Here's our recap of Montreal's Metro Metro festival, including a list of our five favourite sets.
With the success of hip-hop festivals such as Rolling Loud, it’s no surprise that cities around the world have tried to recreate that energy with events of their own. The newly-inaugurated Metro Metro Festival in Montreal, Canada is one such event, hopinh to bring the biggest hip-hop fans in the city together for two days of exciting acts, not just limited to local talent, but some of the strongest artists in the world.
First-year festivals can be hit or miss thanks to the assumed inexperience of those who are putting the show together. Luckily for Montreal hip-hop fans, the festival was a masterclass in delivering on a promise set forth by the marketing team. With a healthy dose of festival-goers, Metro Metro brought so much energy to Montreal’s Olympic Stadium that even the artists were impressed.
In just its freshman year, the festival was able to bring huge names to the stage with every single one putting on a memorable performance that left the crowd mesmerized. If you missed out on the action, here are some of the best performances of the weekend.
Brian Ach/Getty Images -- A$AP Ferg performs onstage at SOMETHING IN THE WATER - Day 2 on April 27, 2019 in Virginia Beach City.
If there’s one thing you need to know about an A$AP Ferg performance, it’s that the New York-born rapper will come through with an insane amount of energy. At times, Ferg was getting so into his set that a member of his team would swing by the stage, pass him a towel to wipe off any excess sweat forming on his forehead, and jet off. The man is passionate about putting on a good show and you can tell from the opening moments of his performance.
With a few hits in his arsenal, predicting his set can be a little easy at this point. You know you’re going to hear “Nasty,” “Shabba,” and a few others. More likely than not, “Plain Jane” will finish off the show. With the release of his brand new track “Pups” the week prior to the festival, Ferg practiced his performance of the A$AP Rocky-assisted track, exhibiting tons of intensity and inviting the crowd to interact with call-and-response gestures.
- Alex Zidel
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images -- Tyga performs onstage during The Liftoff presented by Power 106 at FivePoint Amphitheatre on May 18, 2019 in Irvine, California
Tyyyyyga? Tyga!? A few years ago, adding Tyga to a list of the best festival sets would have been unthinkable. After his unpredictable comeback last year, the Californian has become more credible than ever before in his career. He’s managed to carve a very distinct lane for himself. For some reason, we’re all okay with T-Raw rapping about ass and money now. In fact, we're more than just okay with it, we're quite pleased.
All of those bangers were performed during his Metro Metro set too. Even those who don’t listen to Tyga on the regular were impressed by his set, which speaks volumes. Going back to his popular collaborations with Chris Brown, the rapper came through with “Ayo,” “Loyal,” and more. Much of his recent catalog was on display too, with “Go Loko,” “Taste” and “Dip” keeping the crowd lit. Songs like “Hookah” served as nice throwbacks while others gave us a look into what T-Raw may be planning for 2019.
If you think about it, Tyga is arguably the perfect type of artist to book for a festival. He’s got enough crossover hits to make even the least-interested person nod their head and if he goes deep enough into his repertoire, you can guarantee he’ll surprise you with some hidden gems that you forgot he even had a part in creating.
- Alex Zidel
Thaddaeus McAdams/Getty Images -- Cardi B performs at Rolling Loud Miami 2019 at Miami Gardens on May 11, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you haven’t seen Cardi B live yet, you’re truly missing out. Yes, she’s brash and she often divulges way too much information during her live-streams, but she’s a damn-good performer. The star recently signed on for an exclusive residency at the Palms in Las Vegas, which you can read about here, and she’s also becoming somewhat of a festival mainstay. If you’re able to book Bardi, you know that your festival is pretty legitimate. Despite the infancy of Metro Metro as a globally-known festival, the Montreal party managed to get some major names to perform for the audience of thousands. One of the biggest draws was Cardi B.
The Bronx-born rapper headlined the first night of the festival and people made sure to stick around to watch her perform her hits. The majority of festival-goers were unsure if she would even show up. She did appear, though, and on top of that, she was on time, impacting the Canadian crowd just after 10:00 PM.
Performing her most well-known songs like “Money,” “Bartier Cardi,” “Bodak Yellow,” and others, the Grammy winner also dropped a slew of her popular features. Her collaborations with Maroon 5, Pardison Fontaine and, of course, her hubby Offset, were highlights of her set. Cardi had one of the most elaborate stage designs of the entire weekend, hiring a crew to ensure everything was up to her standard. As the last performance of the first night, she made sure people got their money’s worth and considering this was her first time rapping in Montreal, she seemed impressed by the rowdiness of the crowd, who just couldn’t get enough of her.
- Alex Zidel
Paras Griffin/Getty Images -- Juice WRLD performs in concert during "Death Race For Love" tour at Coca-Cola Roxy on May 12, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia
Coming off his brand new album Death Race For Love, Juice WRLD is one of the hottest artists in the game right now. His unique emo-rock infused style has won over the hearts of hip-hop fans, as well as people who might not otherwise be interested in hip-hop. His style elicits a feeling of nostalgia from back when My Chemical Romance and The All-American Rejects were the biggest things on the radio.
Juice WRLD made sure to play all of his biggest hits, including songs like "All Girls Are The Same," "Hear Me Calling," and "Lucid Dreams." In addition to these songs, Juice made sure to play some of his deeper cuts such as "Lean With Me" which helped keep the energy going. He even went into an emotional rendition of XXXTentacion’s "Sad!" which had the crowd singing along the whole time.
One thing that was interesting about the performance is how Juice WRLD performs like a rock singer. He tends to stay in one place as the mic remains latched onto the stand. It makes his concerts feel like a healthy mix between a hip-hop show and a rock concert. Juice makes sure to sing every single note and doesn’t give in to the trend of simply dancing to your own backing track. The Chicago artist makes sure you get your money’s worth out of performances which in 2019, is truly admirable.
- Alexander Cole
Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images -- Future performs on stage during the EDC Japan on May 11, 2019 in Chiba, Japan
Perhaps the biggest draw of the entire weekend, Future graced the Metro Metro stage in style as he played his vast collection of hits that span the better part of the decade. Considering Future has remained a little bit more lowkey over the last year, it’s easy to forget just how many phenomenal songs he has. If you went to the concert to turn up to his biggest bangers, you definitely left the festival satisfied.
Future knows how to play to his strengths and that’s why it’s no surprise that he played songs like "March Madness," "Jumpman," "F*ck Up Some Commas," and "Wicked." For most of the performance, Future was joined by two of his dancers who brought a ton of energy to the stage. What was nice about the dancers is that they have so much chemistry with Future, that even the rapper joined in on the fun during the peak parts of his best songs. The crowd seemed to be impressed with the dancers as well, some people in the VIP area could be seen trying to mimic their moves.
One of the best parts of Future’s set was when he brought Juice WRLD back out for a rendition of "Fine China" off of their joint album WRLD On Drugs. Future paid respect to Juice WRLD as he told him to keep taking control of the rap game. That’s when Juice returned the compliment, telling Future that he learned from the best. From there, Future closed the show by playing a collection of songs from his latest album The WIZRD, including a crowd-pumping version of "Call The Coroner."
The Atlanta rapper finished off his set by thanking the raucous crowd which he claimed had “tried to kill [him]” with their rambunctious energy. Future was the perfect ending to the first-ever edition of the Metro Metro Festival.
If the festival can put on this type of show next year, it will surely be a success for years to come.
- Alexander Cole