Budweiser’s Made In America Festival: Day 1 Recap!

Mr. Shawn “Jay Z” Carter’s second annual Made In America festival was nothing short of spectacular. Anticipation and excitement filled the sweaty, hot Philadelphia air as approximately 100,000 fans gathered for two days of music and beer on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The week-end long fest sponsored by Budweiser brought its A-game in headliners, most notably featuring Beyoncé on Saturday Aug. 31st, and Nine Inch Nails on Sunday Sept. 1.

2013 Budweiser Made In America Fesitval - Day 1 Rock On Philly


The show kicked off day one at 2 p.m. with indie rockers Walk The Moon performing at Rocky Stage. They set a really fun tone for the day, with face paint and their up-beat hit, “Tightrope”. After their set, many fans lingered between more unheard acts at Liberty and Freedom stages, while they waited anxiously for A$AP Rocky to start at 3:15 p.m. As a fan of A$AP, I was just as eager to see him, but I really got into Redlight’s performance beforehand! The U.K. native DJ, Hugh Pescod, had an awesome EDM sound, not to mention got everyone in the crowd going. If you’re into Daft Punk and some 90s rave beats, Redlight could be your new muse.

As suspected, A$AP tore up the afternoon with “Long Live A$AP”, “Wild for the Night”, and “Fuckin’ Problems”. His performance definitely increased the hype and excitement for the day, especially for his weed-smoking crowd. The next big act of the afternoon was the American legend, Public Enemy. It was pretty cool watching the majority of Philly dancing to some of the most influential songs in hip-hop history, like “Fight the Power”, “Bring the Noise”, and “Rebel Without a Pause”. Flavor Flav gave some political commentary in regards to the George Zimmerman verdict and injustice in America. He also urged the crowd to induct Public Enemy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


As much as A$AP and Public Enemy induced excitement within the crowd, it just did not compare to fellow rapper 2 Chainz. As soon as he walked on stage, fans put their twos up and screamed, prepared to drop it! “Bandz A Make Her Dance” and “I Luv Dem Strippers” had the fans singing along, spraying beer, throwing their hands up, and twerking. 2 Chainz followed through with his other hits, “Beez in the Trap” and “I’m Different”, killing his performance and making his set a favorite of the day for fans.


The best thing about “Made In America” is that the music spans all genres and creates diversity in its performers and fans. This is what alternative rock band Imagine Dragons appreciated most about the festival. “It’s a unique festival that includes a lot of genres”, said lead singer Dan Reynolds, “it is a huge honor to be performing here and we all freaked out when we got the invitation from Jay Z.” Drummer Dan Platzman joked, “We have the invitation hanging up, although some assistant probably signed it in his name.” The band confessed their pre-performance jitters, ranging from quivering, excited, trembling, vomiting, and chill. Which song was the band most excited to play? Radioactive, duh. They were right to be excited however, as Radioactive was definitely a crowd-pleaser, turning up the bass-heavy rock out song of the summer; a perfect match for the “Made In America” crowd.

2013 Budweiser Made In America Fesitval - Day 1 Rock on Philly

The next alternative rock band was to perform was French rockers Phoenix. Bandmates Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz shared the same appreciation for “Made In America” as Imagine Dragons had. They believed that music genres should be able to come together and connect. “It is important for bringing together different parts of music,” said Mazzalai. “We are here to destroy the world of fear for these things,” said Brancowitz. The band was really excited to play an instrumental of theirs that they described as risqué, but something they hoped would create a shift in alternative music. If you’re looking for Phoenix’s next semi- local performance,  they are coming to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 2nd.

2013 Budweiser Made In America Fesitval - Day 1 Rock On Philly

Despite the long day’s amazing performances, heightened energy, and possibly even heat exhaustion, the crowd held on tight for the Queen B herself, Beyoncé. The headliner and closer of the night began a 90-minute set at 10:30 p.m. The international pop star opened up by announcing, “Philly! Y’all are at the Mrs. Carter show.” She immediately engaged the crowd with her power hit “Run the World (Girls)”, and kept the show alive with her endless costume changes and intense renditions of “End of Time”, “If I Were a Boy”, and “Naughty Girl”. I’ve heard that Beyoncé is a born-performer, but watching her and engaging as part of the crowd is so powerful. She exudes confidence and sexiness and makes you feel like you shine as bright as she does. Make no mistake, Beyoncé is a star, and her closing the night with “Halo” on a confetti-strewn stage could not have been more perfect. She was choice. She was the “it” performer for day one of “Made in America”.

2013 Budweiser Made In America Fesitval - Day 1 Rock On Philly

If you weren’t there to experience Made In America this year, I hope after reading this that you will go next year. The diverse performers, energetic crowds, Philly pride, and all-American vibe make it THE festival to attend. If you think day one was awesome, wait till you hear about day two! For real, stay tuned with us.

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