For the second year in a row, music fans flocked to the Philadelphia area for the Made In America festival. Curated by Jay-Z, the festival featured an eclectic lineup, shutting down the city’s main streets for two humid days of rock and hip-hop. While Saturday’s lineup featured big and dancey names like Beyonce, Phoenix, and Deadmau5, Sunday brought shredding and headbanging to center stage with a hint of hip hop in between.
New Jersey’s The Front Bottoms took the smallest stage, the Skate Stage, earlier in the day to a small but solid crowd. They played a nice combination of songs from their new album, Talon of the Hawk and their earlier work. The set’s highlights included massive crowd sing-alongs of “The Beers,” “Flashlight,” and the more recent “Au Revoir” and “Twin Sized Mattress.” Singer Brian Sella rocked out hard, sweating and making jokes about girls with their butt cheeks hanging out.
Later in the day Queens of the Stone Age took the main stage, around the same time Calvin Harris went on. Both played to massive crowds, each provoking a different response. Queens fans headbanged while Harris fans fist pumped. Queens Of The Stone Age played a bombastic set of about thirteen songs, including “My God is the Sun,” “Little Sister,” and “I Sat by the Ocean.” Singer Josh Homme encouraged the intense crowd response, even going as far as to argue with security for putting a stop to girls sitting on people’s shoulders. His witty and well-worded argument concluded with, “What is this, your fucking parent’s house?”
Most fans that saw Queens Of The Stone Age stayed put for the next hour in order to catch Nine Inch Nails, which was probably the best decision they made all night. NIN’s set was filled with creative lighting elements and intensity from frontman Trent Reznor. Reznor didn’t speak to the crowd much, but his performance and stage presence spoke volumes. By the end of the first song, “Copy of A,” he was drenched in sweat. He continued on to give it his all on songs like “March of the Pigs,” “Terrible Lie,” and “Head Like a Hole.”
The band’s set also included fan favorites like “Only,” “Head Like a Hole,” and “The Hand that Feeds.” However, the peak moment came with a high-energy performance of “Closer,” where audience members quite literally wanted to fuck each other like an animal. The amount of grinding, making out, and essentially getting down that went on was enough to the sexual vibe across to a few very confused security guards.
After the demand for an encore, Reznor and company came back for just one song, “Hurt.” It was performed so beautifully that a few fans were reduced to tears, closing the night on a somber note and in awe, proving that, as one fan in the crowd put it, “Reznor’s still got it.”