Written By: Qazi Tariq
Breakout Festival went down last weekend as the first large scale locally produced hip-hop festival in Vancouver. The all ages event presented by Timbre Concerts and Crescendo1 featured local artists such as Brevner and Manila Grey sharing the stage alongside current greats like Tory Lanez and 6lack. The Two day event was packed with a mix of local, national and international talent. Now some of you may be wondering “What happened with Migos?!” but we’ll get into that in a little bit.
Day one of the festival really set the mood for the rest of the weekend with a strong roster of talent ending with one of raps biggest stars Tory Lanez.
One of the first people to catch my eye during day one was local artist Brevner. He started the performance off hyping the crowd and showing mad love to the city. You could notice as his set progressed, the number of people piling through the gates and filling up the venue. The audio techs were still dialing in the sound, resulting in a few minor difficulties with the microphone, but Brevner made the best of it. Visuals from his music videos played in the background including “ Waterloo”, the diss track to Madchild. He stayed interactive throughout his whole performance and the crowd grew bigger and increasingly more energetic. He ended off with giving a shout out to his parents who were there at the festival as well! He was on stage with his drummer and a keyboardist and at the end his drummer threw his sticks into the crowd, which the fans went crazy for. Personally, I was not a fan of the amount of auto-tune, but hey, who doesn’t use auto tune these days? Overall, it was a solid performance.
Up next were local favourite duo taking the scene by storm. From being in parodies with youtubers such as Chengman to hitting the big stage and making power moves in the industry. Manila Grey is a force to be reckoned with, as indicated by all the people rushing the stage when they began their set. They were joined on stage with their producer Azel North. Solivens soothing vocals and Neekos bars had the crowd going crazy. They owned the stage, performing their biggest hits “Youth Water”, “EastBound”, “Timezones”, “Owe You” and some of their newer singles “Friends of Friends” & “Backhouse Bounce”. Manila Grey sound as good or better live in comparison to their studio recordings. They deserve a lot of credit for putting both Vancouver and the Philippines on the map. Shoutout to that Pinoy Pride!
Next up, but a little behind schedule was 6lack! This was his second visit to Vancouver since he’s blown up from his breakthrough album “Free 6lack”. Just like his first performance at the Commodore back on November 3rd, 2017, he did not disappoint. It showed throughout his set and how it resonated with the crowd. He performed some well known hits: “PRBLMS”, “Ex Calling”, “Rules”, “Free”, “Luving You”, “That Far’”, and “Cutting Ties”. He sounded almost identical to how he sounds on a record, which is always a bonus with artist as mentioned earlier. The set was finished with a crushing David Myers drum solo. 6lack is at what seems to be the peak of his career, but nonetheless is constantly finding more boundaries and limits to push and give us a sound we may not have ever heard before.
Tory Lanez was the headliner for Breakout Festival Day 1 and he undoubtedly did not disappoint. I had not seen a performance throughout the whole day that was as interactive. Tory’s set could have carried the weight of Da 1 if all else had come to fail (which it did not). He performed songs off his latest album that dropped this spring including “Memories Don’t Die”. He had the whole crowd hyped off of “B.I.D” & “Diego” and changed it up with anthems such as “LUV” and “Proud Family”. Everyone knew the words to songs like “Skrt Skrt” and “Dance for Me”. It was magical seeing everyone come together and go off in unison. Lanez was electric, owning the stage and making sure we were aware of his presence. He ended the night off the only way he knew how, the man jumped right into the middle of the crowd! THE MIDDLE, no fucks given. So carefree and so much love all around. The man really went above & beyond in his performance and showing love for the City of Vancouver.
That leads us into day two; you could feel the change in the ambience. The mood and vibe was much different than it was day one. Much more chill and relaxed, the crowd knew what to expect after Day 1.
Personally was not as big of a fan of the performances on Day 2 as I was for Day 1. Breakout seemed to have put a lot of weight on Day 1 and left Migos and Lil Pump to do the heavy lifting for day two. This may have worked, but we’ll never know because at 7:25pm on Day 2 the dreaded Tweet appeared:
For reasons beyond our control Migos didn’t make it to Vancouver tonight.
From Migos “We love Vancouver and really wanted to make it to BREAKOUT Festival tonight. We hope you continue to support this festival. We’ll make it up to y’all soon. “ pic.twitter.com/lc2RU5kICv
— BREAKOUT Festival (@breakout_fest) June 11, 2018
The whole crowd was screaming “Fuck Migos”. There were a lot of unhappy fans, some who had travelled long distances specifically to see Migos. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was MIA as well on Day 1.
That left it to Lil Pump to pull through and make sure the crowd left satisfied. Major props to Lil Pump. It can’t be easy for an artist to have to hit the stage to thunderous amounts of boos from a hostile audience. Fortunately he delivered and likely gained a bunch of new fans.
Hopefully this isn’t the last of Breakout Festival and all of the positive isn’t overshadowed by Migos not showing up. There’s always room for improvement and growth. Shout out to Timbre and Crescendo1 for making all this possible and providing us a crazy weekend to see our local artists on the same stage as some of hip hops biggest acts.
Check out some pictures of the performers below!