This weekend, the two-day extravaganza that is the annual Made in America festival will surely take the headlines as the biggest event going down in Philadelphia.
Frankly, looking at the lineup of scheduled acts coming to the main stages on Saturday and Sunday, it should. Rapper Cardi B is the main event on Saturday, in addition to Anderson.Paak and the Free Nationals, Juice Wrld and Kaskade holding it down. Sunday’s bill arguably is the can’t miss, with Travis Scott and Lizzo serving as the main attraction, but for the natives, a chance to see Philly’s own Tierra Whack and Lil Uzi Vert is worth the price of admission.
Also, a side note, shoutout to Uzi who agreed to pay a Temple student’s $90,000 tuition bill while perusing the King of Prussia Mall earlier this week. That’s what’s up.
However, for those of us that have been to MIA before, you know that the acts are just one part of the must-see events. It’s a lot to handle, between the underage drinking, public urination (and defecation), the excessively long lines for almost everything — pro-tip, goPuff, one of the sponsors of the event, has created a fast pass lane for people who have the app. All you have to do is look for the blue flags that signify the dedicated goPuff lanes and you can dodge the riff-raff.
Listen, we’re not saying MIA isn’t great. We’re just saying it can feel a little past its sell-by date for those that have been there, witnessed the debauchery and want more.
With that said, if you’re looking to check out some live music without having to step over piles of vomit or bump elbows with some sweaty ass teenager that smell like body spray and B.O., we thought it necessary to provide a roundup of the venues around the city that also have great acts coming to town. In fact, if you want a little MIA without actually being at MIA, check out the Fillmore (29 E. Allen St.), which will have a music battle between Cardi B. and Travis Scott vs. Jay-Z and Beyonce by way of a DJ spin-off beginning at 9 p.m.
Here’s a look at who and what else shapes up to be worth checking out this weekend:
Grits and Biscuits: A Dirty South Set
Polish off your grills and get ready to throwdown to some classic Dirty South tunes. Remember that time you bumped Project Pat in your car while you were pulled up next to those old ladies on Broad Street? Wait, that might have been just us, but anyone who’s a fan of that Southern hip-hop is in for a treat as this DJ set returns to set some fire to that ass. | Saturday, 9 p.m. $20. Theatre of the Living Arts, 334 South St. venue.tlaphilly.com/
Camden is the third stop of a world tour for this heavy metal quartet who just dropped a new album this year entitled “We Are Not Your Kind.” While they may not be the kind for everyone, this group has one hell of a following and make for a perfect alternative for those looking for something completely different than the lineup headed to the Parkway this weekend. Plus, it’ll be a good chance for you metalheads and emo types to get one last rage in before summer chucks up the deuce. | Saturday, 5:30 p.m. (doors open). $119-$120. BB&T Pavilion, Camden, N.J. concerts1.livenation.com/event
Patty Jackson’s Party in the Park
This one is on Monday, so it’s not exactly a weekend jaunt, but that’s OK, as it’s a holiday. Consider this one to be a microlevel MIA — if MIA was around 30 years ago. To put it in perspective? MIA founder Jay-Z was just a wet behind the ears 19-year-old upcoming rapper from Brooklyn at the time. Essentially, Party in the Park is for all the OGs and lovers of old-school hip hop, R&B and soul, as legends like Whodini, Big Daddy Kane and Frankie Beverly are all scheduled to perform — rain or shine. | Monday, Sept. 2, 7 p.m. $37. Dell Music Center, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive. thedellmusiccenter.com/event/patty-jackson-party-in-the-park/
If you’re a child of the 1990s, then on Friday night you’re in for a treat. World Cafe Live is hosting an event featuring four cover bands dedicated to ripping some of the best tunes from the bands you grew up with. There’s The Elysiums, who will do a tribute to Nirvana, arguably one of the originators of the Grunge scene. There’s White Limo, who will rip a Foo Fighters set, and Superunknown, who will try its best to replicate the unmistakable sound of Soundgarden and Audioslave (both fueled by the unmistakable voice of Chris Cornell). Finally, there’s Purple to the Core, who will do a tribute to the Stone Temple Pilots. | Friday, Aug. 30, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) $15. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. worldcafelive.com/event/1865761-grunge-palooza-philadelphia/
Battle of the Best: DJ Touchtone vs. DJ Jay Ski
Going to check out two well-known Philly DJs going at it is cool, but what about two well-known Philly DJs going head-to-head during a midnight cruise? That can be your Saturday as WRnB 100.3-FM disc jockeys DJ Jay Ski and DJ Touchtone battle for who can drop the best beats. The other thing that makes this one extremely worthwhile is that if you’ve ever heard Touchtone over the airwaves, you’ve heard his signature voiceover, “I can’t see, goddammit.” That’s not just a saying; the homie Touchtone, arguably one of the best DJs in the city, is completely blind. | Saturday, Aug. 31 midnight (boarding begins at 11:30) $44.90 Spirit of Philadelphia, Penns Landing. rnbphilly.com/events
This soulful songstress has Saturday night upstairs at World Cafe Live and is prepared to showcase what has made her one to watch this year. Her performance on NBC’s “The Voice” and her insane range have lead to tour dates with Christina Aguilera and spots on a host of other TV shows. It’s good to be Caldwell right now, and this Jersey native plans to showcase why during her set in West Philly. | Saturday, Aug. 31, 8 p.m. $15 ($20 at the door) World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. worldcafelive.com/event
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
This is most definitely one show we would consider as bong ripping beats. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is the perfect band to party, smoke, jam and move to. Through the haze of marijuana-tinted minds and music, they happen to showcase one hell of a high-energy show. Plus, if you haven’t had a chance to check out Franklin Music Hall since the switch from the old (and memorable) Electric Factory, you’ll see not much has changed but the name. | Friday, Aug. 30. 8:30pm. $35. Franklin Music Hall, 421 N. 7th St. bowerypresents.com
The Wiggles: Party in the Park
We know it’s not as great as seeing Cardi B stick her tongue out or Travis Scott give you the middle finger, but hey, you have young kids now and you need something to do with them this weekend, especially if you didn’t take a trip to the shore. Consider the following for these reasons: It’s better than being in the house going stir crazy, chances are your kids will know the songs and finally, the show is centrally located at the Merriam Theater, so there’ll be plenty of places mommy and daddy can pop in real quick for a cocktail and to ponder life choices. | Saturday, Aug. 31, noon and 4 p.m. $46.50 (tickets just $5 for kids under a year-old) Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. kimmelcenter.org/events-and-tickets