Rageville Music Festival
With Future, Paper Diamond, 12th Planet, Araabmuzik and KEITH APE
The Bomb Factory, Dallas
Friday, October 30, 2015
Future has been a lot of things in 2015. He’s been a No. 1 artist on the Billboard charts. Twice. He’s been a mainstay in clubs and on radio stations across the country. He’s been a favorite topic of conversation on TMZ and Twitter. But most importantly for the packed house at The Bomb Factory on Friday night, he was a savior.
The Atlanta rapper didn’t take the stage until well past 1 a.m. on the night, but once he did his performance washed away any and all wrongs the crowd had to sit through for hours on end. From the way things went throughout the night, it’s not clear if that set time was Future’s decision or if it was the organizer’s. Nonetheless, Future did as he always does and put on a high-energy performance to save the night.
If we’re trying to keep count, this was at least his third time performing in the city this year and fortunately for us he’s been so busy putting out such a high volume of music he’s never short on new material to perform and always has something new to offer. This time it was cuts from his collaborative mixtape with Drake, What A Time To Be Alive, for the city to see performed for the first time.
Remarkably, though, despite his numerous shows in town and his frequency on the airwaves, we still haven’t hit a point of over-saturation with Future. It doesn’t even feel like we’re close to getting to that point. The Bomb Factory’s near-capacity crowd rapped along with him from beginning to end with an insatiable zeal. His music is undeniably catchy with its bouncing trap beats, infectious and jargon-producing hooks capped off with his melodic half-sung, half-rapped voice that’s always easy to listen to.
Simply put, Future is one of the coolest rappers going right now and can seemingly do no wrong. He’s like the James Bond of rap: Women want him and men want to be him. Even as he’s bouncing around the stage working the left side of the room, then the right, he doesn’t break a sweat. His stage presence looks effortless but at the same time he’s enthralling.
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It was a blessing Future was able to headline the second edition of Rageville Music Fest because it’s hard to imagine any other artist helping a crowd forget the painful goings-on before his set. Rageville is an ambitious production that melds electronic dance music (EDM) and hip-hop together for one big affair and it’s possible that Intelligent Grind could be on the forefront of a movement that maybe seems inevitable. Mad Decent Block Party has seen success blending the two genres and Scoremore’s JMBLYA has similarly done the same since its inception and has grown in size the last two years.
So it’s not so much the vision that caused issues for Friday’s event, it was its execution. Whereas the aforementioned festivals are full-day affairs, Rageville presented itself as more of a standard show with its 8 p.m. start time. It was a bit jarring to its attendees who were still sitting through hour-long sets by openers at 11 p.m. then another opening set at midnight.
Although the intention of Rageville was to bring the two different genres together, the hip-hop side of the bill was too heavy-handed. Intelligent Grind deserves all the credit in the world for booking an artist of Future’s caliber, but its EDM lineup of 12th Planet and Paper Diamond didn’t bring in a big enough crowd and the room was dominated by Future fans passively observing those sets. During 12th Planet’s set he couldn’t help but mention the crowd’s apathy: “I know I’m not Future, but y’all look like deer in headlights.” It wasn’t for lack of effort, though. The room had a great energy to it after sets from G.U.N, Ketih Ape and Araabmuzik, but for the last two EDM acts, the room just couldn’t keep it going.
Hopefully Rageville makes it an annual event and comes back next year, because with just a few tweaks it could be a prime event for the city. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance Future won’t be available next year to save it again.