Festival Review: Jambalaya Dallas
Review and photos by Ben Oliver (@bens_the_best)
It felt like summer is off to an early start thanks to the Jambalaya festival that went down this past weekend. The three night traveling mini fest was best described by the Texas promoters Scoremore, who put it on as: “an 8 hour event featuring an amazing mixture of hip-hop and dance music.” Billed as a top notch production, it more than lived up to its hype by having cutting edge artists perform music from today’s two most popular genres. Make sure to watch the official Scoremore recap video at the very end.
(A.Dd+) For Fans Of: Cool Kids, Outkast, Schoolboy Q, Main Attrakionz, Talib Kweli, Danny Brown
The Jambalaya tour took place in Houston, Austin and Dallas. We attended the Dallas event at the Palladium Ballroom, which has a capacity of about 2,500. While not sold out, the venue was nearly completely full. Araabmuzik had to cancel since he is still recovering from being shot and robbed earlier this month. So each city had their own regional talent kick off the festivities each night. The stop we attended included local hip-hop artists Dustin Cavazos and A.Dd+. Serious hip-hop heads should look em up and listen, both have the potential to break out nationally. Check out this video to see for yourself, courtesy of Fly Times Daily.
(G-Eazy) For Fans Of: Chiddy Bang, Iamsu!, Logic, Macklemore, Odd Future, Hoodie Allen
We arrived just in time to see up and coming rap sensation G-Eazy. Besides already being featured on the Vans Warped Tour, he has also opened for some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Snoop Dogg and Drake. Most recently, he was the finalist that fans selected as the opening act for the Billboard Music Awards Post-Party. Without label support, for the last couple of years he’s been trying to finish school while building up a grassroots fan-base across the U.S. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the James Dean look alike, but he wasted no time in getting the crowd hyped. And even more importantly, he was able to hold their attention during his 45 minute set. His setup included both a DJ and a drummer. Hands were in the air and bodies were moving the entire time of this incredible opening performance.
(RL Grime) For Fans Of: Diplo, Baauer, Flosstradamus, Bro Safari, Ryan Hemsworth, Dillon Francis
The next act was EDM artist and producer RL Grime. The 22 year old from Los Angeles exploded onto the scene last year in 2012 by releasing his international club anthem “Trap On Acid”, and immediately garnered the support of Diplo, A-Trak, Flosstradamus,12th Planet,and more. Since then he has released yet another global shaker: his bootleg “Mercy” remix collaboration with LA based producer Salva, which racked up 120,000 hits on Soundcloud in only two days. His set sorta stumbled at the start, due to technical difficulties with the sound system. He was very professional and just went with the flow, recovering nicely. The rest of his time was virtually flawless. As his bio states, his melodically infused, Houston influenced flavor connects the roots of southern hip-hop with the new age of electronic dance music. His ability to merge both EDM and hip-hop are unparalleled. His set included hits from Rick Ross, Future, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, UGK, Juicy J, Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz, and Chief Keef among others. RL was alone on stage, just him and his Macbook during his set, which probably would have been near perfect if only cut 10-15 minutes shorter. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, it just seemed as if their energy began to wane towards the end, this being such a long ordeal on concrete floors with no seats. I look forward to his upcoming release of his new Fool’s Gold EP, High Beams.
(Big Boi) For Fans Of: Big K.R.I.T., Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Killer Mike, The Cool Kids, T.I.
Scoremore stacked the schedule in a smart way, alternating between EDM and hip-hop. They even somehow stuck to the schedule, which was no small feat, considering there was only 15 minutes between each act. It was now time for the legendary Big Boi, who made a stunning entry. It began with a video on the big screen consisting of pre-gig, back stage rituals, then culminated in a flurry of lights, smoke, and sound. He appeared suddenly and dramatically with hype man BlackOwned C-Bone, who remained on stage the entire time. The rapper took command of the venue, and even had an impressive live band, consisting of guitar, drums, DJ and background vocals. His repertoire for the night was chock full of hits both old and new, including “Apple Of My Eye”, “General Patton”, “Rosa Parks,” “So Fresh and So Clean,”,”Objectum Sexuality,” “Elevators,” “Ms. Jackson”, “Skew it on the Bar-B,” “Mama Told Me.” and “Shutterbug”. Music videos for these songs were played on the giant screen behind the stage during the performance. The weary masses sparked back to life during his most famous Outkast renditions, yet the young crowd started chanting for the next act at the end of his.
(Zeds Dead) For Fans Of: 12th Planet, Araabmuzik, Deadmau5, Dillon Francis, Flux Pavillion, Flosstradamus
Afterwards we experienced another amazing EDM set, this time from the dubstep duo Zeds Dead. The Toronto pair, who are currently signed to Mad Decent, take their name from a scene in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction. I first witnessed them perform live at 2011’s Lights All Night, and they have only gotten better and upped their game since. One of the best highlights of the entire event, their epic explosion of energy helped to reinvigorate every one’s exhaustion. The roller coaster of a rave they threw for 60 non stop minutes was equal parts bass and adrenaline. Their time slot was an unforgettable and non stop dance party. They are set to perform in Afghanistan alongside Kid Rock and Garth Brooks next month.
(Earlwolf) For Fans Of: Frank Ocean, Casey Veggies, Danny Brown, A$AP Ferg, Mac Miller, Lil B
Finally came the moment it seemed everyone was waiting for. Although only two members of Odd Future were scheduled to appear, I had a hunch more would show up. My guess was correct as Taco appeared as guest DJ to warm up and engage the people. His 15 minutes of fame not only consisted of spinning jams but also dousing the the fans with water and even stage diving. EarlWolf gave their devotees what they demanded and more, and even brought along special guest and friend Jasper Dolphin. Their incredible set included such favorites as “Tron Cat”, “Assmilk”, “We Got Bitches”, “Oldie”, “Whoa”, “Yonkers”, “Rella”, “Domo23” and “Orange Juice”. The show became even more exciting when fans threw masks on stage and the guys incorporated them into their act. Tyler even borrowed a pair of Kanye West neon light up slot sun glasses from a crowd member! These young superstars have defied the odds, proving they have staying power for the long term. It seems like Scoremore’s Jambalaya fest does too! Scope out more photos below. Here is the official Scoremore recap video also, along with one of Tyler performing.