Published: April 3, 2014
By: Jared Vinik and Jordan Glenn
BUKU. What a festival. Located right on the water in New Orleans, this is one multi-genre festival that is not to be missed. The venue is this indoor/outdoor wonderland, complete with gigantic warehouses that are used to house out-of-this-world Mardi Gras floats when they are not in use. Throw in the one of a kind art installations dreamt up by the Buku team, and you really have an amazing festival. This was the third ever installment of BUKU Music + Art Project, and it did not disappoint!
Even though David Guetta isn’t the favorite DJ of most, he put on an absolutely spectacular set. From the classic progressive top 10 hits, to the unexpected big room drops, Guetta’s main stage closing performance left the audience blown away. His music and stellar visuals were a great way to end a wonderful weekend.
Buku alumni Zedd came back this year on the main stage with an insane visual performance that no one saw coming. His lights were so vivid that it was almost hard to focus on the music. Some love the progressive songs coming from Zedd, but to me I find them a bit repetitive. However, Zedd was able to blow me away with some huge electro house, trap, and mind-blowing dubstep songs.
One of the most legendary performances of the weekend came from Nas, performing all of Illmatic in its entirety with DJ Premier. It was truly breathtaking to witness one of the most famous rap artists of all time, perform one of the most critically acclaimed albums of all time. After watching him perform “The World Is Yours” I literally couldn’t lift my jaw up until the end of the set.
ZEDS DEAD came hard and ready to melt faces despite getting an extremely late night set time. I had never seen Zeds Dead until this performance, but only heard amazing things about their live performances, and I was not let down. There were maybe 15 minutes throughout their set that lost the audiences attention, but the rest of their set was loud and exactly what the late night crowd was looking for.
Tyler, The Creator is an insane mofo and he shows it at every second of his performances. My first time seeing Tyler was with his crew, Odd Future, so I went into the show expecting the moshing, anger, and fun that Tyler has to bring. At one point, he got the entire crowd singing “Jason Derulo.” This was definitely not a show for everyone, but if you’re into a wild rap show, Tyler is a must see.
Baauer B2B RL Grime was one of the best shows of the weekend. They played trap banger, after trap banger. Their flow is absolutely awesome together and they knew exactly how to play what the crowd wanted to hear. Playing “Work Remix” by Asap Ferg was probably the highlight of the show, as it got the entire crowd bouncing around with each other.
Skream’s set on the back alley stage was very intimate and filled with a lot of energy. This UK vanguard played a deep house and indie house set filled with a lot of pop vibes. Even though this was not at all what I was expecting, it was still really cool to see the dubstep legend hit the tables.
DJ Snake’s set was cut short by around 30 minutes as there were a lot of technical difficulties with the sound. This caused Snake to play a pretty generic set filled with a lot of really expected tracks. He wasn’t able to build up the crowd’s energy because he came on so late and the fans were let down.
Clockwork came hard with his bouncy electro house style of music. He played a bunch of his own tracks and a bunch of hit electro bangers that are always fun to see in a big room. I think that many didn’t realize that he is the same person as RL Grime, and weren’t able to put as much love into his set as they put into the set from his other alias.
If you love deep house, then Dusky are definitely must see act for you. Their Buku performance was top notch, and very personal at the back alley stage. Dusky had the crowd controlled from the second they came on, to the second that they left the stage. I definitely think Buku are going to book more deep house artists after Dusky’s incredible set.
The Gaslamp Killer performed two sets, one of which a surprise set right after Pusha T. TGK dropped unreleased TNGHT, Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, and Flying Lotus! It was an absolutely wild performance as the crazy dude played everything from experimental bass sounds, to trap sounds, to techno.
The best set of the weekend definitely goes to Carnage. I love all types of EDM, but the louder and more intense genres definitely have my heart, and that is exactly what Carnage brought. The hardstyle drops were mind blowing and had everyone shuffling. But, this festival trap master came so hard with bass music that people were freaking out. The highlight of this set was probably when he dropped the dark bass filled remix of Migos’ “Dope In My Sock” by AC Slater.
Buku is an absolutely phenomenal festival that is definitely designed for an 18+ crowd. The people at Buku are absolutely insane, as the festival is filled with ravers, people in costumes, and kandi heads. The festival grounds are overrun with art and other awesome installments for people that are trying to take a break from the music. Buku is truly one of the most unique festivals that exists in America, and in a field that is seemingly getting oversaturated by the minute, what more could you really ask for? Shout out to all those in attendance, aka the BUKREWE, and see you next year!