MADE IN AMERICA DAY 2: The Weeknd Earned It, Future Takes Control, & Halsey Captivates Fans

Beginning Day 2 with very well known acts, despite the oppressive heat which is worse the Day 1, and the huge SOLD OUT 70,000+ fans in attendance; day two was ready to be a blast. The crowd larger then it was on day 1, began to invade the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at about 11am Sunday, September 6th, 2015 racing to the barricades of the stage their favorite band/artist would be playing.

Emerging to the stage first today is, Saint Motel who kept things upbeat throughout the show, with the horn section providing most of the flavor to the band’s sound, and Jackson bringing his own calm demeanor vocally in between spurts of hiding behind his keyboard. In many ways, the band sounded like some sort of mash-up between a straight laced indie pop band and a ska group, and for more reasons than just the presence of brass instruments. Definitely unique to themselves this quartet from Los Angles, CA brought their all and got the day off to a fresh start getting the fans energy levels to rise.

Halsey, a 20-year-old on the rise; Hailing from New Jersey, Halsey’s list of accomplishments are already piling high, and continuing her success, with a main stage spot on Jay Z’s Made In America Festival 2015. Playing a setlist full of hits off her recently released debut album, Badlands; Which the entire crowd seemed to have already heard as they were screaming the lyrics right back at Halsey and debuted at number 2 on the Billboard charts. Raised in Union County, N.J, not far from the festival her family was in attendance side stage. If Halsey is not yet on your musical radar than you are about to be blown away, as Halsey is well on her way to superstardom.

A Blast From The Past, Fabolous; Who had fans screaming, “Brooklyn!”, jumping on the rails, and repping old New York proudly with his display of ’90s excellence. Fabolous definitely had a few surprises  up his sleeve as he not only brought out Young Gunz for “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” but also Freeway to perform “What We Do” and “Rock The Mic”. The crowd went into a screaming frenzy as they sang along to old school jams. Fabolous causing the crowd to erupt into a wild dancing rap party.

Action Bronson entered the stage with a lit blunt full of weed, puffing throughout his set. Bronson paced slowly from one side of the stage to the other, almost as if he were moving in slow motion. The show wasn’t, boring however as Bronson has his own unique style and look. At one point of the show Bronson jumped off the stage and ran throughout the crowd in the T-shaped barricade setup around the stage and onto the sound deck to continue rapping.

Entering the stage first was Santigold’s two female models or dancers unsure what they were but they were decked out in all yellow lounging in a blue chair with Cheetos and a blue Gatorade.  Santigold, then entering the stage dressed in a picnic table checked tracksuit with a fried egg on toast embroidered on her chest and a huge orange bow on her head, had the charisma and confidence to open with some of her biggest hits.

With a couple of horse head masks surrounding the drum kit and an interesting light set up, Metric took their places on the stage and quickly jumped into “Stadium Love” where vocal Emily Haines soon stopped the show to fixed the audio quality stating “lets start this over and do it fucking right this time” going right back into “Stadium Love.” For a band that has been together since 1996 they still had quite an incredible stage presence and an amazing response from the fans in attendance. Metric played many of the hits and had a nice mix of indie rock and breezy pop that hit the spot for most. On Sept. 18 they’ll release their sixth album, “Pagans in Vegas,” which they plan to quickly follow up with another album in 2016.

Future may have played on the Liberty Stage right after Metric played the main stage, but it looked like he drew about 20 times as many people, the crowd stretching for what seemed like miles. DJ Esco arrived first to pump up the crowd in which the crowd began chanting his name as he went wild on stage before bringing out FUTURE to conquer the crowd. In one of his rare, brief moments of between-song chat with the fans, he announced a new project he has which will drop this year, making it his sixth release (between albums and mixtapes) in less than two years, since Honest hit in April 2014. The way the Future Fans embraced their king was contagious, everyone singing along. Future may have had one of the biggest crowds of the day other then The Weeknd and Big Sean of course.

Big Sean might have been the most anticipated rapper of day 2, with his summer anthem, “I Don’t Fuck With You” which brought quite a large crowd. He had the whole crowd moving from the second he entered the stage till the last second of his set, everything from jumping to bouncing to waving their hands in the air. Big Sean wanted to make sure that he also inspired the audience by telling them to make sure they follow their dreams and to do what they love. He told the audience about how he didn’t come from much and how he was still able to make it where he was today, so everyone should be able to make something for themselves. In a homage to his hometown of Detroit, Big Sean brought out the Detroit Lions’ mascot to perform one of his songs with him. Ending his set at sunset with a song EVERYONE wanted to hear “I Don’t Fuck With You.”

Banks very unique to herself, with her own style to her music and her look. With her fans on the barricade yelling her name in joy she did not make any mention of the fans nor did she stop to talk between songs, she just belted out her Alternative Pop Styled Hip Hop sound. Her sound is defined by her very unique voice accompanied by moody, arty electronic instrumentation.

J.Cole graduated from playing the Liberty Stage last year to the much larger Rocky Stage this year, and he and his adoring fans jumped around and rapped joyously throughout his set. Signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, J. Cole has been turning heads in the genre with a slew of awards and critical praise.  With lyrics that touch on everything from his upbringing in North Carolina to the poverty and hopelessness that affects his community and the world around him. J.Cole delivered his message to the audience, while putting on a high-energy and engaging concert. J.Cole exiting the stage only leaving the fans hungry for more as they chanted for one more song, which unfortunately he could not perform due to the time restraints at Made In America.

Sadly, This incredible full of talent Made In America Festival has to come to an end, closing out the weekend with The Weeknd!  The Weeknd closed out the two-day sold out music affair with a mostly no-frills set. Except the part where he set off fireworks during the first half of his show. Still, it was just Weeknd, the mic, that hair and his cult following running through high notes with his unique sound and in the name of XO. The Weekndending out the two day extraordinary Labor Day Weekend Festival on The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with a SOLD OUT crowd of 70,000+ people.  Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd, proved exactly why he’s having his best year ever. As he kicked his set off with “High For This,” it seemed that’s exactly what the crowd had in mind as almost everyone began to light up, and the clouds of smoke filling the air. Then it was “Losers”, then Abel asking the crowd, “Can I get sexy for you tonight Philadelphia?,” before launching into the Kanye West-produced “Tell Your Friends,” off his newly released album that preceded a bunch of tracks he is featured on, such as Drake’s “Crew Love” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Remember You.” Made in America attendees got to hear “Drunk in Love” twice, as The Weeknd performed his impressive cover of Beyoncé ‘s hit, which was performed by Queen Bey herself the night before. But “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills,” were obviously the songs that everyone was eagerly awaiting, and Abel was smart to keep them for the end. The singer seemed very grateful to be at the MIA festival to celebrate Labor Day Weekend despite being Canadian as he stated “I know I’m from Canada, I hope you accept me at this festival.” Which from the crowds overwhelming screams and thrill of seeing him live proved they accepted him for this american celebration of Labor Day Weekend. After he left the stage no one quite knew what to make of it, Questioning themselves is that all? is it over? Will he have an encore?  Thankfully, The Weeknd came out for one more song and absolutely nailed it with one of his hits, “Wicked Games.” And with that, the fourth year of Made in America came to a close.  All in all, the lineup proved to be a huge success, with the festival selling out for the first time since its formation back in 2012. The Weeknd soundtracked the end of the summer, with a healthy mix of his older deep cuts from his debut album Kiss Land but got the most kick from the crowd with his mainstream jams, “Often,” “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” It marked the most lit of celebrations for the Weeknd, whose sophomore LP Beauty Behind The Madness debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, pushing 415,000 units in the week after its Aug. 28 release. The Weeknd was definitely a great choice to end out day 2 of MIA Festival 2015.

We were absolutely amazed with the intense amount of talent that was represented at this year’s Budweiser Made In America Festival 2015 and are already anticipating who will perform the City Of Brotherly Love next year. Thank you to MSO PR for the amazing job you guys do organizing the media on this event, also to all of the crew on Made In America Festival for keeping everything working and organized and of course to Jay Z for putting his blood, sweat and tears into this festival every year for 4 years now, we look forward to see what 2016 has in store for us! www.MadeInAmericaFest.com

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