Kendrick Lamar at Pot of Gold Music Festival


Kendrick Lamar at Pot of Gold Music Festival 3/14

by Frank Gonzalez


A decent amount of pot and a few hints of gold.

The Saturday to end Spring Break for Arizona State was decked in good music and greasy food. Funnel cake stands, BBQ food trucks, and the heavenly salvation of cool mist fans surrounded the happy festival attendees on the Saturday showcase of the Pot of Gold Music Festival, presented by Lucky Man Entertainment, at Tempe Beach Park. Kendrick Lamar, the man made world famous by a single studio album, was set to end the night.

Aer opened the day in spring fashion with beach vibe tunes and good spirit. Grieves showed up, Tribal seeds did well, Hoodie Allen pumped the crowd, The Expendables packed quite a few bowls, Dirty Heads sped things up, and Kongos slowed things down. The two acts penultimate to Lamar, Slightly Stupid and T.D.E. partner Schoolboy Q, laid down the solid final foundation just long enough for latecomers to get through the gate and crowds to tighten in.

After a decent wait for security to push back the hordes, the lights came down, the accompanying movie reel began to play, and King Kendrick hit the stage. The Compton, California born musician (and self-proclaimed writer, not rapper) stomped around the stage, commanding a sea of waving hands. A couple songs into the set, a change of tempo brought with it a slit of vulnerability as the King proclaimed to his people, “I will not let you down” in regards to his upcoming album expected to drop sometime in 2015.

The tone was more accurately set, however, by the artist’s call, “It’s not time to be cute…this is a live Kendrick show.” And no matter how sly the message was delivered, the feeling was wholly received: this year will be Kendrick’s show. He worked neatly through the songs and got the entire crowd stirring; Kendrick played his part. Still, he seemed unsatisfied with first place. Shouting verses more akin to a gnarling warrior than a passive king, Kendrick wants to prove his lead.

The multi-media presentation wrapped a nice bow on the festival night and fans doubtlessly left satisfied customers. Kendrick Lamar, meanwhile, left the stage with a comma rather than a period. One can only hope that sooner rather than later, we’ll be enlightened to what exactly was left unsaid.