The surprising headliner for this years Pygmalion has been all over the globe in the past year. Undoubtedly one of the biggest electronic acts in the world right now, Major Lazer, made up of Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire, came to Champaign’s Pygmalion Festival on the heels of the twerking craze, something the trio are considered kings of. The day before, Diplo and Walshy were in Panama, Jillionaire in New York. Hit the jump for a photo gallery and a short write up. Let us know if you got on stage!
The last time I caught a Diplo set, I was a little underwhelmed. It was at Wavefront in Chicago, and the set was filled top to bottom with drop heavy dub step, base turned up so high you could hardly hear anything. The mega brotron numbers were in the thousands. Saturday was a lot different. With dancehall and reggae as a base, Major Lazer live was much better. When the trio came out on stage, Diplo began throwing out whistles to the crowd in hopes of some help later on in the set. Walshy was hype from the start and blasted a couple confetti guns through the thick fog that took over the stage.
The suits Jillionaire and Diplo were wearing before the show wouldn’t last long, as soon the music stopped and Walshy told the crowd they must not be “real Major Lazer fans” since most of the crowd still had their shirts on. Soon a countdown began and when the count hit zero hundreds of shirts flew through the air. A giant cartoon Major Lazer was next to make his way onto the stage and he began dancing just as much as the people in the crowd. The hype didn’t even let up when scented-kleenex soft-track-made famous by-Drizzy “I wear turtlenecks and slippers” Drake “Just Hold On We’re Going Home” came on. Diplo can turn just about anything to a club banger.
The highlights of the night were the flashbacks to dancehall classics like “Move Ya Body” by Nina Sky and all the Major Lazer produced tracks, like “Original Don,” “Pon De Floor,” and especially “Jah No Partial.” The latter was the peak of the night, with flags waving and everyone jumping up and down. I don’t think there was a soul within a couple miles of the outdoor Highdive Stage that wasn’t absolutely gettin’ it at this point.
Illinois’ top twerkers were then summoned to the stage during “Bubble Butt,” attempting to impress the Major Lazer guys enough to stay on stage for an extra song. Practice makes perfect ladies, keep on twerkin’ on.
Overall the night was awesome. The act may not have been “Pygmalion” typical, but that doesn’t take away from it whatsoever. Its not easy keeping a crowd extra nuts (or extra PLURNT if you understand that lingo) for over an hour and a half, and Major Lazer did just that. Their crowd interaction is top notch, from leading a “palancing” lesson (jumping on one foot while moving… usually in a left to right fashion), to taking that booty as low to ground as possible. The bass hums, confetti and balloons rain, and everyone has a smile on their face. A fitting end to Pygmalion 2013.