Live: Catalpa Offers A Little Bit Of Everything To The Soggy Masses At Randall's Island

Pablo Rojas
Whitney Marston Pierce of Hercules & Love Affair.
These horrible balls made an unfortunate appearance during TV On the Radio's set; the Brooklyn rock outfit was one of three New York City representatives that didn't quite possess the populist vibe of the other big acts. TVOTR's live show is, in this critic's opinion, relatively spectacular—lead singer Tunde Adebimpe and his band slowly built tension for their opening song "Young Liars," then performed selections from their two most recent albums and gave a heartfelt shoutout to Adam Yauch. Though I found the band enthralling, the group next to me was distracted from the songs about hubris and general self-absorption by the overwhelming need to snap pictures of themselves. ("Yo, I need a picture of you in that headband for my background," one particularly vehement photographer insisted repeatedly.)

The disco/house group Hercules and Love Affair had an easier time roping in initially uninterested Catalpans, thanks in large part to relatively new vocalists Gustaph and Whitney Marston Pierce. Pierce, a statuesque blonde in vampy makeup, was particularly effective, commanding the stage with a burlesque performance that convinced a couple of male Umphrey's McGee fans to stay put and watch the strange, half-naked lady campily mime sex. During the group's performance, a cheerful, tiny woman from the New York Parks and Recreation Department materialized to pick up disposed bottles and torn wristbands, dancing the entire time as she moved her trash-grabber rhythmically from ground to bag.

A$AP Rocky was the last of the idiosyncratically New York acts to perform; he was competing directly with Girl Talk's mainstage set, and he was extremely grateful for the crowd that showed up. After letting his crew the A$AP Mob run the stage for the first ten minutes of his set, he appeared to shoo them away, claiming that it was "time to start the show" in earnest. He was plagued by relatively poor sound quality, but the Harlem MC's earnest appreciation for the crowd went over well, and his desire to "fuck a jiggy bitch" was received with raucous laughter and a succession of enthusiastic candidates who were clearly confident about their inherent jigginess. (Rocky was one of only three rap acts, all of whom were slotted in on Sunday.)

Matt Johnson and Kim Schilfino's brand of joyous, keyboard-driven dance-pop was more in line with festivalgoers' tastes. It also helped that after a six-month hiatus, Matt and Kim were grinning like fools on laughing gas and kicking into each and every song with abandon. Kim volunteered to the crowd that she had been aggressively Kegeling because she wanted "to fuck the shit out of you tonight." Matt demanded that she booty-dance on top of her drum kit; both performed exuberant acrobatics that left the crowd whooping, cheering and trying desperately to catch up through the power of stomp-and-shout dancing.

Location Info


Icahn Stadium

20 Randalls Island, New York, NY

Category: General

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I agree with @lorenzot lorenzot. like not having to bring water into my camel back was ok,  BUT GIMME A PLACE TO FILL IT!.act like you couldn t get a water truck when beers where 9 DOLLARS! so i was a little ticked that i cant bring in water i have to buy it then put it in.Second off it was complete bullshit that you post all over that the arcadia stage was in full effect till until sunday ? cause of a restriction with the afterburners flames  but its ok for girlt alk to launch confetti balloons and tp (which was a fucking great show btw  ) i understand that with all new things come hiccups but come on you had Umphreys on a baby ass stage ( which was degrading to that band)no free water,fucking raped people on beer, and obviously overcharged for such a small showing .Ive payed less for a two day pass at festys that had over 10000 ppl.and then your also shouldve put up a big tent where those flags where would have been amazing in the rain.WELL overall that was my bitching done and over it was a good festival i had a great time i just hope that you get those speed bumps plowed the fuck out for next time if you cant have arcadia put in a giant rave tent. for fuck sake shit takes 2 hours to put up .

and i also give it to you that it is fucking lady central in there. so being a hawk ill also attend next year on that premiss alone . thanks catalpa for a good weekend.


agree, was a decent line up, and i even liked how Saturday's rain had less people showing up, making it less crowded.  but at the same time, paying full weekend festival prices for something that barely had 10,000 people was a bit of an insult. 


Great review about the musical acts, but you need to be a journalist and strike Catalpa for what it did not deliver on.


You expect to get what you paid for. Catalpa seems to be cashing in on the fools that forgot to call them out.


My biggest gripe was the fact that there were no free water refill stations, as previously stated by Catalpa. As well as the bathroom area sinks not having any water to wash you hands with. Although the hot tubs in the VIP area were in full working order. Maybe that's where all the water went?


Another issue is that fact that the entire Arcadia stage was missing.


WTF? Seriously take a second to write down how much they did not deliver on.






also worth mentioning:  the people that turned up for this event were predominantly twenty-something females with better than average physique and bone structure.    it was nice ;-)

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