Rolling Loud is a three-year-old festival that has now evolved into a traveling festival extravaganza. Originating in Miami, the festival announced three more two-day shows on the West Coast with a show in Southern California. It was announced that each show would host a different regional headliner to accommodate regional fans. This is the first year that the independent company is expanding, with multiple events across the United States and plans to go overseas in 2018.
At first impression, the dry, rolling hills of SoCal don’t compare to the exotic paradise of South Beach, which instantly gave this branch of the festival a different vibe. But parking and entry was easy enough, making for a pleasant experience.
There were three stages at Rolling Loud SoCal, as compared to two at this year’s Miami festival. The Loud and Dab stage had canopy roofs and held the larger acts. The Sauce Stage was kind of awkwardly to the side and featured solid artists (Harlem rapper and Nas’ protege Dave East closed out the first day), but didn’t seem to attract many fans.
Night one of the festival was an Atlanta affair as Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, and Migos took the main stage back to back to back for a several hours long performance. Each act performed an equally extensive catalog of hits. Lil Yachty warmed up the crowd with “I Spy”, “Peek-A-Boo”, and his breakout, “Minnesota”. Ushering in Gucci Mane, who performed vintage material like “Lemonade” as the crowd went bizerk from the nostalgia. After reminding fans of his ATL history, Gucci Mane let fans sing-a-long to his current hits, “I Get the Bag” and “Both”. Gwop take a moment to pay tribute to fallen Atlanta legend Shawty Lo and praises his new wife Keyshia Ka’oir.
The world’s hottest group in music quickly followed their ATL mentor with some more southern culture for the sold-out festival goers. Getting the hits out of the way like “T-Shirt”, “Bad and Boujee”, and more. The trio of Quavo, Take Off, and Off Set showed appreciation to the day one fans by taking fans back with their original buzzworthy collection of “Hannah Montana” and “Versace”. Migos brought back out Gucci Mane and Lil Yachty to perform “Slippery”, “Peek-a-Boo”, and the new Joe Budden/Everyday Struggle cut, “Ice Tray”. Closing out the show with a Nicki Minaj and Cardi B absent, “Motorsport”.
Watch Migos complete set below, courtesy of Revolt.
LA’s own ScHoolboy Q headlined Saturday, which was neat because he actually headlined the inaugural Rolling Loud in 2015. In its first year, the event was plagued with technical difficulties and stormy weather, but this performance seemed like a celebration as Groovy Q was in his hometown with a smooth set and a comfy robe. He performed several hits, opening with the Kanye West-assisted “THat Part” before proceeding through some older material, “Hands on the Wheel,” and then “Dope Dealer” off his most recent effort, “Blank Face LP.”
The festival took a moment to mourn and honor the recent passing of rising recording artist Lil Peep. Passing over the summer due to drug overdose, former Lil Peep DJ delivered a touching tribute. Several others paid tribute to Lil Peep throughout the festival, including Zoey Dollaz, who had everyone hold up two fingers for the fallen star. Lil Peep was a part of the line-up before his passing back in November 2017.
Watch Lil Pump’s 20-minute Rolling Loud set below.
Another figure that was noticeably absent from Rolling Loud SoCal was the controversial XXXTENTACION, who hails from the same city as Rolling Loud and has had continuous support from event organizers. He was sent to jail just a week prior to the festivities when seven new charges were announced in his ongoing domestic violence case. The 19-year-old artist’s “Look At Me!” was played several times throughout the festival. Dash was the “Special Guest” that replaced X’s set.
Besides having some hometown artists, Rolling Loud added a nice SoCal touch by having Diamond Supply Co. sponsor a mini skate park. The food was also on point, with a variety of options for concertgoers. The legendary Fat Sal’s had a booth where they sold their signature sandwiches. The shop made its name even bigger this Halloween when they transformed into McDowell’s from Coming to America. The National Orange Show Event Center was a decent enough venue, plenty of room and amenities. The grounds were decorated with purple, blue and green lights draped around the trees, which created a mellow vibe against the backdrop of blaring bass.
Closing out the festival, Future and Post Malone showcased their respected “rockstar” artistry with a heartfelt finale. While paying tribute to Lil Peep, Post ran through the fan-favorites from his debut album including “Congratulations”, “I Fall Apart”, and “White Iverson”. Post Malone made his exit with a signature rockstar departure of damaging equipment and thanking festival goers for coming out.
Watch complete Post Malone set below:
Rolling Loud is brilliant, phenomenal, and must-attend experience for every Hip-Hop fan of all ages. So Cal has the perfect two-day line-up, show flow, and crowd participations at every stage the entire two days. Rolling Loud SoCal is easily the best line-up of the new traveling festival yet. A new legacy is born.