Preakness 2019: Diplo, Logic, 'Old Town Road' rock InfieldFest with pulsating hip-hop and house

High temperatures, occasional sunburn-inducing rays and a relative lack of water options didn’t stop thousands of InfieldFest attendees from vibing out all day as horses raced around them.

The roster struck a balance between house, EDM and hip-hop, all threaded together with a steady four-on-the-floor beat that echoed throughout the infield.

The audience packed the field in front of the main stage most tightly for the headliners, starting with emo-rap star Juice WRLD. The Chicago native led the InfieldFest audience in sing-a-longs of tracks from his chart-topping EP, “Death Race for Love,” plus other artists’ songs like Travis Scott’s “No Bystanders.” He also took the chance to shout out friends like fellow SoundCloud sensation Ski Mask the Slump God — while outfitted in a smart Burberry scarf.

Juice WRLD was flanked by two rising house stars, Canadian Frank Walker and Australian Fisher, who kept the beats alive and warmed the crowd up for the next act: Kygo.

The crowd filled out, heartfelt and placated by the occasional breeze, for the Norwegian house sensation. He involved the fans in singing to his hits “Remind Me to Forget” and “Stargazing,” for which he brought out guest singer Justin Jesso. He even took a moment to shout out the late EDM superstar Aviici, who he’s also memorialized with a tattoo on his body.

Chart staple Diplo made the most daring entrance of any InfieldFest act on Saturday by doing a tandem jump from a Cessna into the grounds before rushing on stage. He then filled his set with a rollicking group of favorites, ranging from his genre-pushing hits to mixes of other popular songs. The crowd sang, headbanged and danced to tracks as varied as Calvin Harris and Disciples’ “How Deep Is Your Love,” Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and his closer, the international smash with DJ Snake and MØ, “Someone to Lean On.” He felt the love on what he told the crowd was his first show of 2019.

The final set before the capstone race, Preakness Stakes, was Maryland emcee and singer Logic. He and the audience showed reciprocal love as he spit fan and chart favorites like “Everyday,” “Wannabe” and “Ayy.” His combo of boom-bap, trap and other rhythms seemed to touch of fellow Marylanders throughout his set — an impressive feat after Diplo’s grand landing.

Despite the popularity and relevance of the horse-referencing anthem, Lil Nas X’s country-trap hit “Old Town Road” played over the speakers only three times. Frank Walker, Diplo and Ravi Drums each put their own spin on the track, which captured festival-goers’ attention every time.

Ravi Drums, who mixed DJ skills with drums, was one of seven local winners and runners up of The Stronach Group’s DJ invitational to play between the smaller Charm City Stage and main stage opening sets.

srao@baltsun.com

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