Story By Jade Foxx
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This weekend, Washington D.C. turned into Broccoli City for a day. When you try to envision what that may look like, imagine gold florets scattered everywhere, festival gear, and music — LOTS OF MUSIC.
The 2016 edition of D.C.’s Broccoli City Music Fest turned out to be one of its best.
First of all, the location for this year’s event took place in an abandoned asylum. Yes, a crazy house. So, with that said, the grounds had an eerie feeling wherein the backstage was surrounded building with caged windows and creepy pathways. All in all, despite the spooky vibes, this only enhanced the excitement for the show.
Now, the music. The first act of the Saturday (April 30) event was Grammy nomination sensation BJ the Chicago Kid. Stepping to the stage in Bape attire, the soulful crooner grabbed the mic and did what he does best and swooned the crowd with his gravitating vocals. Performing tracks from his debut album, In My Mind BJ set the tone for the rest of the evening. The biggest highlight of his set of course came with a rousing tribute to Prince. If anyone needed confirmation that this guy can sing, the way he hit the high notes on “Do Me Baby” should suffice. Of course, he couldn’t leave the stage without blessing the crowd with fan favorites like “Everybody’s Somebody’s Everything”, “Studio,” and “Church”. What a great way to start the show.
Next up was Anderson .Paak, and let’s just say that this guy is nothing short of a rock star — like the actual definition of a rock star. His energy was crazy and one of the best moments of his set came when he took the drum solo upon himself and continued on without missing a beat. Seriously, the guy is like Lenny Kravitz 2.0.
There was a brief intermission before the next performance, and during that break featured a tribute to Phife Dawg. The DJ honored the late rapper with a brief montage of “Bonita Applebum” and “Electric Relaxation.” He then mixed in some Fugees and Pharcyde. Before the nostalgic vibes could simmer, SANGO hit the stage and tore things down. Later, The Internet mesmerized the crowd, performing hits from their Grammy nominated album, Ego Death. After their set, D.C. native Goldlink came out and made sure the crowd sang Syd tha Kid “Happy Birthday.” Nice touch.
Jhene Aiko, who is coming off a high with the success of Twenty 88 with Big Sean, put together a set list that perfectly blended all of her projects. She sang “Bed Peace” and “Comfort Inn Ending” before taking it all the way back for “Higher”. Also performing “Déjà Vu,” Jhene’s angelic voice surely entertained the spirits in the asylum behind the stage.
Capping off the wonderful evening was headliner Future, unbottled his set with “Thought It Was A Drought,” setting the crowd from a thousand to a million in two seconds. He then went into beast mode (see what I did there) and performed both “Lay Up” and “Peacoat”. Soon after, Future Hendrix went full DS2, turning up to “Real Sisters and “Stick Talk.” By this time the energy was already crazy and it kept getting better, proceeding with “Low Life” “March Madness” and “Wicked.” What a night.
For those who didn’t get a chance to visit this year, next year’s Broccoli City Music Festival should definitely be on the agenda. For this writer, I know I’ll be back.