Review: Made In America Festival, Jay Z catches the nation’s attention

Originally published September 5, 2012 2:38 PM MST on

The historic and charming city of Philadelphia played host to the first annual Budweiser Made In America Festival, drawing out a sea of hip hop centric fans on Saturday and Sunday September 1-2, 2012. Jay Z orchestrated a diverse lineup of some of the industries finest that featured surprise headlining guests each night.

Saturday evening Passion Pit aptly set the pace for a night of performances that would only build in intensity and excitement. Calvin Harris followed suit, taking captive the Freedom Tent which by the end of his set was literally overrun by festival goers. Skrillex and Mike Snow alternately commanded the energy and attention of festival goers after that.

Even as good as all of it was, it paled in comparison when hip hop royalty, Jay Z himself, took over the festival for the duration of the evening. Opening his set in theme with “Made In America” the crowd was soon honored by a cameo video appearance from President, Barack Obama.

For most, just seeing the king of Hip Hop, who had been endorsed by the president, perform his greatest hits like “99 Problems”, “Dirt Off Your Shoulders”, etc. was amazing in and of itself but then rumors turned to reality when Kanye West took the stage followed by Common, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Swizz Beatz and others. The escalation of energy and excitement went off the charts.

The night was concluded by pyrotechnics that shot up from either sides of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was capped with golden fireworks above. It was a performance and event as legendary as the mastermind behind it. Even Drake himself was rumored to have attended, before lighting up the festival with a remarkable performance of his own on an overcast Sunday evening.

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