The Made in America Festival kicked off on a super hot Saturday (Aug. 31). The Made in America App allows you to choose the artists you're looking forward to seeing. It even alerts you when an artist you choose is about to perform. With about 20 artists performing over 4 stages, this app was a must to have a little organization during a somewhat chaotic two days. The first artist I was looking forward to seeing was A$AP Rocky. It's only right that he would perform on the Rocky Stage, which is the main stage. Sadly, A$AP came out 30 minutes late, which left him with about 15 minutes to perform his set. With that much time, he was only able to perform a handful of songs. The crowd was excited nonetheless, turning up to hits like "Peso," "Wild for the Night" and "Trilla." He of course closed out the show with "F*ckin' Problem."
With what seemed like a male-dominated line-up (aside from Beyonce, of course) Emeli Sande and Haim delivered standout performances. It was no surprise to see Emeli Sande's name on the line-up, as she was featured on Jay-Z's The Great Gatby Soundtrack. She's the perfect mix of R&B and pop, performing my favorites "Next To Me," and "Lifted." I also thought it was funny that her drummer was wearing an "I Heart London" t-shirt.
Last year, 2 Chainz was a surprise guest during Drake's set. This year, he has his own set. This was great because 2 Chainz definitely pumped up Drake's crowd last year, and this year he was able to really hype up the festival crowd. In the middle of his set, 2 Chainz prompted a moment of silence, saying "A moment of silence for this stage 'cause I'm killing' this sh*t!" No Lie... which just so happened to be one of the songs he performed. Along with a slew of other hits like "Crack," and pretty much every song he's been featured on. Hits on hits. Video coming soon.
It seems like, along with newer hip-hop acts, Made in America also has one old school act. Last year's being Run DMC, and this year's being Public Enemy. Even though I'm sure most of the crowd was just there for Beyonce, Chuck D and Flavor Flav definitely got the crowd going with classics like "Fight The Power," and "Don't Believe The Hype." They also took the time to call out Governor Tom Corbett for spending $400M on building prisons, while closing Philadelphia public schools. Crazy!
I love festivals like this because every year, I fall in love with a new band, that I wouldn't otherwise hear. This year, that band is Phoenix. EVERYONE that attended the festival had no choice but to listen to Phoenix, as they were they last band to hit the main Rocky Stage before Beyonce. I found their set to be extremely entertaining. Enough that I didn't mind watching them perform as I waited for Beyonce. I can't tell you any specific songs, because honestly, they all sounded alike to me... especially after a full day of listening to bands perform. But, just know that their set was great. I'd encourage anyone to check out their live performance if the opportunity arises.
The headliner of Day One was Queen Bey aka King Beysus aka Mrs. Carter herself, Beyonce. King Bey made it known that she was there for one thing, and one thing only.. to snatch everyone's wigs and edges (which she kindly replaced by way of a gold confetti shower). Her dancers were the best at their craft and her band was a phenomenal group of women, and we can't forget her background singers, The Mamas. With an estimated 60,000 fans in attendance, Beyonce has a way to make it feel like it was an intimate performance. They way she's able to connect with the crowd is unmatched. She changed outfits atleast 4 times, giving us all types of amazing leopard print, sequins, and catsuits. Her new hairstyle is definitely fitting for her. She's starting to look more and more like Miss Tina. Beyonce's pitch was perfect, as she nailed every octave in "Love on Top." I never cared too much for "Why Don't You Love Me?" but seeing it live definitely changed my mind. The dance solo from Les Twins also helped. Beyonce's mini movie transitions are so much fun to watch. You can tell every last element of this show was all handpicked from Beyonce's mind. It's cool to see a glimpse of how her mind works. She of course performed fan favorites like “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies,” which had the whole crowd following her moves. She even gave it southern flair. After another outfit change, Beyonce came out looking like an angel, singing "I Will Always Love You", which acted as a segue into "Halo." She also did her classic rendition of "Irreplaceable," asking for the crowds help to sing along. Moments like that really sets Beyonce apart from other performers. She got ontop of the piano to perform "1+1," extremely intimate. She closed out the show with "I Was Here" or "Halo".. I can't remember. But it was incredible. Get out there and buy tickets to Beyonce's next show wherever it is. Day 1 of the Budweiser Made in America Festival was incredible. Photos below! Videos will be up shortly. Check out our review from Day 2!