Budweiser’s Made In America Festival
Sat. and Sun., Aug. 31-Sept. 1, Benjamin Franklin Parkway. madeinamericafest.com
Overall vibe: Megacrowds stampeded from stage to stage in a blisteringly hot and sticky sophomore weekend of the Jay Z-Budweiser superfest in what seemed like a greedy, pack-em-in scheme. Claustrophobics, beware: Caught in the wrong spot at an inopportune moment? You’re fucked. Allowed to bring nothing in that you could buy on the Parkway, festival goers were at the mercy of food truck lines and hydration station queues. Those 30 and up found themselves shaking their head with sadness as underage drinkers and dosers tumbled over themselves to the nearest EDM bugout.
Most memorable moment: It’s a four-way tie between Bey’s lackluster 75-minute Mrs. Carter Show vignette, Calvin Harris’ smoke cannons, Emeli Sande’s “Heaven” and a sexy, dripping Trent Reznor.
Scene stealer: Skin for days. If there’s one thing these co-eds are good for, it’s lookin’ cute in their saddeningly cliche American flag garb. (Bill Chenevert)
Fri., Aug. 31, Revel Casino in Atlantic City. revelresorts.com
Overall vibe: An intentionally more organic set than people may have been expecting from the Basildon boys. But this makes sense, considering their recently released 13th record, Delta Machine, is a rockier affair akin to their output in the early ‘90s.
Most memorable moment: Midway through closing the set with 1987’s anthemic “Never Let Me Down Again,” they burst into the pulsating “Aggro” remix of the tune, upping the intensity before an operatic crash back to reality brought with it the famous vocal trade-off between Martin Gore’s tenor and Dave Gahan’s baritone.
Scene stealer: Gahan. If you didn’t know, he’s easily one of the most electrifying and engaging front men of all time. (Anthony Trivelli)