by Madison Harris
I could already tell it was going to be a long day as the muggy air loomed over us and the only exciting musical prospect for me was St. Vincent (whose set was hours away). As I reluctantly slathered on the free sunscreen by the ID check tent, I locked eyes on the pierogi vendor. Pierogis, which are usually little pillows of starchy goodness, went down my throat like hot rocks. I was immediately rendered upset and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I persisted. I wised up and brought my own water bottle today, so I could refill it instead of shelling out $2 every time I wanted enough water to keep me away from total dehydration. This helped a little.
“Is BROCKHAMPTON not just a boyband with edgier music?”
My feet had formed blisters from the first day of the festival, so I took every opportunity to sit down on the hot astroturf and get covered with the little bits of tar. This later became a point of shared grievance between myself and Jim, the operator of El Pelon Taqueria, whom the team interviewed today. In exchange for the interview, Jim generously gave us each a rice and bean plate; which, again, went down my throat like hot pebbles. The team dragged our bodies (which were having a hard time stomaching all the food), to the blue stage to see Daniel Caesar. His soothing voice aided digestion and soon enough we were on our feet again getting (sometimes reluctant) people to interview for our podcasts.
As we navigated through the crowd, we started to notice the absurd amount of people nearly convulsing at the amount of excitement they felt about seeing BROCKHAMPTON up next on the blue stage. Orange jumpsuits and BROCKHAMPTON merch spattered the crowd (composed mostly of young, white people) which made me think, “is BROCKHAMPTON not just a boyband with edgier music?” Others agreed, especially when considering the recent sexual controversy facing band member Ameer Vann. The phrase “I’d rather watch Harry Styles fart on stage than listen to one BROCKHAMPTON song,” was thrown around a time or two. Sure enough, Vann did not appear on stage. As a matter of fact, this was BROCKHAMPTON’s first appearance without him; an emotional performance ensued (I think, not sure. I was at St. Vincent). Pitchfork and Stereogum were among the first to report their Boston Calling performance as a new leaf for the band, as Vann is no longer associated. An audience member also allegedly broke a limb at this performance. Could this be symbolic of the band’s pain without Vann? Probably not, they’re just a boyband after all.