Lil Wayne at Which Stage, 1:30 a.m.
When Lil Wayne made his grand entrance, I could barely believe my eyes. It wasn’t his glimmering grill, his army of In Living Color-style fly girls, or his larger-than-life stage presence that had me feeling like I was hallucinating—it was his punctuality. Lil Wayne came out hard, and he came out ON TIME(!!!) Do rappers even do this anymore? Lauryn Hill, take notes please.
I’d made the mistake of drinking an equally larger-than-life Arnold Palmer before his set and was worried that I’d have to make a clean break at some point when there was no possible way I’d be able to get back my spot back, no matter how hard I pushed through the crowd of thousands. However, Wayne rapped with so much energy and so much conviction during his performance that you’d have thought it was his last. I just couldn’t bring myself to move, no matter how badly I needed to pee. Every time I even thought about it, he’d take a moment to address the audience and remind them, “I am not shit without you.”
Well, I couldn’t very well leave after that, could I?
Another endearing Weezy moment: after doing some significant hyping up of the gentleman in the audience, Wayne turned his attention to the ladies.
“Ladies, if your pussy stinks, be quiet!”
It took a minute for all the females in the crowd to realize that this was a cue to cheer. After a moment or so of awkward crickets, they finally got the hint and applause began to build from soft to a roar. It was a good night to be a guy.
Ratatat, 3:39 a.m.
I’ve been a fan of Ratatat for some time, but never had a chance to catch them live. I remember sighing aloud when I first saw in the program how late they’d be going on, but after Wayne wrapped his set, everyone was far from ready to call it a night. It might’ve been 3 in the morning, but keeping the dancing going was the only thing on everyone’s minds.
From the Which Stage, we darted and weaved our way through the crowds making their way over to the various late-night performers, including Pretty Lights and “The Shpongletron Experience.” Once we reached the Other Tent, I was pretty shocked by my findings. Rather than the mass crowd of PBR-sipping hipsters I’d expected, Ratatat’s tent was an all-out rave. Glowsticks were everywhere—in dancers’ hands, on girls’ heads like halos, and in all sorts of other unlikely places. Sweating girls kept drifting into 8th grade grind-lines while shirtless, glitter-covered guys watched intently. Not far from me, a guy in briefs waved a Pee Wee Herman doll on a stake while another half-naked dude flew a kite in the middle of the tent’s revelers. Just when I was wondering if everyone in the tent was on ecstasy, a girl next to me opened her mouth and confirmed it.
“Are you rolling right now?”
I unfortunately had to disappoint her.
“Well, that’s too bad. Because my friends and I are rolling FACE!”
Within the minute, Ellie (as I learned her name was) from Livingston, New Jersey and her friends turned back to one another to start running their hands over one another’s faces and laughing. But not before offering me a Newport cigarette, which I happily (and embarrassingly) accepted.