Longitude: Run the Jewels and Major Lazer dazzle in Marley

Reviews: Fun times the order of the day on Saturday


Run the Jewels

If there’s one thing clear from Run the Jewel’s performance at Longitude, it’s that they are having as much fun, if not more, onstage than the entire crowd combined. The supergroup is made up with two of hip-hop’s heavyweights, Killer Mike and El-P, and as they drill out songs from their first two albums, the sheer joy and love they display for each other would warm the cockles of even the coldest heart. Their set was possibly a little lost on the main stage crowd so if Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck) or their latest song Nobody Speak, didn’t get the right response, their repeated declarations of love for Ireland and Irish women in particular brought cheers in all of the right places.


As he opened his set, Diplo challenged the already highly-excitable crowd by saying “I hear you’re the rowdiest crowd in Europe” and as sure as the sun will rise, rowdy was what he got. Diplo isn’t just dance music, he’s EDM and this is as commercial as it gets but - my god - it’s ridiculously fun. Sampling Kanye West, Drake, Whitney Houston, Zombie Nation and the Star Wars Imperial March - you know, all of the greats - he works everybody into a frenzy as every bass drop drops harder than the last. The Heineken Stage was so rammed with shirtless bros and fun-loving gals that security had to restrict entry entirely until the end of his time slot. However, instead of finishing on a high with remixes of Justin Bieber’s Where Are Ü Now and Hozier’s Take Me To Church, he trudged on and extended his set by 20 minutes, meaning that the crowd that was initially in the palm of his hands, trailed off in the hunt for the next shiny thing and his set finished with a fizzle rather than a bang.

Major Lazer

Diplo came back for round two on Saturday night as he joined Jillionaire and Walshy Fire as Saturday’s closing headliners Major Lazer. The three DJs/producers pulled out all of the stops to make their set a total spectacle without much substance. With bejewelled dancehall dancers, blinding lights, confetti cannons and a giant inflatable ball that Walshy Fire used to roam through the crowd, it was an attack of the senses. As they dished out snippets of various songs that they’ve worked on over the years and served them with reggae, house and dancehall beats, their set is a mishmash of noise and just when you recognise one song, they’re onto the next. It’s fast-paced and it’s hyper - almost like it’s designed for fragmented Snapchat videos - and if you can’t keep up, then you’ll certainly be left behind.

Danish singer Mø is an athletic performer, stretching and bounding about stage as if she’s warming up for the Olympic gymnastics floor. On the main stage in mid afternoon, she doesn’t get the crowd that she deserves but she soldiers on, giving the set her all. Songs like Kamikaze are perfect for a sunny afternoon, with carefree rhythms that slink around you and Don’t Wanna Dance is practically a war cry as it banishes the dregs of Friday’s hangovers away. She’s been touring her debut album No Mythologies to Follow since 2014 and she was the sound of last year’s summer on Lean On, a collaboration with Major Lazer, so she’s been keeping busy. She’s been laying down the foundations to become one of pop’s game changers and if her intense live persona is anything to go by, she’s almost there.

Saint Sister

Tucked away in the woods of Marlay Park, Saint Sister set on the Whelan’s Stage provided a safe sanctuary, if only for an hour, in the midst of Saturday’s madness. Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre have been making huge paces in the last year and even though they competed with spillover sound from the main stage, they silenced everyone in the tent with their bone-chilling music. Playing songs from their debut EP Madrid and playing newer material like Tin Man, their comforting melodies and Gemma’s electroharp make for mesmerising music, no matter what the setting. With the afternoon sun peaking through, most of the crowd took this calmer moment to chill out and lie down as the duo gently reeled us in with their soothing sounds until they pulled every emotion taut.