- 06 Jul 19
The opening day of Longitude turned into a blistering show – with Versatile, Rae Sremmud, and Ski Mask the Slump God among the highlights. And the crowd loved it...
An impressively huge crowd had gathered for Belfast’s Kneecap, screaming their names impatiently. The boys kicked off their performance by playing what came across as a heavily Troubles-inspired video, showcasing their typical imagery of guns and balaclavas while drinking Buckfast and whiskey on stage. They smashed it by delivering a wild performance which drove the crowd crazy.
Performing his fiery hits such as 'Pedestrian' and 'Speed it Up' on the main stage, Gunna had all eyes on him. Fans went wild when he covered Travis Scott's familiar 'Yosemite'. The rapper commanded the crowd, which soon turned into a big when he sang 'Drip Too Hard’ from his mixtape collaboration with rapper Lil Baby. All along, people were cheering endlessly and Gunna went on to hug as many as he could, visibly delighted to see his electrifying energy reciprocated.
When now iconic Irish Hip-Hop duo Versatile took to the main stage in their bright outfits, the madness reached yet another level. In their typical fashion they thanked the huge crowd for coming to see “two shite bags” perform. They kicked off their show with ‘We sell brown,’ the cult title which shot them to stardom before getting the crowd to repeatedly scream “outburst”. And so it happened: youngsters jumped up and down to Versatile ‘Dublin City G’s’ and ‘Donedeal season,’ before being asked to yell “fuck that shite.” Accompanied by the same dancers featured in their video clip, the duo went on to perform their latest hit ‘Prefontaine,’ to which fans already knew all the lyrics, prompting Eskimo to say how much he loves his “little scumbags.” The duo finished what was an extraordinary, compelling performance with anthems ‘Scorching Again’ and ‘Ketamine.’ At this point the moshpits went wild. People were falling, rolling on the ground, being grabbed by all sides yet jumping back in yet again with big smiles on their face. It didn't matter how turned inside out people might have been getting: they were too busy enjoying themselves to care. That is the level of love and devotion young fans have for Versatile.
American Hip-Hop duo Rae made sure they kept the electric atmosphere going. Their songs ‘Come Get Her’ and ‘Swang' got the whole crowd dancing frenetically again. Lee had a particularly contagious energy, with fire dance moves and a lot of interactions with his fans, including when he sent a visibly heavy silver chain into the crowd for some lucky fan to catch. Impressed by their Irish fans, the duo kept professing their love for them and adapted song lyrics to include Dublin and Ireland. They performed love song ‘Sunflower’ before explaining that they have a new album on its way. “We will play one song from it at one condition: I want five moshpits and nobody still,” said Lee – a request to which the crowd happily obliged. Rae Sremmud then ended their show with ‘Powerglide’ while displaying a still in the background which read “Free ASAP” in reference to the rapper still detained in Sweden.
It wasn’t easy for Ski Mask the Slump God to headline Longitude at the last-minute following ASAP Rocky's enforced cancellation. Yet, his performance was superb and the crowd definitely felt it. At first, some were a bit baffled by his accompanying DJ playing a mashup of a lot of different things, including Rage against the Machine. Yet, he soon conquered the massive crowd when he covered 'One Minute' – a track by his best friend XXXTentacion who was killed last year. Ski Mask had prepared a little surprise: he brought American rapper JID on stage as a special guest so both could perform ‘Faucet Failure'. Thrilled by the joyful atmosphere, Ski Mask went on to rap from within the crowd before things got more touching. As he explained that he does the shows for his fallen brother, a large part of the crowd formed a X with their arms as he started humming ‘Sad!’ from XXXTentacion. The crowd sang along and on all sides the emotion was genuinely palpable. Ski Mask then put an end to an incredible show by covering the more raucous 'Look At Me!' by the murdered rapper, sending the crowd into a final frenzy.
It was a hell of an opening day for Longitude 2019.