Day two of Beyond the Valley gave us a 180 in terms of weather. The sun was beating down and almost all of the mud had miraculously dried up or been drowned in mulch, providing safe and study dance floors for what was sure to be a massive day.
From 1-4pm the Main Stage hosted a string of incredible women. Lastlings, Ecca Vandal, Montaigne and Ngaiire stood as examples for how incredibly diverse out National scene is becoming and also proved the point that musical talent is genderless. On the dance stage Kllo also flew the flag for kickass girls in the industry and this sentiment was rounded of by Ladyhawke who as the sun set-ignited fond memories of high school parties.
The Delta Riggs drew in an impressive crowd fairly early in the evening despite some shocking sound issues. The crackling speakers and shrill feedback although no fault of the band, definitely impinged on the energy of the performance which is always a huge shame. Although the set was tight and the boys did what they could to salvage their give no fucks rockstar attitude, there was definitely a little something missing, we almost feel sorry for whatever tech member was responsible for the fuck up as you could almost visualise the aftermath from such a mistake.
In what may be the only difficult clash of the entire festival, BTV pitted heavyweight What So Not against electronic legend Ryan Hemsworth. We chose to watch the latter for 90% of the set and were absolutely heartbroken by the lack of crowd. In a space that was designed to house over a thousand, you could easily count attendees and the numbers barely reached 100. This felt like the biggest injustice of all as Hemsworth’s set was absolutely flawless and incredibly fun to dance to. The personalised visuals were in harmony with each song and it just felt plain wrong that so few were witnessing it. With no disrespect to What So Not (of whom we saw 3 songs which were all…you know….good) it was a clash that shouldn’t have happened considering how many shared fans the two artists have.
Up next was ZHU who brought a guitarist and saxophone player with him, this was probably the most interesting thing to note and actually made sitting through the set bearable. Let’s be real guys, you know full well what we were waiting for.
And wait we did, half an hour later than scheduled, the man we’d all been waiting for bust onto stage, joyfully bounding from side to side. Chance the Rapper had touched down in Australia and we were part of the lucky few witnessing his debut show. Opening with angels, the setup included his band, The Social experiment and colourful child like animations as a backdrop, front and centre-all eyes were on the Chicago rapper. The energy radiating from the stage was palpable and it undulated over the crowd again and again. Two songs in and Chance took the opportunity to say thank you (the first of a thousand times, the sweet thing) and explain he had foolishly had a little too much fun in New Zealand which had resulted in a very raspy voice. Incredibly, Chance pushed through was sounded like a very painful throat and did not at any point let it dampen his spirits. He called on audience participation often and especially for sung melodies but it in no way effected the overall performance. If anything, hearing his voice give out mid phrase just made the entire experience feel full of conviction.
Chance performed a blend of his most well known music from Colouring Book, Acid Rap and even put together a mashup which hit mid-set. This included Action Bronson’s Baby Blue, Towkio & Lido’s Heaven Only Knows and of course, Kanye’s Ultralight Beam. Crowd favourites included All Night, No Problem and Blessings. Chance’s trumpet player and musical director Nico Segal came very close to outshining Chance throughout the performance. The 23 year old’s chops are mind-blowing, we didn’t know it possible to feel emotional about a trumpet but now, we do. All We Got was one of the rawest and most powerful performances we’ve experienced all year and each band member played a part in creating real magic for all of BTV.
The set ended the same way as Colouring Book, with a repeated chant of “Are you ready for your blessing? Are you ready for your miracle?” Some were brought to tears as the outro turned into a ten minute extension which left the audience and performers on a praise-worthy high.