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Evan Hall of Pinegrove © WRBB 104.9 FM/Flickr
Evan Hall of Pinegrove © WRBB 104.9 FM/Flickr
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7 Acts You Can't Miss at Panorama Festival this Year

Picture of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor
Updated: 25 July 2017
Returning for its second run, Panorama festival takes over New York City’s Randalls Island this weekend. While headlining names like Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, Nicolas Jaar, A Tribe Called Quest, and Nine Inch Nails are already checked off on most attendees list of artists to catch, a few gems are often missed due to timing conflicts, or the fact that they simply flew under the radar. In an effort to stopper the latter, here are seven acts you need to see across the festival’s three days.

Jamila Woods

How you start your festival weekend is extremely important, and the silky gospel of Jamila Woods is exactly how you should kick off your Panorama experience. You might recognize her voice from Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment’s “Sunday Candy” or Chance The Rapper’s “Blessings,” so it should come as no surprise that her solo work bears the same uplifting spirit of her collaborators.

Friday, July 28
The Parlor


The team at Mind of a Genius killed it in 2016 with stellar releases from Gallant, Zhu, and Klangstof, but 2017 has been all about duo THEY. Comprised of Dante Jones and Drew Love, their debut release, Nü Religion: HYENA, is one of the most assured R&B/hip-hop composites of the 2010s, separating themselves from the likes of The Weeknd, Post Malone, and Drake by adding an extra does of grit and grime in all the right spots.

Friday, July 28
The Parlor

Isaiah Rashad

When boasting an artist as monopolizing as Kendrick Lamar on an independent record label, the rest of the roster can often seem ancillary. This is not the case for Isaiah Rashad and Top Dawg Entertainment. A lot of his debut album, The Sun’s Tirade, feels like an extension of the sound he established on EP Civilia Demo in terms of its production selection, building up a more refined layer of his breed of Southern boom-bap that feels like a smokey jazz club for hip-hop heads. And while it’s tempting to wonder where he will take his signature woozy warbles and flexible raps next, it’s vital that The Sun’s Tirade gets its due recognition as its own moment.

Friday, July 28
The Parlor


Pinegrove’s Cardinal is the blend of indie rock and country — raw, twangy, and crackling — that a lot of bands have found themselves at one point or another in their career. But while it is easy to whittle down frontman Evan Hall’s discerning drawl to the same self-indulgent, solipsistic trail many of his predecessors have trudged down, Cardinal’s mulling over fractured relationships and mustering of confidence to say the things that matter is bookended by the realization that everything’s a little bit easier when we keep our friends and family close.

Saturday, July 29
Panorama Stage


Keeping the indie rock rolling into the early evening, do yourself a favor and book it over to Mitski following Pinegrove’s set. Releasing to critical acclaim, Puberty 2 is a lot of what you probably think it is: angsty lyrics targeting the struggles of finding happiness in a coming-of-adulthood landscape. Sure, we’ve all heard something like this before, but Mitski Miyawaki, now four albums in, has honed the dynamic deadpan better than the majority of her peers and predecessors.

Saturday, July 29
The Pavilion

Motor City Drum Ensemble

Paying homage to both the music scene of Detroit and his hometown of Stuttgart, Germany’s “Motor City,” Danilo Plessow’s, aka Motor City Drum Ensemble, gallant mixture of sounds, tapping deep house to Polish jazz, has elevated him to premiere DJ status throughout the globe. Plessow doesn’t make it over to the U.S. very often, so even with a set time that runs parallel to headliner Tame Impala, you’re going to want to catch at least some of his performance.

Saturday, July 29
The Point


Just as it’s important to start off the festival weekend with the correct artist, it’s even more vital to start the third and final day with an act that will provide the proper mental and physical state you need to power through to the evening. Chicago-based electronic producer Joe Boston, aka Shallou, specializes in melancholy music you can dance to, crafting tracks like “Begin” that will deliver the proper wave you can coast on for the remaining hours.

Sunday, July 30
The Pavilion