Billboard Hot 100 Festival 2018: Best Moments From Day Two
After a stellar Day One of exhilarating sets from the starry likes of Halsey, Rae Sremmurd and breakout phenom Lil Xan, Day Two of the Billboard Hot 100 Festival at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater got off to a similarly impressive start on Sunday (Aug. 19). Sets from up-and-coming emo rappers, alt-pop talents and social media-dominating celebs set the scene, culminating in triumphant headlining turns from DJ Snake and Future.
See our recap of Day Two's highlights below.
1:05 p.m. “This is the part of the day where we start waking up,” Logan Henderson screams to the early arrivers for Day Two of the festival. The 28-year-old performs “Bite My Tongue” (off his 2018 debut Echoes of Departure and the Endless Street of Dreams, Pt. 1) with youthful screams offering a new backbeat -- surely courtesy of fans of his former Nickelodeon series Big Time Rush. And while the Sun Stage is far from sunny right now, Henderson’s take on alt-pop feels right at home. -- LYNDSEY HAVENS
1:39 p.m. Over on the Beach Stage, Pennsylvania native Adam McIlwee -- a.k.a. Wicca Phase Springs Eternal -- is repping the goth- and emo-leaning side of 2018 rap beneath the cloudy, beachside Long Island skies. "This is a weird setting to see me in -- 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon and outside," the black windbreaker-clad rapper admits. "But thanks for sticking with me." It all might've been better suited for a dimly lit Brooklyn club (or the middle of the woods), but the small-yet-devoted crowd got treated to some sneaky-good nocturnal beats and hooks, and a fitting prelude to Wicca's pal Bexey, whose like-minded brand of hip-hop is up next on the Beach Stage. -- CHRIS PAYNE
2:00 p.m. "Cheers to New York, man," says the East London rapper Bexey in the midst of his midday set at the Beach Stage, before taking a swig from his bottle. "I never used to like Henny," he comments. "Peep put me onto Henny." That's Lil Peep, of course -- Bexey's best friend and emo-rap icon, who died last November -- who earns the biggest cheers of the afternoon, when Bexey spins Peep's "Beamer Boy" and "Benz Truck," shouting tributes to his late friend throughout. -- ANDREW UNTERBERGER
2:35 p.m. Bella Thorne, playing what she announces to be her first ever live performance, strides out to the beat of her 2018 anthem "Bitch I'm Bella Thorne" in a silk robe with lipstick marks and chain links on it, like a boxer entering the ring before the big fight. After an audience singalong to that single, she brings social media influencer Tana Mongeau onstage -- the first of several guest stars for Thorne on the afternoon, a list which also includes her manager Irv Gotti and Toronto rapper MadeinTYO, who performs his "Skateboard P" to an enthralled pit audience. -- A.U.
3:06 p.m. Rozes combats the gloomy weather with a string of her sunkissed summer-ready tunes. The highlight of the pop singer’s set occurs when she whips out a saxophone for “All of Me,” her 2016 collaboration with Big Gigantic and Logic. There's even a point where Rozes jokingly announces she needed tape to fix her outfit after dancing a little too hard, and even trades places with her drummer to pound her heart out. -- BIANCA GRACIE .
3.31 p.m. As the bass blares out the main stage speakers the wind picks up, offering the perfect (and natural) addition to Sabrina Carpenter’s sultry pop set. She opens with latest hit “Almost Love,” the lead single off her upcoming third album Singular, due out later this year. A full four-piece band accompanies her, along with a backup vocalist and two backup dancers, making the sound of her midday set fill the amphitheater. At just 19-years-old, Carpenter’s cool-girl confidence beams out of her. Each danceable track after another brings the energy up notch by notch -- including an unexpected cover of Arctic Monkeys' slinky alt-rock jam "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" -- while her soaring vocals, and her message, only grow more powerful. She picks up a guitar ahead of “Run and Hide,” and says with sincerity: “We all have something in common: music has been there for literally every single one of us when people haven’t.” -- L.H.
5:04 p.m. “I know this is Billboard’s festival but right now you’re at a J.I.D. show,” the Atlanta rapper confidently tells the crowd at the beginning of his performance. Soon, he teases a bit of signature hit “Never” before getting into the defiant The Never Story album cut “Lauder.” His stage setup is boosted by a dope animated video displaying his version of Ed, Edd n Eddy that plays in the background -- and soon enough, of course, he's performing his album cut of the same name. -- B.G.
5:12 p.m. It’s time to throw it back to the days of funk and disco. Hot 100 Fest attendees are flocking to the Sun Stage to see The Knocks spin some of their infectious, groovy cuts. After playing gems of their own, as well as a handful from Anderson .Paak and other modern favorites, it's only appropriate that they close with Daft Punk’s timeless 2000 hit, “One More Time.” -- DAVID RISHTY
5:23 p.m. About two hours after one Chainsmokers mega-hit graced the main stage (Rozes performing "Roses") it's time for a second: Daya belting out "Don't Let Me Down," with all the emotional desperation the electro-rock hybrid's lyrics imply. On-and-off rain's been pummeling the seaside audience for the past hour, but a performance like this warrants a temporary relief from inclement maritime weather. -- C.P.
6:23 p.m. “Everybody’s got to step BACK,” security warns the already surging mass of concertgoers over the loudspeaker at Sun Stage, where Atlanta rapper Rich the Kid is set to appear in seven minutes. But when he does, kicking things off with his Quavo and Offset collab “Lost It” clad in a black Balmain tee and track pants, any hope of the crowd holding back is instantly lost. After blowing through The World Is Yours standout “No Question,” as jumping fans toss a blow-up doll back and forth below, the hip-hop up-and-comer offers a gift to his “day-ones” by throwing it back to 2015’s “Plug.” Up next? His Lil Wayne-assisted “End of Discussion” and Jay Critch team-up “Fashion” plus more All-Star matches -- and though none of these A-list collaborators are in attendance, Rich has no problem commanding the hyped-up crowd solo. -- T.C.
6:41 p.m. After beginning his set nearly 30 minutes late, French Montana is still keeping the crowd locked in with his Coke Boyz energy. The Bronx-raised rapper (who’s proudly repping a satin Yankees outfit) had everyone rocking to homegrown hits like the “Hot N---a“ remix and “Freaks.” He even throws in an energetic flip of early hit “Shot Caller," laid over the classic beat of Tupac’s “California Love.” And his intense pyrotechnics helps raise the performance to the next level. -- B.G.
7:10 p.m. If you haven’t heard of Two Friends, get familiar. The duo has drawn the biggest and rowdiest crowd of the Beach Stage all weekend long. They bring out a saxophonist to play Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” and every fan freaks out. They transition Knife Party’s “Bonfire” and everyone loses their mind. This is an act that has truly built their fan base brick by brick, and it results in a fantastic Hot 100 Festival debut for the dance-pop upstart. -- D.R.
8:23 p.m. After Bhad Bhabie calls Bella Thorne onstage for a quick twerk session to “Whachu Know,” the rapper takes a moment to honor the late XXXTentacion. “Not only was he an amazing artist,” she begins. “But he was an amazing friend and amazing person.” Bhabie then gets the crowd incredibly hype to her singalong of XXXTentacion’s “Look At Me” and chants his name. -- B.G.
8:34 p.m. Machine Gun Kelly comes out with guns blazing -- for lack of a better phrase -- and dives immediately into his hit “Wild Boy.” As he crouches down following the track, he says with conviction: “I’m on this stage now, but let it be known that next year, I’ll be on that fucking stage right there” pointing to the main stage nearby. He explains it’s been a “weird fucking year,” and later says he got in a bad mood around 6:00 p.m. But the residual angst only seems to fuel his show, and throughout the hour-long set, Machine Gun Kelly’s fusion of rap with live rock comes across as his bid for that desired headlining slot he mentioned -- his rapid-fire delivery, no-fucks-given attitude and piercing production are convincing, but whether or not he gets there remains to be seen. -- L.H.
9:40 p.m. Capping a hit-filled set that's included dozens of blasts of fire on stage and countless hands in the air everywhere else, DJ Snake slows things down for an audience singalong of his Justin Bieber-featuring 2016 smash, "Let Me Love You." With flashing arm bands lighting up the theater audience, the music cuts out sporadically throughout the chorus, but the sound of the audience belting out the "Don't you give up, na na na" remains deafening. -- A.U.
10:04 p.m. It’s no easy feat to follow DJ Snake’s fiery performance on the Hot 100 mainstage, but NGHTMRE take to the Beach Stage and simply own it. The stage headliner dishes out aggressive booms of dubstep and trap, making it a golden performance for any diehard basshead. -- D.R.
10:35 p.m. Future looks ready to take his headlining performance to new heights, as he proceeds to remove his bubblegum-pink jacket once the haunting chords of “New Level” creeps into the speakers. A$AP Ferg, the song’s collaborator, unfortunately doesn’t make an appearance. But Future makes up for it by bringing out a slew of dancers dressed in all white, who exude tangible energy. -- B.G.