Immediate impact, these are the right words. Lil Baby was welcomed as a real superstar from his first steps on stage, Sunday night at the Metro Metro festival. The Atlanta rapper, under the smoke, the flames and the sustained encouragement, wrote a powerful final chapter to this weekend of rap at the Olympic Park.
Present, involved, draped in diamonds… the headliner of the evening had every reason in the world to behave in this way. Some artists try it and fail, and he did it with ease: every time he let the crowd complete his lyrics, they responded, and they knew them.
Fifteen minutes before ending his show, Lil Baby even allowed himself a dive into the crowd via the central aisle. Smiling, he jogs through a river of arms trying to reach her. So that’s to say that for a second year in a row, but without a surprise appearance from Drake to back it up this time, Lil Baby delivered the goods.
Penultimate of the evening, Toronto’s Nas appeared in front of an already packed and pumped-up crowd. In a rain that didn’t seem to bother anyone, he fed the mosh pits and was targeted by the lens of thousands of cellphones, which shone as night fell.
Metro Boomin’s performance was slightly different from the others, considering he’s a music producer and not a proper rapper. One of the best in his industry, he roared the sound of his best collaborations: the voices of Drake, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage and The Weeknd lifted the hands of thousands in unison. The Mask Off, Bank Account and Creepin’ hits worked particularly well.
Another highlight of the day: in the late afternoon, it was Toronto rapper Killy who literally woke the crowd up with heartfelt energy and tracks that had everyone jumping on the spot. To festival-goers who chanted his name before he entered the stage, he served up a “Montreal, what the fuck going on?” widely acclaimed.
American Lil Skies, who followed suit, argued with security to be able to continue jumping on the boards as he pleased during his show – and was supported by the crowd for the gesture. He notably interpreted Nowadays and Red Roses.
Before giving way to English-speaking artists, two women from here performed. Naomi, who launched her first album last year, presented titles like Okay alright or Zéro stress. Clodelle, singer and former candidate for Occupation double, also came to join her for a song. Sarahmée then offered her titles with swag and confidence, a style that suited her perfectly.
DJ Niabi and DJ Star Q got the ball rolling from 2-4 p.m. Rapper Bia, originally from Massachusetts, on the other hand, canceled her presence on Sunday morning, a few hours before the opening of the doors.
Although the festival was still held on the site of the Olympic Park, the organization chose to abandon the Esplanade in favor of a location in the north of the site, a choice which bore fruit this year. On site, festival-goers enjoyed sound that traveled better, more present and more alert security, more fluid traffic and a captivating view of the Olympic Tower. There was also a grassed area available to them, an addition from 2022.
“This is the first time that we have used this section of the park, explained Cédric Essiminy, spokesperson for the Olympic Park. Crowd control was easier and we are less close to residents, this is something we considered. »
This satisfying result will serve as a kind of “calling card” for promoters wishing to use this site for future events, Essiminy thinks.
With nearly 16,000 people, including visitors who made their entrance until very late in the evening, this third day was the busiest of the third edition. The organization notes that it welcomed around 42,000 people in total over the weekend.
As Gaël Comtois, one of the festival’s two hosts, said, “Metro Metro is a hub for rap in Quebec.” It is an event that allows both local talent to be showcased and Montrealers to see their favorite stars.
“What we have seen are young people who want to go out and express themselves through dance and music. They will remember it for a long time,” he added.
The party will continue on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May in the east of the metropolis, since the Olympic Park will then host the Latin music festival Fuego Fuego.
The organization of the festival has given La Presse a list of the most original requests from artists for their dressing room. In this list: 40 different bags of candies and chocolates, local sports team jerseys, freshly squeezed juice with juicer, Xbox and Apple TV with Call of Duty game, private masseuse, and the big winner, three new pairs of black boxers. It is not specified who asked what. Place your bets.