By Rogelio Alvarez
Grammy award-winning hip hop artist Nas topped off a night of amazing acts by performing hits spanning his 24-year career at the 2016 Blaze ‘N’ Glory Festival at the San Manuel Amphitheatre festival grounds last Saturday.
Although Nas did not close out the show, his one-hour set was the biggest highlight of the night. At one point during his set, Nas asked the crowd what song he should perform next and began naming songs that caused a ruckus among the crowd members. One of his most memorable songs of the night was “NY State of Mind” and “Street Dreams.”
The Blaze ‘N’ Glory Festival was a one-day event celebrating rock, reggae and hip-hop genres.
The festival had two stages, a main stage and the SRH stage. Attendants had the option of watching one artist at the main stage or viewing another artist at the SRH stage.
The choice was difficult because of the overlapping set times between artists.
It was not easy having to choose between staples in the Los Angeles underground hip-hop scene Dilated Peoples and famous reggae artist, Stephen Marley.
L.A. native, Evidence, from Dilated Peoples kept the crowd moving with his energetic rapping. Dilated Peoples brought a fan on stage to sing the chorus of one of their popular songs, “This Way.” For each song, Evidence included the audience in the performance by having them sing the chorus, like one of their well-known songs, “Worst Comes to Worst.”
While DJ Babu was spinning the tracks for Dilated People, Stephen Marley’s performance was full of nostalgia and unity.
His set included well-known songs from his father Bob Marley, such as “Three Little Birds” and “Could You Be Loved.” The audience was seen singing along to each song and felt the Rastafarian vibe in the air.
Different vendors sold food, alcohol and hemp-made products like t-shirts, beanies and sweaters at the festival.
The only negative part of the festival was the heat. It wasn’t pleasant dealing with the sun bearing down.There was very little shade provided by the vendor’s tents.
The festival also had unlimited carnival rides for $5. The breeze provided by the rides felt great with the live music in the background.
Many concerts have long set changes between artists, but the Blaze ‘N’ Glory Festival had a doubled-sided stage that would reveal the next artist immediately after one artist ended his or her set.