out, Nervo closed out with some of their own songs including “Hold On” and “You’re Gonna Love Again.” Being one of the last acts of any festival is always tough, but this Nervo fanbase stuck with them from start to finish, giving the girls all the energy they needed to put on a show worth talking about.
With so much happening in the lengthy day of music, Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival was coming near its end. Mounting anticipation that built from the moment the festival began the day prior, the Hot 100 Stage would be wrapped up with the incredible Scottish Record Producer, Singer, Songwriter, and DJ Calvin Harris. On the verge of becoming an international megastar, Harris, in fact, holds the record for the most top 10 songs from one studio album on the UK Singles Chart with nine top 10 entries. Believe it or not, this even surpasses the King of Pop Michael Jackson. Clearly an unstoppable force, Harris’ closing set had the main amphitheater filled to the brim.
While his set did not begin until 9:45 PM, it did not stop the crowd at Jones Beach from sitting out the wait. Entering through a cloud of smoke and darkness, Harris hit the stage to a roar of cheers, thus launching the party. Complemented with LED’s and aforementioned smoke effects, Harris delivered a top-notch set as he played some of his biggest hits including “This is What You Came For,” “Need Your Love,” and “Sweet Nothings.” With most everyone on their feet, dancing in the aisles and having a blast, they all waited for the much-anticipated bass drops and cheered every time a firework or smoke cannon went off. One hell of a finale, Harris exemplified why he is one of the world’s hottest DJs today.
While Day Two of the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival saw rain, it also saw some of today’s biggest artists, but above all, introduced music lovers to bright, new artists. A mix and match of genres, it was a fun experience to see the present and future stars as they climb the charts. As the day came to a close, groups of friends left the grounds, stopping to take one last picture in front of the giant inflatable billboard logo and try to keep the memories of the weekend alive. While the winter is long, 2017 hopefully will see Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival return to Jones Beach for a third straight year.Photos credit: Stephanie Pearl Photography & Courtney Coccia Photography