We thought 45 degrees was rough for a drive-in… add some rain! Despite the weather, it didn’t stop Chicago from pulling up to the Lakeshore Drive-In Saturday night for a triple feature including live sets from Boogie T, HE$H, and AYJAY. Cars packed into the Adler Parking Lot rain-ready with umbrellas, rain coats, onesies, patio umbrellas, and even pop-up tents for added pregaming-protection. These seasoned showgoers were troopers when it came to weathering the (not-so) storm! Pass the hot cocoa– it’s Boogie T.ime!
The night started with opener AYJAY and I was instantly obsessed. I certainly felt like I was at Summer Camp (circa 2017, 2018 & 2019) when he started mixing Zeds Dead with RL Grime. With a quick prompt for fans to flash their lights and honk their horns, the entire lot lit up like Christmas and even a train horn (fitted on someone’s truck) rang out in appreciation. It made for a magical moment as AYJAY started playing “Stars Tonight”. The car next to me had three small children who were jumping through the sunroof and hanging out of the windows and their energy was matched by the adults throughout the venue. The sprinkle of rain felt oddly familiar of SCamp 2017, when Zeds Dead played “Frontlines”, one of my favorite tracks, in the rain.
HE$H followed that incredible performance with another high-energy set. With red lights and visuals of an old cadillac and rims. I took a moment to discuss the idea of “riddim” with my squad when we heard recognizable rhythms from song melodies, lyrics, and common phrases during his set. Simple lines were all of a sudden transformed into dramatic bass lines and metallic wubz. This drive-in was definitely for celebrating bass and riddim. Since HE$H has been doing it since 2015, he’s definitely a notable pioneer in the sub-genre.
Before our headliner took stage, I met our neighbors and some of the VIP section who had traveled from Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana to see Boogie T live that night. One fan brought his own over-sized kendama to rage front row with, the same ball-and-cup toy Boogie T is often spotted playing with on social media. Another hungry fan enjoyed hot tacos which he had ordered on his phone only minutes earlier that were delivered directly to his car thanks to Lakeshore Drive-In and social distancing. The rain wasn’t letting up but spirits were still high, evident when Boogie T came out and the crowd erupted with cheers.
Boogie T came out with his mask on and ready to rage! He kicked the night off with “Money”. It was a treat to hear “N’SYNC Button” live, a h-h-heavy, grimy song with samples from N’SYNC’s “I Want You Back”. I forgot how reggae-esque bass music can get until we heard “Bad Mon Choon”. The smoke clouds continued into “Dear Weed Man”, a GWN x Boogie T.rio collab that we had the pleasure of hearing live during the SCamp Virtual Fest this year! The visual set featured animations and art by Kooz who has partnered with Boogie T and other SCamp artists on poster art, pin art, and merch.
I am very much looking forward to finding Boogie and Kooz next May at Summer Camp Music Festival 2021 rocking stages or wandering around in the woods.
– Camp Counselor Niki