Coverage by Yuliana Bourdin and Kyle Moreau
Day one of Mala Luna was one for the record books, but does two was set to break that record with awesome acts such as Maxo Kream, Borgore, Migos, and Future performing, and Coog Radio was there to fill you in on all the fun.
This was by far my most anticipated set of the entire festival as I have missed seeing Maxo Kream perform four times before this and I have to say that he definitely did not disappoint with his 3 pm set at Mala Luna in San Antonio on Sunday. Maxo Kream is a local Houston rapper out of Alief and he uses his influences from growing up impoverished in the area to provide a story to his trap-influenced beats. Mid-set Maxo even yells out to the crowd that “I ain’t no mumble rapper, I tell stories” as he transitioned into his 2017 single “Grannies” which has garnered him a lot of attention this year. From the second Maxo Kream walked on stage, the energy in the crowd never diminished as I found myself being pushed in every direction with mosh pits all around me. One thing that remained constant throughout was the energy the crowd reflecting back to Maxo as everyone around me was singing along to every word. Maxo Kream primarily played his more popular and recent songs such as “5200” and “Mars” in order to maximize his mass appeal to the crowd as his set was only 30 minutes long. Maxo Kream delivered an incredibly energetic and interactive set and was my personal favorite of the entire festival.
As someone who is not opposed to EDM, I was quite excited to see Borgore to loosen up the heavily rap packed festival, however, the show was not what I was looking for. I’m still not sure whether it was because of the artist, the setlist or the crowd. A combo of the three is the most probable answer. While the energy was high for Borgore’s set and as I looked around people had brilliant smiles permanently plastered on their faces, I couldn’t tell if that was because they were enjoying his particular performance or it was just a result of all the energy leading up to it. The tracks, booming with bass and echoing with voices from hit songs, blended together into what felt like the same song being played on repeat for an hour long set. The EDM fans did not mind as they continued to jump, shuffle and mosh nonstop, but from the looks of it, I don’t know if they were there because they were huge Borgore fans or because they were looking for a rave-like atmosphere. Perhaps if Borgore had taken control and used his voice to gauge the audience and lead them through the show, it would have felt more like an experience rather than a vortex of repetition and bass.
Khalid was another act I was heavily anticipating as I have found myself listening to his music more often as of late. After blowing up over this past year, I assumed that his set would be crowded but I could not have imagined how many people were actually standing pressed against each other in the heat as early as 45 minutes before his set. Khalid stormed on stage with a couple of dancers behind him and broke out into a dance number that continued throughout his first song. I could not help but notice though how apparent it was that he had come out lip syncing as his mouth was not matching up to the music. Thankfully, this only lasted maybe the first song or though as later in the set in became apparent he was singing again. Khalid really impressed me with his ability to make his live performances sound nearly identical to how he sounds on his album, even with having a fully choreographed set. Although Khalid sounded incredible, the set as a whole lacked energy as a whole and didn’t provide the mid-afternoon boost I was hoping for. I found myself struggling to stay awake as the crowd was relatively calm throughout until Khalid ended off on his two most popular singles “Location” and “Young, Dumb, & Broke” which gave his set an eventful ending.
Approaching the Afrojack set at the Lone Star stage, I was a little worried after the Borgore set had played at that same stage just an hour ago but as we got closer and as the sun set behind us, something in the crowd shifted and I got that feeling you get before something goes down. And man, did we get down. Afrojack took it upon himself to provide a show that moved the crowd from daytime to dancing under the ‘mala luna’. He was both DJ and hype man and kept the energy high by interacting and being as excited about the crowd as the crowd was about him. Playing his singles like “Another Life” and “No Tomorrow”, the festival goers danced in what felt like a collective experience. As the set went from daytime to nighttime, the accompanied visuals adapted and from simple projections on the screen turned into an entire light show that mesmerized anyone who took a minute to just stand and gaze at the stage (hard to do with all the dancing you wanted to do). But as we swayed, jumped and twirled (at least I did because of the ribbon I brought with me), the hour long set ended too quickly and in my opinion he could have played for 30 more minutes, closed the festival and no one would have complained. I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for his next performance around Texas and if that performance was any signifier, he’s going to be shutting festivals down very, very soon.
Migos needs no introduction as they have come from the streets to the number one group in the world over the course of the past few years. Their widespread popularity was apparent as this may have been the most crowded show I have ever been to. I talked to multiple people who bought their tickets strictly to see Migos and had been making their way closer and closer to the front all Sunday to get a good spot for their set. At one point while waiting on Migos to come out, I turned around to see people as far back as I could see. Migos came out to their hit “Get Right Witcha” and the crowd was instantly electrified. Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff were all rocking their signatures styles with Takeoff even wearing the white Saint Laurent glasses that he wears in all of their interviews. The trio seamlessly moved across the stage as at every point one of the three was claiming their own part of the stage. When it was time for a member’s verse, they smoothly transitioned to center stage as the other member subtly made their way to one of the sides of the stages. Migos played through many of their most popular songs from all of their discography by performing songs such as “Hannah Montana”, “Fight Night” and even “Motorsport” which had only been released two days prior. Migos spread out their biggest hits from their Culture album all throughout their set which kept the energy in the crowd at an all-time high for the hour and a half set that evening. Migos ended their set with the 2017 masterpiece “Bad and Boujee” and even shot cannons of confetti all throughout the crowd to give a climactic end to what was an incredibly entertaining and energetic set.
The closing act of a festival always has a lot of pressure to send the crowd off into the night with nothing but good things to say. So going over to Future’s set from Migos’ (high high expectations) the stakes were raised. The long set and the hyped crowd working extremely well together seeing as how before he even went on you could feel the wired energy that was coursing through the crowd. Love for Future and post-Migos fused to create a collective entity that was ready to shut it down and take it home. As we pushed in as far as we could go, which was not far at all, I stood on my tip toes (still not nearly as tall as I needed to be) and looked around to size up the crowd. Not only did it seem like, I assume it was definitely the case that all the attendants showed up for this show. Even as it got chilly, people were still throwing water bottles around as several mosh pits formed all throughout the crowd with everyone screaming and singing to tracks like “Bugatti”, “Sh!t”, “Selfish” and “You da Baddest”. For an hour and fifteen minutes everyone exerted their vigor and as the show and festival came to an end, people lazily walked away, fully sated with the performance that closed another wonderful year of Mala Luna.
Thanks for reading! If you went to the festival, what sets did you catch? What sets did you enjoy? What sets didn’t you enjoy? Let us know in the comment section, and continue to check the site for the latest music news and reviews?