With WorldPride weekend in full effect, fans and artists alike flocked to New York’s Pier 97 on Saturday (June 29) to catch the first day of Pride Island, the annual music festival from New York Pride celebrating the community’s favorite LGBTQ talent, along with some of our fiercest allies.
The main event on Saturday was supermodel and recording artist Grace Jones, who took to the Pier 97 stage to deliver a stunning performance of some of her greatest dance hits to a crowd of screaming fans. “Aren’t we going to church?” she proclaimed at one point. “Isn’t this really church?”
Emerging from the back of the stage under the cover of a sheet bearing her face, Jones — covered in Keith Haring-style body paint and a billowing cape and a golden skull atop her head — greeted her fans with performances of some of her best work, including “My Jamacain Guy,” “Williams Blood” and a show-stopping hula-hooping performance of “Slave to the Rhythm.”
— Stephen Daw (@StephenRDaw) June 30, 2019
Jones also delivered what many in the crowd had come to see. After nearly every song, the icon briefly disappeared backstage, only to reemerge wearing some new, inventive costume, including a billowing church dress, a stunning Egyptian-style headdress and her signature sparking fedora. “Normally, I’m not like this, but tonight I can’t help myself,” she said with a campy cackle.
Fans nearly missed Jones’ performance: after a few hours of festivities, the grounds at Pier 97 were evacuated due to an incoming thunderstorm. After about an hour of waiting, the crowd was granted reentry to catch the final performances of the night.
One of those performances came from R&B star Teyana Taylor, who delivered a choreographed-to-perfection set. In one instance, the singer simulated a lap dance with the help of her stunning crew of dancers, each doing different kings of Olympic-level gymnastics and contortion as the star sang her track “3Way.”
The centerpiece of the GOOD Music star’s performance, though, came when she sang her newer song “Gonna Love Me,” dedicating the performance to all of the trans women of color who have already died in 2019. “These hate crimes gotta stop,” she said through tears. “No one should be killed for wanting to be who they really are.”
Earlier performances came from other stars like Latin dance star Amara la Negra, up-and-coming pop star Kim Petras and Brazilian drag superstar Pabllo Vittar.
Sunday (June 30)’s lineup will feature the queen of pop Madonna, along with DJs Abel and Morabito.