Five moments you must see from 80/35 on Friday
Take a look at some of the highlights from the first day of the 80/35 music festival in downtown Des Moines.
The ninth edition of Des Moines’ largest annual music festival, 80/35, kicked off Friday afternoon in a hot, energetic and music-filled blaze.
Sets ranged from the jam offerings of Lotus to the rock ‘n’ roll style of Holy White Hounds to Nas’ headlining hip-hop performance and beyond. An estimated 15,000 people were expected to come and go throughout the first day of the festival and — if you weren’t one of them — here’s what you missed.
Wolf Parade had to borrow some gear … but made it through the set.
Opening the main stage at 5 p.m. Friday, Wolf Parade announced to the early arrivals at the festival that the band’s gear was lost in transit (by plane) to Des Moines and as a consequence they were playing a set on borrowed equipment.
And, facing into the sun during the early evening performance, it was a little warm out.
“Thanks for watching us on this blistering hot day,” vocalist and keyboardist Spencer Krug said to the crowd during the band’s set.
A powerful message wrapped around a flower.
Des Moines-based songwriter Courtney Krause delivered a handful of songs — and flowers — during her 5 p.m. set on the free Kum & Go stage. Tied around each flower was a card that carried a message for those who picked it up.
The front side of the card read:
The world can be a dark place but rather than succumb to fear, we must come through and share our light with each other. Thank you for sharing your light and support of 80/35.
Krause said said that represents “much bigger things.”
“People can look at them and smile,” Krause said. “It’s about coming here and talking about (what’s) much more important in the big scale of things.”
B-boys took over during MarKus and the Negative Space.
80/35 + break dancing = an entertaining sideshow during Des Moines rapper MarKaus’ performance. A circle formed about midway through the crowd of breakdancers, who provided their own slice of entertainment during the set.
Breakdancers took turns inside the circle, showing off moves while MarKaus and the Negative Space delivered each song.
A Holy White homecoming.
Launched into a dedicated touring and festival circuit to support the release of its debut LP, “Sparkle Sparkle,” Holy White Hounds’ 8:15 p.m. set on the Nationwide stage proved to be a bit of a homecoming for the band.
“We’ve been out of state a while and this is about the best homecoming anyone could ask for,” said Brenton Dean, the band’s frontman. “Honestly … I wish I could bring you up here one-by-one to see .. it’s so great.”
After announcing the band’s singing to Razor & Tie earlier this year, Holy White Hounds have spent time away from Des Moines touring with acclaimed British band The Cult and appearing at festivals such as Bonnaroo and Pointfest. The band mixed new numbers along with tracks from "Sparkle Sparkle," such as the breakout track "Switchbade," during the set.
Nas. Nas. Nas.
Headlining the main stage, Nas performed a set featuring classic cuts from his multi-decade discography. Tracks like “N.Y. State of Mind,” “You Can Hate Me Now” and “The World Is Yours” all made it into the setlist.
“This is a hip-hop generation,” Nas declared to the crowd about 20 minutes into his set. “That’s true. It’s your world as much as it’s his world or her world.”
Before performing his last song of the night, the single “One Mic,” Nas addressed the crowd regarding Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were fatally shot by police officers earlier this week.
Nas called for ‘no more violence in this beautiful country’ to the crowd.
"Rest in peace to everybody we lost over the last few days," he said. "I pray that we learn something from this senseless violence ... that we become better people here in this great country. Let's be the best we can be, because we are the best, man."
The tenured rapper performed for about an hour on Friday night, which festival organizers said was his scheduled set time. His set wrapped at about 10:25 p.m. He didn’t return for an encore.
Many fans, including Adam Currie, 31, of Polk City, seemed not to mind his set lasted an hour.
“An encore would’ve been sweet,” Currie said. “(But) it was a really good show.”