To rage or not to rage? That was the question on the mind of Travis Scott fans as more than 60,000 people attended the second annual Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on Saturday.
The event was completely sold-out, which is remarkable because the line-up was not released until noon the day before. Once again, the festival had really awesome weather, staying in the mid-60s most of the day. With no rain in the forecast, it was the perfect setting for a music festival.
The event started out with a few issues. Both the general admission and VIP gates were packed with anxious mobs of fans ready to storm the gates. A stampede of bodies injured a dozen or more individuals, three of which were admitted to a local hospital.
NRG security, HPD, and the festival medical team tried their best to contain the situation and keep everyone safe throughout the day, although HPD's Special Response Group was called in later that evening to assist with crowd control and trespassers jumping the gates backstage.
Artist set times were also pushed back on both stages. The Houston All-Stars (Slim Thug, Bun B, Trae Tha Truth, Paul Wall, Lil Keke, & Maxo Kream) were almost 30 minutes late, postponing Megan Thee Stallion's sexually charged set by more than one hour. Luckily, the rest of the artists were able to perform mostly on time.
Early sets by Sheck Wes, DaBaby, and Playboi Carti were met with enthusiastic applause and energy. And although Gucci Mane was a no-show, the ATL was still well represented with solid performances by Young Thug and Migos.
"I bet y'all didn't expect all this, or me," proclaimed Marilyn Manson as he began his wild performance as the sun faded behind him. "That's because Travis Scott is a genius!"
Pharrell Williams also praised Scott and his fans during his set.
"This crowd is anarchy and love and energy, which is unique to Texas. They don't do that in other cities!"
Genius or not, Astroworld did provide a great line-up with some very special surprises.
On hand to introduce Travis Scott was none other than superstar comedian and actor Dave Chappelle, who just last month played a handful of surprise shows here in Houston at the House of Blues.
"Tonight I flew all the way from Ohio to rock with a local legend. A young man that left his city with nothing and conquered the world, and brought it home for you," said Chappelle.
"Free Rodney Reed!" he added.
Scott injured his knee at a show a couple of weeks ago, and played that up—he was carried out of a mock ambulance as the show started.
He performed most of the show on a raised podium that hovered over the massive crowd, allowing him to look out over the entire festival.
And then, in what will go down as one of the greatest moments in Houston concert history, Travis introduced Kanye West as his special surprise guest of the evening.
Kanye performed "Follow God" from his new album Jesus Is King, then hit the crowd with "Can’t Tell Me Nothing."
You could feel the excitement of the crowd as they sang along, amazed by the moment.
The night ended with Travis performing "Sicko Mode" underneath a brilliant fireworks display.
"Be safe, rage hard" is what Travis asked of his fans.
They mostly complied, and certainly did not go gently into the good night.