Glen Helen Amphitheater
On Sat. May 6, Power 106 hosted Powerhouse 2017. Attempting to change things up, this year the event was held at the Glen Helen Amphitheater, an outdoor venue. The music festival started at noon with Yesi Ortiz on the Who's Next Stage, where she hosted her show live from Powerhouse until the main stage was open. Artists like DJ Khalid, Post Malone, Madeintyo, Skeme, Warm Brew, Kid Ink, and Jeremih took the stage and captivated the audience, but here's what I'll remember most.
Generally this time of year an outdoor festival would have been perfect, but it was just over fifty degrees most the day, which in Southern Cali is practically freezing. Living over an hour away, I tried to prepare appropriately for an all-day outing, so I checked the weather report. It wasn't scheduled to rain until later that evening, so one can imagine the surprise as it starts pouring at 2:30 p.m. Glen Helen's a big venue, (think of Irvine's defunct Verizon Amphitheater on steroids) but doesn't have a lot of covered areas, so when the rain randomly came down hard, each snack bar was stuffed with fans waiting it out.
It continued to rain off and on as the temperature dropped even lower. It was so cold, it made it hard to fully enjoy the show. Some people were equipped with blankets, umbrellas, and cold weather clothes, while others were using trash bags as ponchos or just not givin' a shit. I could see the discomfort and misery in individual eyes, but when I looked up from my seat or down from the lawn, it looked like no one even noticed the downpour or the hail for that matter. As the audience cheered, sang along with the lyrics of every song, and danced in the rain, the weather legitimately sucked... and I'll never forget it.
"Look At Me!"
I love how these unique hairstyles held up in the rain. We had blue, pink, purple, and red hair, beautifully braided cornrows on men and women, afros, high-top fades, and lots of dread locks. No two people had the same hairstyle.
I met a lot of people from Orange County, so it was interesting to see what outfits people choose to wear. They obviously weren't listening to Power 106 when DJ Felli Fel told everyone the fashion do's and don'ts for Powerhouse. Despite the cold temperature, rain and hail the majority of men were wearing short sleeves and shorts and the ladies- it's true when they say beauty is pain. Booty shorts, miniskirts, and crop tops were the most popular items worn at the show, and there were a handful of crazies in stilettos. Watching women try to be sexy when it was obvious they were freezing was entertaining and unforgettable, especially when the outfit begs for attention.
More Than Music
These type of all-day festivals don't come along often for hip-hop and rap, so it was exciting to spend the entire day there and not run out of anything to do. There were several racing cars lined up a couple of hoods open, showing off fancy engine upgrades. The Ferris Wheel saw some action, but it wasn't the most popular attraction, the Who's Next Stage on the other hand had a crowd of people surrounding it listening to aspiring rap artists.
Just below the wheel BMX riders performed bike tricks on the half pipe while, people tried to take cover in these backwards tables. It seemed silly that the body or face painting as well as the hair braiding lines were longer than the already long drink lines. Perhaps one of the most talked about things in hip-hop right now is the new movie about the life of Tupac Shakur, All Eyes on Me which comes out June 16. Though I liked walking around and looking at all the different stuff before the main show, I feel this was the only line worth waiting for, an extensive look at the movie's trailer.
When I saw Big Sean was the headliner I instantly felt bad for him, they should never put anyone after Lil Wayne. His stage performance is monumental, there is no way to see him live and not feel the music through your core to your bones. His energy is explosive and it spreads like a toxin through the crowd with all the popular hits like, Lollipop, We Steady Mobbin' and Mr. Carter.
At the end of his set he asked the crowd how they were doing and then proceeded to tell them three important things we needed to know about him. "Number one is, I believe in God. Number two is, I ain't shit without you. And number three is I ain't shit without you." We just eat that all up and start screaming uncontrollably as he exits the stage. I'm not sure if it was the plan or the fans, but he came back singing "A Milli" with red flames, orange lights, no shirt and his butt hanging out. I think at that point that's when every woman in the place decided, "Maybe she will."
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After waiting 15 minutes to buy a pretzel, I was rushing back to my seat when suddenly the clouds parted in the sky as a bright light shone through onto the face of an angel. "I knew it!" I shouted in my head as Tupac Shakur, live in the flesh, started walking towards me. We locked eyes for only a few seconds, but long enough for him to see me lose my footing, tripped over my feet and almost dropped my pretzel in one hand and my drink in the other. He lifted his hand to his mouth in a fist and the other pointed a finger at me while he chuckled to himself as I regained my balance looking star struck.
Mesmerized, I was looking back at him and didn't realize I was moving forward, unable to believe what my eyes had just seen. My fiance stood there impatiently, "you know that's not the real Tupac, right babe? That's the actor for the new movie about his life." I told him, "All this time, I knew he wasn't dead." I left my stuff with my boo and went to look for Tupac, I had to get a selfie. I followed him and his crew to the side of the stage into the VIP area, I was a few paces behind him and when I got in there, he was nowhere to be found. It was such a drag, but as long as I live, I'll always remember the moment I had with Tupac.