As does every music festival, Float Fest came and went faster than we would have preferred, and we’re already wishing we could go back to those magical days filled with water, sun, and live jams. Held at Cool River Ranch in San Marcos, Texas on Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22, Float Fest is the only festival in the world to offer festival-goers both live music and tubing along the beautiful San Marcos River. An Austinite’s dream!
Below are our top three favorite sets we caught on day one of Float Fest along with a few photos we couldn’t wait to share.
New Orleans native Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. has been dishing out his hip-hop tunes since the young age of nine. 26 years later, Lil Wayne still delivers an energetic set that has the whole crowd jumping and rapping along.
Lil Wayne’s performance was held on the Sun Stage at 7:45 PM, and the crowd was the largest I’d seen thus far. The set opened with a DJ who hyped us all up, playing classic hip-hop tracks that had everyone dancing and smiling – you could feel the excitement in the air.
After much anticipation, Lil Wayne finally walked on stage flashing his big, diamond grill smile and sporting a classic white cut-off. The crowd went wild as he kicked off with his hit “Mr. Carter,” followed by other favorites such as “A Milli” and “6 Foot 7 Foot.” We personally loved his covers of Drake’s “HYFR” and Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem.” He ended the set by thanking the crowd and leaving to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Lil Wayne’s set was the perfect pick-me-up after a long afternoon. His genuine enjoyment on stage emanated through the crowd, and his choice of tracks was on point.
Gracing us with infectious beats since the early ’90s, Modest Mouse couldn’t have been a more fitting choice for Float Fest. I mean, come on…their biggest hit is titled “Float On.” Sure, sure, I know the song is more figurative in the saying “float on,” but it still fits.
Based in Portland, Oregon, this indie band performed at Float Fest’s Water Stage at 9 PM, just as the sun was setting across the Cool River Ranch horizon. Lead singer Isaac Brock launched the set with their track “3rd Planet,” accompanied by his band members Jeremiah Green, Tom Peloso, Jim Fairchild, Russell Higbee, Lisa Molinaro, and Ben Massarella.
Personal favorites played include “Dashboard,” “The World at Large,” “Missed the Boat,” and of course, “Float On.” Isaac’s voice was smooth and clear as day, while the band’s riffs and rhythms didn’t miss a stroke. The sky got darker and the temperatures got cooler as the crowd swayed along to their chill, upbeat tunes that had all worries drifting far, far away.
Modest Mouse was hands-down our favorite of Float Fest day one, and we were so happy to finally check them off our live music bucket list. Fingers crossed they come back to the ATX area soon!
Run the Jewels
An iconic hip-hop duo, Run the Jewels features rapper and producer El-P alongside rapper Killer Mike, from Brooklyn, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia, respectively. Formed in 2013 after touring together for their individual albums, Run the Jewels has created three albums, all of which have been praised by critics.
The two performed on the Sun Stage at 10:15 PM, immediately after Modest Mouse’s laid-back set. Festival-goers quickly transitioned from chill to party-mode, bouncing up and down to El-P and Killer Mike’s top hits, such as “Legend Has It,” “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” “Call Tickeron,” and “Close Your Eyes.”
Bright carnival ride lights shined in the sky as mesmerizing neon hula-hoop and string light dancers twirled around us in sync with the beat. Truly difficult to put into words, RTJ’s performance was raw, thrilling, and simply badass.
The two made waves through the festival grounds with their high energy and entertaining commentary throughout the set that had everyone laughing and smiling: the perfect end to a festival-full day.
Other sets we caught bits of include Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Cashmere Cat. Though we didn’t get to see the whole duration of their performances, what we did catch did not disappoint!
Stay tuned for more recaps on Float Fest 2018 along with some awesome photos we captured. If you attended, you may be in one of them!
Featured image credit: Leigh Kettle/Shuffle Online
Leigh is a native Texan gone temporary New Yorker and now proud Austinite. Passions include but are not limited to music (both as a spectator and dabbler), traveling & cultural adventures, film & television, true crime, design (of the fashion, interior, and graphic sorts), and photographing & writing about all the aforementioned. Self-acclaimed coffee connoisseur & wino, cat aficionado, book worm, and nature junkie.