written by Helen Vivas
As the day turned into night the energy shifted- it was almost time to head to the Rosemont for REACTION‘s warehouse styled party. My friends and I decided the best route to the venue would be hopping on ‘the L’ to skip the city traffic, but also because we could pack the train car full with our friends. We were not alone in our decision to take the L! Almost everyone in our train car was dressed and talking about the REACTION NYE party and who they were excited to see.
As we approached the Stephens Center, you could see festival goers coming from every direction. It became very apparent that we all would be raging the night away with 10,000’s of people in this perfectly spaced out warehouse. My group finally found their “resting stop” (left-side best side) and the lights on the stage dimmed—Danny Brown entered the stage! His performance was exactly what the crowd needed- everyone couldn’t help but watch him and his utterly unique styled performance (unkempt, twisted hairstyle and high pitch laugh). He intertwined music from his new lasted alum Atrocity Exhibitions to his more well-known singles off of his 2013 album Danny Brown Old– “Smokin & Drinkin”. By the end of his set, he had the whole crowd engaged in his Detroit styled hip-hop music.
The next artist to perform was Dillon Francis- hands down my favorite performance of the night! He entered the stage and announced that he was going to miss playing the following edit because it was the ‘BEST HOLIDAY SONG EVER”…. Next thing we knew, he dropped Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas” into the beginning of his set! The next hour flew by with hit after hit- “Need you”, “I.D.G.A.F.O.S”, “Candy”, “Get Low” and many more. The energy of the crowd kicked into high gear and his fans were there to support him- some even dressed as “Gerald”- also known as Dillon Francis’ piñata. (If you followed Festival Squad’s NYE snapchats, you might have seen a few Gerald spotting’s!)
The two headliners that closed the night were Anderson. Paak and Flume. Anderson. Paak was first to perform with a full band (The Free Nationals) and we could tell that he continued to feed off of our high energy from just finishing Dillon Francis’ set. Brandon Paak Anderson, the lead singer, took to the stage with his newest released Album Yes Lawd! But mixed in crowd pleasers from Malibu and Venice. In fact, during “Luh you” off his Venice album, Anderson. Paak took to the drums and mesmerized the crowd. It was a truly exciting to see Anderson.Paak as his raise to fame becomes even more apparent to all music genera lovers. This was the first time I’ve seen him perform and based off his performance, I will definitely try and catch more shows!
The last performance of the night was Flume. His electronica, downtempo music style was a little bit of a shift in pace but slowly he started busting out crowd favorites- “Never be like you”, “Say It” and more- in remixed, more upbeat tempo. The crowds were singing along to every song and the feeling of pure euphoria filled the massive warehouse. Sadly, when the clock struck 2am everyone was guided out of the festival and into the streets with high hopes of how Day 2 of REACTION Festival would play out.