By the last day of the Beyond 2002 Super Festival, the musical fete that tried to blend together extreme sports and eclectic music genres, was almost surely in the red and looked to see zero profit.
It was a three-day experiment that would flame out with its dignity intact as it ended with a large Sunday helping of major hip-hop acts on the Main Stage and a midnight set by Fatboy Slim.
“I’m happy I’m not performing on the main stage,” said Slim in a conversation one hour before his performance. “We [disc jockeys]need to be enclosed, the music needs to be inside…we like it sweaty and moist with no fresh air.”
Artists and attendees alike seemed satisfied with the festival’s vast array of performances.
The single recurring complaint was the overall turnout. This left a question of whether the blame should be placed on South Florida’s music fans or on Shutdown Productions, which organized the event.
“I’m not sure why this happened,” said Todd Ross, a Shutdown producer. “But I got feedback from a lot of people who didn’t know what exactly this festival was and some, surprisingly enough, didn’t even believe it was real.”
Sports headliner Trevor Vines, one of the world’s top five motor cross athletes, acknowledged that people received “a good view of extreme sports here since Miami isn’t a hotspot for these type of events.” Vines said he was impressed by the artists’ performances throughout the three days.
“You’d think people would be really attracted to the main lineups of artists,” he said, “but I was disappointed by the amount of people that came.”
Sunday kicked off with a set by Mouse as the crowd walked around aimlessly. Most awaited the arrival of Wu-tang Clan member Method Man, whose performance was rescheduled after he canceled on Saturday for unspecified reasons. Rumors were rampant that the rapper was hanging out backstage, but after a few hours it was apparent that he would not perform. He was the only artist on the bill to do so.
“The artists have been really good, but I feel a little lost walking around,” said Jared Sorkin from West Palm Beach, who came for the full three days. “I don’t feel like there’s unity among the people and within the festival.”
Ice-T appeared later in the afternoon with his crew, SMG (Sex, Money and Guns), and attracted a larger crowd at the main stage, shoving a gust of oomph throughout the audience as he fiercely performed Get Your Dough Up.
Rocking a Philadelphia 76ers jersey, a black player’s hat tucked sideways and holding his trophy for “Pimp of the Year Award,” Ice-T came through to demonstrate a solid hardcore and gangster hip-hop show. Shouting out old-school hip hop acts such as Whodini, Beastie Boys and Run-DMC, he let loose with hits like Bang-Bang, Original Gangsta and Get It Going, stimulating the crowd with his conscious recital of insurgence rap.
“Things here are a little confusing ,though,” said Marvin Blunte, a local music fan. “Right now, Ice-T is performing, but there’s also a break-dancing competition going on at the other end at the same time, which leaves people who are into hip hop a little disoriented.”
As the sun slowly started sinking, many assembled to the main stage. Women sitting on top of men’s shoulders, exposed their chests for the cameras, warming themselves up for Snoop Dogg’s performance. In the outskirts, the crowd began its migration to the main stage as Murder Was The Case blasted from the speakers. Accompanied by laser lights, numerous associates and his uncle, who often tours with him and dances on stage, Snoop’s performance was powerful and lively. Like Busta Rhymes’ showing on Friday, he seemed unconcerned about the turnout and simply made the most of it.
Forever dedicating his songs “to the ladies,” he maintained a dynamic atmosphere, performing such Dr.Dre hits as Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ thang and The Next Episode. Pyrotechnic chronic leaves flashed on the speakers as Snoop, sporting dark sunglasses, swayed slickly with the music. An odd character named Bishop Magic Wand, dressed in a clown-like, yellow, green, red outfit and sparkling glasses, swirled around on stage.
Snoop paused at one point, and asked everyone to take a “chronic break” as his disc jockey played Ludacris’ Area Codes, allowing his crew to dance and enjoy the green fumes. Balloons were issued over the audience and Snoop made a dedication to his late friend and fellow emcee, 2PAC, before he went into the duo’s 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.
He followed with Gin and Juice, as Ice-T emerged, giving pounds and bobbing his head to the classic DoggyStyle. Before issuing a peace sign, he dropped some extra old-school flavor with a version of Slick Rick’s La-Di-Da-Di rhymed over Hi-Tek and Talib Kweli’s, The Blast. After Snoop came Outkast.
A white-haired Andre 3000 flew in on his mothership equipped with a space age backpack and a matching puffy white suit, while Big Boi drove down from Atlanta in his Cadillac wearing a simple plaid shirt and jeans. Their contrasting styles combined for a thunderclap of live hits like Rosa Parks, So Fresh, So Clean, Elevators (Me and You) and a sonic The Whole World, joined by Killer Mic.
They plugged their future double-compact disc release and mellowed out the crowd with smooth performances of Da Art of Storytellin’ (Part 1) and Ms. Jackson.
The spirited, lustful concert illustrated Outkast’s shrewd capacities to spit knowledge under the realm of danceable entertainment. They ended their southern lyrical barbecue with B.O.B., and detonated a war chest of lights that left white trails zooming under the eyelids.
At around the same time, Fatboy Slim started to enrapture people with his musical fantasy at the Hallucination Stage.
Fog steamed throughout the large tent while supernatural images flickered on two big screens. Judging from the ecstatic smile on his face as songs reached a climax, he really does love to operate indoors.