Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 marked the return of the annual NYC festival Greatest Day Ever!, and just as in the past the lineup and performances didn’t disappoint.
Greatest Day Ever! began in 2014 and has taken place at various locations throughout New York ever since. The festival has always been billed as an electronic and rap music-oriented event, although other genres of music are certainly represented.
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of Greatest Day Ever! is the festival’s ability to create a lineup with artists both on the cusp of stardom as well as those with already established names. Past lineup highlights have included Travis Scott (back when he called himself Travi$ Scott), Post Malone (when his only song was “White Iverson”) and Metro Boomin (before his name was known to the masses).
This year the festival was held at the Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York after taking place at the New York Expo Center in The Bronx, New York for the past few years. The event opened its doors at 3 p.m. and finished a little past 11 p.m.
While the Ford Amphitheater is merely steps away from the Coney Island Boardwalk (to get into the venue you had to enter through the boardwalk), the open-air and industrial design of the space made you forget about the proximity to the famous Brooklyn beach.
The venue itself was fairly bare bones, with a few concession-type stands serving food and drinks along one side of the space. On the other side was the stage, a large structure complete with state-of-the-art lighting design, confetti cannons, smoke machines and everything else one could want at a concert.
While the entire concert was General Admission, VIP tickets granted access to the pit so fans could be as close as possible to the stage.
The Greatest Day Ever! boasts not only a music festival experience but a carnival one as well. Behind the actual amphitheater, carnival rides like the iconic Adidas ferris wheel were free for concertgoers to use.
Just like in past years, the festival boasted a killer lineup full of instantly recognizable names in the electronic and rap genres, such as Carnage, Pusha T, Zeds Dead, Lil Baby, City Girls and more.
Here’s the breakdown of the most dynamic performances in each genre category to hit the Greatest Day Ever! stage on Saturday, July 13.
Best Rap Category
The best rap performance at the fest undoubtedly goes to Pusha T, who put on an energetic yet artistic set complete with compelling visuals, singalong hits and a love note to New York City.
The Bronx-born rapper bounded onto the festival stage around 9 p.m., proclaiming that the audience was about the witness “the ‘DAYTONA’ experience” (named after his most recent album). He then launched into his hit “If You Know You Know” off of “DAYTONA” to a lively crowd.
Pusha T continued to perform his own songs from “DAYTONA” in addition to his verses on past tracks he was featured on. The latter got the crowd excited, especially when Pusha rapped his parts on Kanye West’s classic hits “Mercy” and “Runaway” as well as the remix of Chief Keef’s “Don’t Like.”
Pusha T’s talent clearly shone through during his set, as his rapping was impeccable and authentic. The crowd responded well to the rapper, especially when he praised New York City and Brooklyn especially, claiming the city had always supported him and his musical ambitions from the beginning.
Best Electronic Category
The highlight of the night was without a doubt Carnage, the Guatemalan-American DJ and record producer. As the headliner of Saturday’s lineup, Carnage hit the stage around 10 p.m. and didn’t finish until a little after 11 p.m.
What was so captivating about Carnage’s performance was the musical diversity throughout his set. The record producer went from Skrillex-inspired dubstep (he even did a remix of the famed DJ’s hit “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”) to house music (remixing the EDM favorite “In My Mind”) to his own pop-inflected hits like “I Like Tuh” (featuring ILoveMakonnen) and “Bricks” (featuring Migos).
Despite the over an hour-long set, Carnage wasn’t about to lessen the energy anytime soon: Right before finishing his performance, the record producer announced that he was playing four shows in 36 hours. Following his Greatest Day Ever! appearance, Carnage made his way over to Marquee NYC, a nightclub in Manhattan, to keep the party going well into the early hours of the morning.
Carnage’s performance at Greatest Day Ever! was possibly the most high-energy set I’ve experienced in my life, leaving me covered in sweat and with no feeling in my feet; however, these two things were a small price to pay for such an incredible night.
If you love any sort of electronic music and/or concerts where you dance until you drop, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t see Carnage live at least some time in your life.
Best Surprise Category
While the Greatest Day Ever! is billed as a mostly electronic/rap festival, every year they’ll throw in a couple of artists that don’t fit this exact genre description. This year was no different with British band Jungle joining the Saturday lineup.
Labeled as a neo-soul band, the group was created by friends Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson in 2013. Today, Jungle has expanded to a seven-piece live band and their performances are not something to miss.
All of the members of Jungle had an easygoing attitude onstage that matched their 1970s funk sound. However, their laidback style in no way translated to laziness onstage: The entire band interacted constantly with the crowd, talking with the audience between songs and expressing their gratitude for being able to play the fest.
Jungle played some of their biggest hits including “Busy Earnin’,” “Happy Man” and “Heavy, California” while the crowd danced. While Jungle was a much less frantic energy than Carnage, the band brought a positive energy all their own, making it another one of the most enjoyable sets of the night.
Just as in past years, the 2019 rendition of the Greatest Day Ever! did not disappoint. While the festival may feel more like a big concert with multiple artists performing rather than your typical weekend-long outdoor music festival, it’s still an event that brings the same high energy levels and expert musical performances.
Make sure to keep your summer weekends free next year: The Greatest Day Ever! will be returning to the city for July 2020, and you won’t want to miss it.
Lucie Turkel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.