Kendrick Lamar WayHome Stage, Oro-Medonte ON, July 25

Kendrick Lamar WayHome Stage, Oro-Medonte ON, July 25
Photo: Geoff Fitzgerald
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There were two big rumours swirling around WayHome for the festival's second day: the first, that Broken Social Scene would replace Passion Pit (true); the second — that Kanye West would make an appearance the night before his Panamania show in Toronto — was not to be. Though there were no special guests, Kendrick Lamar proved he didn't need any gimmicks to deliver the festival's best set; just his air-tight backing band, his dense rhymes, impeccable flow and a confident stride that led thousands of fans through the night.
 
Playing nearly all of good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar's energy was palpable as he commanded the crowd; doing double duty as rapper and hype man, Lamar navigated his dual role with ease, providing more than enough gusto for the crowd to feed off of. A born leader, Lamar came off as more confident than ever — deservedly so, with the live chops to back it up.
 
Lamar's backing band also deserve applause, churning out track after track with skill; the intro to "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" sent shivers, and "King Kunta"'s funk swagger kept the crowd dancing. Also finding their way into the mix were Section.80's "ADHD," and Lamar's verse from A$AP Rocky's "Fuckin' Problems"; after spitting it, Lamar and his band did it again but with a West coast funk beat, which was a nice touch.
 
During finale "Alright," Lamar kept the band going as he delivered raw, honest freestyle; instead of just spitting a verse, this freestyle had form, culminating with a bold declaration that he "will be back." And though Oro-Medonte isn't exactly the easiest place to find on a map, you couldn't help but believe it.