Major Lazer’s Sunday-evening set on the Radio 1 stage is gaudy, it’s gauche, it’s profoundly artless and perhaps a little too reliant on the bells and whistles of their production, and yet despite all that – or, more likely, because of it – their T In The Park debut is a resounding triumph. Diplo and his crew appear willing to go to any length to get the crowd in their corner: rapper Walshy Fire loudly proclaims Scotland “the best place in the world”; Diplo dons the national team’s football shirt and starts waving a saltire; they even take to tossing what must amount to a few hundred pounds’ worth of merch – t-shirts, flags, whistles, goodie bags – into the crowd. Their shamelessness is matched only by their success: T In The Park audiences have always been susceptible to flattery; throw some free swag into the mix, and you’re onto a winner.
At the same time, you wonder how necessary it actually is: Major Lazer’s dancehall-flavoured brand of EDM, typified by cuts like ‘Roll The Bass’ and ‘Light It Up’, is already engineered to produce maximum pandemonium, and their dynamic, energetic stage show – led by a four-strong troupe of backing dancers, who put in an absolute shift tonight – is already pretty impressive. It helps, certainly, that their performance coincides with the point in the weekend where the window for debauchery is rapidly closing and people are ready to throw their arms up and say, ‘Fuck it’: the trio themselves may be in pristine Daz whites, but the sound of Rihanna’s ‘Work’ is the cue for pockets of the crowd to start engaging in mudsports. We spend a good five minutes watching one bloke breakdancing in a small lagoon of filth, while another strips down to his waist and starts belly-sliding through a tunnel of legs.
As their 2014 mega-hit ‘Lean On’ brings this chaotic set to a close, it’s safe to say there’ll be more than a few headaches in the morning, but credit where it’s due: Calvin Harris’ headline set last night may have felt oddly anaemic, but Major Lazer come up trumps with the wildest party of the weekend.