Young ears tune in at mu­sic fes­ti­val

San Antonio Express-News (Sunday) - - Metro - By Jim Ki­est STAFF WRITER

Though it takes place the week­end be­fore Hal­loween, the Mala Luna Mu­sic Fes­ti­val doesn’t really at­tract a cos­tumed crowd.

Aside from some cat and bunny ears, face paint and glit­ter, the crowd at the 3year-old rap, dance and Latin mu­sic fes­ti­val went in the other di­rec­tion Satur­day, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the cloud­less sky and 80 de­gree weather. Shorts, T-shirts and hal­ter tops were the ap­parel of choice for the young crowd gath­ered at the fes­ti­val site ad­ja­cent to Nel­son Wolff Sta­dium to see per­form­ers such as reg­gae­ton star Nicky Jam, rap­per Tyler the Cre­ator and pop singer Becky G.

The fans were so young you could trust any­one over 35 prob­a­bly was there to watch over their kids. That was the case with Paul Rivera, who gifted his daugh­ter Danielle and a friend with VIP passes for her birth­day.

Like al­most any­one you might ask at the fes­ti­val, Danielle was look­ing for­ward to see­ing Cardi B, the “Bo­dak Yel­low” rap star whose Mala Luna ap­pear­ance would be one of the first full sets she had per­formed since the birth of her daugh­ter in July.

Wait­ing for Cardi B was such a com­mon con­di­tion that you could ob­serve the symp­toms ev­ery­where: a steady stream of late ar­rivals; a long line of skip­ping whomever was play­ing at the mo­ment to take a so­cial me­dia-wor­thy photo in front of a 3-D Mala Luna sign; and clus­ters of fes­ti­val- go­ers seated far from the stage eat­ing and drink­ing, check­ing their phones or just hang­ing out.

The best way to pass the time, of course, was to en­joy the acts lower on the bill. The con­trasts could be eye­open­ing.

Philadel­phia rap­per Tier- ra Whack, whose short but savvy songs earned her a Best New Mu­sic des­ig­na­tion from the Pitch­fork mu­sic web­site for her al­bum “Whack World,” car­ried a purse filled with candy, which she tossed to the crowd.

Mu­sic played al­most con- tin­u­ously on two stages, so about half­way through Lil Baby’s set, a no­tice­able num­ber of peo­ple edged their way through the crowd so they could get a good spot to watch Becky G at the Lone Star Beer Stage.

“I’ve done a lot of shows” in San An­to­nio, the Los An­ge­les-based singer told the crowd. “I want this one to be my fa­vorite one yet.”

A “Happy Birth­day” sin­ga­long to her lit­tle brother Frankie, whom she in­vited on­stage, made it mem­o­rable, as did a remix of Se­lena’s “Si Una Vez” and Becky G’s big hits “May­ores” and “Sin Pi­jama,” which closed out her set.

As she said good­bye, Cardi B fans con­tin­ued to ar­rive.

The fes­ti­val con­tin­ues to­day with per­for­mances by 2 Chainz, Young Thug and Dil­lon Fran­cis, among oth­ers.

Pho­tos by Josie Nor­ris / San An­to­nio Ex­press-News

Fans, some in cat and bunny ears and oth­ers in face paint and glit­ter, at­tend Mala Luna Mu­sic Fes­ti­val on Satur­day.

Tyler the Cre­ator per­forms on the Lone Star stage at the fes­ti­val.

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