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Flyover 2018 Concert Review

Flyover (ft. Post Malone, Lil Pump, Flatbush Zombies, Snow Tha Product, Jessie Reyez, Kamaiyah, Saint Jhn, Ghostemane,  Kodie Shane, Supa Bwe, JL, Solomon, and others)
May 5, 2018
Providence Medical Center Amphitheater - Bonner Springs, KS

Post Malone
Flyover debuted in July 2017 as the first Kansas City metro hip-hop festival of its kind. Though sets from locals were greatly diminished and thousands of fans left during the thunderstorm that preceded Gucci Mane's headlining set, the festival was still a momentous occurrence. The second edition of the fest took place on May 5, and despite running into a new set of problems this time around, felt closer to a true festival and was more robust overall.

The core issue at last year's Flyover was the day's intense heat and the thunderstorm that followed. Within the first hour of the show, laptops were overheating, and as a result, performances began to be cut short. The weather this time around was far more mild, but attendees familiar with the lesser known acts on this year's lineup quickly discovered that the second stage was an issue. Tucked away behind some trees, near the VIP entrance, very few fans were ever aware of -- or interested in -- this smaller, hidden stage. Arrangements were eventually made for several of the artists set to perform on it to move to the main stage, but the damage had already been dealt to three artists who had performed for fewer than 50 people.

Flatbush Zombies
As a result of the second stage artists merging onto the main stage, Post Malone's headlining set started around midnight. Some fans had grown impatient, as Post was the fest's largest draw by a longshot, but all seemed to be forgiven when he walked onto the stage to scores of screaming young fans. Despite two mediocre performances at The Granada earlier in his career, Post seemed to have honed his stage show by the time his Stoney tour hit Kansas City last year. When he took the Flyover stage, he had hit full-on rockstar status. The amphitheater stage was a perfect fit for his Beerbongs & Bentleys tour; Post's cigarette smoke floated into the night sky and the amount of Bud Light consumed by those on and off the stage was obscene. His hazy vocal filter and affinity for rock-influenced production only furthered the classic summer music fest atmosphere.

During his hour-plus set, Post employed his goofy charm and sensible approach to melody to offer the over 15,000 attending a knockout performance and secure his spot as America's new rap-rock everyman. Major hits "White Iverson" and "Congratulations" shook the amphitheater, while acoustic moments like "Stay" and "Feeling Whitney" likely broke hearts. Post may catch flack for his personal aesthetic and his takes on the world of hip-hop, but as he smashed his acoustic guitar to pieces, it was clear that he couldn't be any more cherished by his fans.

Like Post did with "Rockstar," Lil Pump also achieved his highest-charting hit in 2017 with "Gucci Gang." The South Florida teenager known for his social media antics and outrageously simple trap-inspired raps emerged with a mischievous glimmer in his eye. After the initial rush that his first few songs brought, fans could tell that his set was lacking the attention to detail that many of his peers showed during their performances. A bare-bones approach isn't always a poor choice, but when the performer is as disinterested as Pump seemed for a majority of his set, it definitely doesn't work. Pump ended his half-hour by tossing his wireless mic high into the air before making a beeline for the backstage.

New York trio Flatbush Zombies have never had a chart-topping hit, but have slowly amassed an organic fanbase since their first tape in 2012. Blunts were sparked throughout the amphitheater during the Zombies' 40 minute set which was packed with aggressive raps about their luxurious hippie lifestyles. Blotter sheets and colorful tie-dye patterns were flashed on the enormous LED screen behind them as the group kicked out high-energy renditions of songs from across their catalog and showcased their unmatched chemistry.

Bay Area veteran Snow Tha Product spit fast, fiery bars and led the crowd in mocking Donald Trump. She also invited a dozen women on stage to twerk, and when one easily surpassed the rest, she made sure to make it rain on her.

Toronto singer Jessie Reyez spent her set joyfully shaming the music industry men that once talked down to her. Reyez' incredible command of her vocals and sly sense of humor made her set one of the best surprises of the festival. Jaws dropped as she whipped out her pop star moves on "Gatekeeper" and girls far and wide gleefully cackled as she sang about "dodging dick on the daily" on "Body Count."

Rising Oakland star Kamaiyah couldn't be blamed for not having her best showing; she was only given time to perform four songs. She made the most of it though, stomping to the rhythm of "How Does It Feel" and flashing big smiles throughout her short performance.

Kodie Shane
Brooklyn songwriter-turned-rapper-and-model Saint Jhn wasn't likely on the radar of many attending, but gave a polished performance consisting of Travis Scott-esque "rockstar" flair and modern R&B grooves. His single "I Heard You Got Too Litt Last Night" was an early evening highlight and could be a dark horse summer smash.

Ghostemane was one of the first few rappers to be moved to the main stage from the second stage that had been shuttered early in the afternoon. With instrumentals that incorporated bits of metal and noise and a delivery that married hardcore vocals with nineties Memphis triplet flows, Ghoste gave fest-goers the raw energy that many rappers feign. He also made sure to antagonize those viewing by mentioning that many attendees looked like they instead belonged at an Ed Sheeran show or a church bake sale. Watching Ghoste take on a hostile -- or at least somewhat uninterested -- crowd was almost more thrilling than seeing him in front a sea of his own fans would have been.

A member of Lil Yachty's Sailing Team, Kodie Shane made her first solo appearance in the area donning an all-black outfit by local designer Wuz Smith. Shane dished out endless eye-rolls, shrugs, and melodic raps aimed equally at stunting on her detractors and expressing her teenage heartbreak.

Supa Bwe, a Chicago rapper and former member of the Hurt Everybody crew, was the only touring act that ended up performing on the second stage. He discussed his plans of front-flipping into the audience that would no longer be possible in front of such a small crowd. Instead, he hopped down into the grass and had fans circle up around him. Supa's music ranged from sleek, emotional pop cuts to more aggressive material that he had focused on in the Hurt Everybody days.

Despite making Kansas City hip-hop that was more traditional than any of his fellow performers, JL's set felt essential. Last year's fest featured no Strange Music rappers, and while Flyover is aimed at a younger audience, it still would've felt like a snub to not include an act from the city's longest-running hip-hop institution. "Own Thang," "Out Da Hood," and other tracks put JL's chain-swinging swagger and affinity for woozy, trump-thumping beats on full blast.

Solomon was shoved out onto the second stage less than 10 minutes after the gates opened, allowing only a dozen or so to watch his set. Though he lacked an audience, favorites like "Speed Racer" and "No More" ignited an on-stage party for Solo and his crew and hopefully assured the production company of his energy in the live setting.

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