Day 2 of The BUKU Project Brought The Heat
The second day of The BUKU Project began without a cloud in the sky, and plenty of heat from both the sun and band stages. The weekend crowd showed out early and in full force, with costumes, summer clothes, and plenty of fresh sunburns. Not deterred by the heat, the festival goers were ready to let loose for the final day.
Starting the day off at Skyline Stage was glbl wrmng, a collective comprised of local New Orleanian musicians, rappers, and singers. One song after another they passed the mic and introduced the next member which led to a set that traversed multiple genres, catchy hooks, and undeniable energy. Backed by a full live band, backup singers, and trumpeter, it was a packed stage and a true New Orleans party. Every member of the collective wore matching shirts, but all had their own unique aesthetic and musical style. The set definitely wins the award for surprise set of the weekend, and was an amazing way to start the final day in NOLA.
sfam brought the heat to the Wharf Stage. The set was rowdy in the best of ways, and the entire crowd matched the duo’s energy with infectious head banging and shuffling. Wreckno joined the duo on stage and rapped along with heavy 808s and wild sound design, which led to multiple ‘stank faces’ washing over the crowd in awe and appreciation (pictured below). Meanwhile at the shady, air conditioned Ballroom Stage, Tsu Nami proved why she has a rocket ship like trajectory within the EDM scene. Her set was the perfect mix of unique visuals, calculated song selection, and incredibly technical live mixing. Anime is a large part of her aesthetic, and was the focus of her visuals. Her sound is ethereal and high energy, and had the entire crowd engaged and dancing as one.
Flo Milli drew a large crowd to the Skyline Stage, and proceeded to put on a high energy show full of confidence. Her song tells no lies, she truly does walk around “Like That Bitch.” Vince Staples kept the rap-filled day rolling along at the Bridge Stage, playing songs from nearly every album, hilarious crowd work, and creative visuals. Baby Keem rapped every word of his set for a large crowd of extremely hyped and loyal fans. Maxo Kream held it down and created mosh pits at the Ballroom Stage. The highlights of the set were when he played “Fetti,” and his elite dance moves. He closed the set by saying, “Y’all aren’t my fans, y’all are my family.”
Back at the Skyline Stage, Alison Wonderland announced that she was there “to fuck everyone up,” and she delivered. Starting with heavy bass, then moving to house and drum & bass, her set transitioned from genre to genre flawlessly. Mixing in throwbacks like “Cinema”, “New Rules”, and “Day N Nite” was a testament to her longevity and success in the scene. Spooky, occult like imagery created an ominous, halloween vibe, completed by a giant spider web that encapsulated most of the crowd. Towards the end of the set, everyone was asked to close their eyes and listen to her unreleased track from her upcoming album. Bass filled the area, controlling the crowd like a hive mind. Alison proves time and time again that she is a genuine, versatile artist who cares about her music and her fanbase.
TSHA brought the house vibes to the Ballroom stage as the sun went down. Flawless mixes, set curation, and trippy visuals set the tone for the night ahead. The subtlety of her mix and ability to create a wall of sound created a non-stop, elite house set. Lane 8 kept the house going while closing down the Wharf Stage. Long build ups, bright colors, and insane stage production created a euphoric, celebratory journey for the crowd. Every new drop added a new element of stage production. Lasers filled the space above the crowd, creating geometric shapes, while lighting rigs spun all over the place. As the set shifted to deeper house, the top tier lighting followed. Lane 8 provided amazing vibes and palpable, happy energy to close out the Wharf Stage. Amelie Lens turned the Ballroom Stage into an underground deep tech club, and was the perfect choice for a late night set. Relentless 808s, great transitions, and outrageous visuals made for an insanely fun, high energy club scene at Ballroom.
Capping off the final night at the Skyline Stage was Glass Animals, followed by Tyler, The Creator. Glass animals stage setup was full of neon blues and reds, palm trees, and the iconic pineapple imagery. The entire band is so in tune with one another, and the loyal fans in the crowd feed energy to the band that takes them to a special level of entertainment. At times, the pit was singing so loud that it could be heard towards the back of the main field. Tyler, The Creator, per usual, showcased his versatility and undeniable talent. His impressive discography allows him to have everything at his finger tips. Currently on the Call Me If You Get Lost Tour, his stage presence, crowd work, and set list was absolutely dialed in. His ability to take the energy from mellow to blowing the roof off and back to mellow is impressive. One second everyone is moshing like an old Odd Future Show, the next people are crying in the club. The versatility is testament to Tyler’s ability as a musician and (pun intended) creator. His presence and insanely loyal fan base made for an elite final headliner for BUKU.
Photo Credit: Elena Lin / @elenashoots