Black Girl Magic at Project Pabst

Written by on August 29, 2017

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend Music Fest Northwest Presents Project Pabst. What used to be two separate Portland summer festivals has now merged into a one weekend event, and it was clear this has amped up what the waterfront festival has to offer. From the PBRcade pop-up with free games such as Pinball, Pacman, and even Virtual Reality games, to Pabst Wax where you could record yourself in a studio (that was air conditioned!!) and then get it pressed onto 7inch vinyl (yes that’s right I now have myself singing Otis Redding on real vinyl), the festival offered so many free perks to keep yourself entertained even further than the music lineup.

Speaking of the lineup, I found myself vibing most to the acts that were not the main names driving ticket sales. The two that caught my attention were Lizzo (Saturday) and Noname (Sunday). Lizzo brought out the entertainment you would expect to find at a Beyonce concert, and the change in genre was refreshing after many male driven bands had been performing earlier in the day. She recently released her first album titled Coconut Oil. To start the set, out walked three women, one walked back to a DJ set up, and the other two walked to the front of the stage in black body suits, fishnet tights, and heels. They immediately start pulling out some sexy af dance moves. Lizzo walks out in the same outfit, but covered up with a pink and black robe, one that kind of looked like what boxers wear before a match. Lizzo’s set was so fun and such a positive experience. She was dancing, her back up dancers were shaking their booties, and most importantly she was all about self-love. All of her songs felt so empowering, and although the crowd was diverse, I felt that she was really reaching out to all the women in the crowd, and it felt awesome. She brought out the energy I needed in the mid-day performance, and she stuck out to me as one of the most fun performances to experience. She’s performing later this year at Wonder Ballroom if you feel like you missed out!

Also a plus: She is funny as hell, and has some mad pipes!

I first heard Noname when she was featured on a Chance The Rapper track from Coloring Book. After that, I started listening to her most recent multi-track release Telefone. I was really looking forward to seeing her perform, and I can confidently say she did not disappoint. Backed by an all male full band, the vibes were so groovy. They were all having so much fun with each other, and it was clear that even the band was impressed by Noname’s ability to perform. Noname does a cross between rapping and spoken word, sometimes repeating specific phrases, talking to the crowd, covering Kanye, and spitting some mad verses. What I loved most was that her live performance was so much different than the tracks she has released, in that she was not here to just repeat what has been recorded, but to actually perform for us, and I really respected that. She has an energy that radiated off the stage and into the crowd, she wanted us all to have a good time. Also her cover of Kanye was sooooo legit! And it’s really cool to see a female artist covering someone that literally runs RnB in terms of fame and respect. She also did a lil’ remix of F*** Bitches Get Money so that the whole crowd was singing love women get money. Leaving her set on Sunday I really find myself wanting to see her again, and wanting to see what more she is going to do for females in the Rnb/Rap genres that is mainly male driven.

After this weekend I left with one feeling. Black. Girl. Magic! Look at these women radiating empowerment and self-love, look at them making a name in male driven genres, look at them being overall beautiful humans. I would definitely recommend checking them out!

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