Made in America Festival 2015 Day Two: The Weeknd, J. Cole, Big Sean & More Rock the Crowd [EXCLUSIVE]
The 2015 Made in America Festival had a great start on Saturday (Sept. 5) thanks to Beyonce's phenomenal performance. On Sunday (Sept. 6), the party continued with a roster filled of music heavyweights and a few newcomers. On a wonderful sunny day, attendees at MIA was excited to hear some great music.
Despite temperatures reaching 90 degrees and no shade available by the Rocky and Liberty stages, festival-goers did their best to keep cool and enjoy the performances. Many people were dressed in their best patriotic garb or stylish swimwear while staking out the best spots at the stage.
However, there were some who wanted to see the newer acts at the smaller stages. No matter who you planned to see, fans didn't leave disappointed of MIA's jam-packed festivities.
Here's a recap of the second day of the 2015 Made in America Festival.
Jidenna might be an up-and-coming artist, but the Wondaland artist didn't look like a novice on the Tidal Stage. He further proved this by bringing one of the largest crowds that stage had all weekend. And no one could blame the crowd because of the R&B crooner and rapper's showmanship. From the moment his band came onstage dressed in throwback threads, he walked to the mic with so much swag that ladies couldn't help but swoon. Despite the old-school look, his music was not. From the hard beats and his mix of singing and spitting, the juxtaposition felt so fresh and fun. While we still have yet to really know Jidenna's music aside from "Classic Man," he performed a number of his own tracks including "Long Life the Chief," which really struck home with locals considering the fact that he and the rest of Wondaland protested in the city only weeks prior. "I wish everyone long lives," he said before performing the track.
However the moment that really got a lot of attention was during his performance of "Yoga." Although Janelle Monae wasn't there, he did invite a number of ladies to the stage to show off their best "yoga" poses. However, the competition quickly turned into a twerking competition that ended with one woman doing a handstand while Jidenna held up her legs as she shook her booty in his face.
Fabolous has been in the rap game for a while now. So when he was slated as one of the acts to kick off day 2 of Made in America festival, people were ready to hear him rock it out. Before coming onstage, a video of Kevin Hart came on to give the Brooklyn, N.Y. rapper a little advice about how to appeal to the people of Philadelphia. From telling him to grow a beard to wearing tie-dye, the clip was an entertaining way to start off the set.
Dressed in red, white and blue, Fabo performed tracks like "Lituation," "Can't Deny It," "Holla Back" and "Ball Drop." With all the old 2000s tracks he performed, many in the crowd were really feeling the throwbacks. However things went crazy when Fabolous brought out Freeway and Young Gunz, who did a bit of "Rock the Mic."
While Zoe Kravitz isn't new to the industry, her band, Lolawolf, is. Amped on making their debut at Made in America festival, the trio ran into a big problem when a good amount of their equipment just wasn't working. While it left fans and even Zoe waiting for at least 15 minutes, her band members worked as quickly as they could with the sound crew to figure out the issue. "I don't know what to do," Zoe explained. "We want to play really bad." Once the equipment finally worked, they hopped into their set and played a relaxed yet sensual set that included "AYO" and "Bitch."
Whenever Action Bronson hits the stage, you never know what to expect. While he didn't necessarily throw anyone offstage, that didn't mean that he didn't bring the entertainment. As he walked onto the stage, he was smoking his cigar without a care.
Jumping into his set, Bronsolini performed "Mr. Wonderful," "Bag of Money" and "Baby Blue." And appreciating all the fans, who were majority male compared to the mainly female audience who showed up for Beyonce the night before, he hopped offstage and walked through the path and spitting lyrics with so much vigor. But while we all thought that he was just going to meet the fans, Bronson actually decided to climb the ladder up to the sound booth to perform "Actin' Crazy." It seemed so fitting for the off-the-wall performer.
Future has had a pretty big 2015. Not only has he been busy playing a number of gigs this year, he also has dropped three musical projects -- Beast Mode, 56 Nights and Dirty Sprite 2. And now it looks like he'll be dropping yet another project in the coming months. "We appreciate all the support," he said during his set. "There's gonna be another album on the way before the year out with. Just know. Just know we ain't stoppin.'"
New music aside, Future proved that you don't need the main stage to bring the crowds to you. Minutes before his show started, the audience was so packed it spilled out several yards back. But considering Future's energy and beats, you could hear (and feel) the music no matter where you stood at the festival.
Every time J. Cole hits the stage, he gets better and more confident each time. While that swag is something most successful rappers have with time, there was something magical about J. Cole's performance that night. Starting his show with tracks from 2014 Forest Hills Drive including the intro track, Cole pretty performed "January 28th," "Wet Dreamz," "A Tale Of 2 Citiez" and "Fire Squad" in chronological order.
The Roc Nation rhymer's veracity on the microphone sounded more like a growl, but it didn't scare anyone but made them feel more hyped. And by the time he ended the set with "Power Trip," it was clear that J. Cole made such an impression on the crowd that they could have watched him perform for much longer.
Big Sean might not be one person in the immense size of the Rocky Stage, but that didn't stop him from putting on a high energy and thoughtful set. Backed by his DJ and hypeman, the Detroit native wasted no time in getting down to the work and performing his heart out. Despite the large colorfully lit freestanding walls that were on the stage, Sean floated around the stage with such a big presence and confidence that you couldn't keep your eyes and ears off him.
The G.O.O.D. Music artist performed all the fan favorites including "Beware," "Play No Games" and "Dance," which got the ladies popping their booties in the crowd. However, as crosses flickered across the walls and he went into "Blessed," Sean had everyone wrapped around his finger as they recited his lyrics aloud so loudly you could hear it blocks away. Despite all the energy, Sean took things down a few notches by dedicating "One Man Can Change the World" to his late grandmother. And although that was a sweet moment, the set ended on a high note with an explosive rendition of "I Don't F--- With You."
With all the fans who wore shirts with his face on it, it was clear that people were ready to see the Weeknd who close out this year's Made in America festival. And once nightfall hit, everyone started chanting "Abel! Abel!" hoped to get the Canadian crooner out sooner. However, with elaborate lighting and stage setup, patience really was a virtue. So when the lights went completely dark to finally reveal the Beauty Behind the Madness cover art, the park erupted.
Then a casually dressed Abel Tesfaye strolled onstage and took his place at the mic to kick off his set with "High for This." Although he played his hits including "Earned It," "Often" and "Can't Feel My Face," which came in during the latter half of the set, the Toronto singer filled his set with solo renditions of the tracks he was featured in like Ariana Grande's "Love Me Harder" as well as covers including Beyonce's "Drunk in Love," Ty Dolla $ign's "Or Nah" and Wiz Khalifa's "Remember You."
Although he was pretty lighthearted, despite all the dark ballads he has in his arsenal, Tesfaye made sure everyone was paying attention when he decided to restart "The Hills" when he didn't get the energy he was calling out for. Despite that tiny misstep, the show left Weeknd devotees satisfied while opened those who only knew him for "Can't Feel My Face" more tracks to listen to when they get home.
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