Tyler the Creator, Lil Uzi Vert, Jazmine Sullivan, Kodak Black, Pusha T & JID – Made in America Festival (Day 1) – Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Philadelphia, PA – September 3. 2022
Bad Bunny, Snoh Aalegra, Tate McRae & Victoria Monét – Made in America Festival (Day 2) – Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Philadelphia, PA – September 4. 2022
Crowds gathered back at Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Parkway for Jay-Z’s Made in America this Labor Day holiday weekend. This was the festival’s second year back after a quick hiatus during 2020 due to COVID, and both the musicians and attendees were elated to be there. Food trucks were shelling out famous Philly Soft Pretzels and modern Asian cuisine from WokWorks, while the bar lines were a bit shorter – I’d say due to the majority of the concertgoers being on the younger side.
The musical performances on day one were packed from start to finish. Whether the crowds were rushing the grounds to hear JID close out his set with his hit “Stick” or rapping along to Pusha-T and his feature on Lamborghini Mercy – the energy was palpable throughout the festival grounds.
Two Philly locals, Jazmine Sullivan and Lil Uzi Vert took the stages back-to-back. Jazmine began her performance with her Grammy Nominated hit “Bust Your Windows” and continued with her message of female empowerment throughout her set. Sprinkling in spoken word, interpretive dance, and preaching the message of self-love throughout her numerous hits while the crowd sang along.
Lil Uzi Vert’s set channeled the opposite (but still incredible) energy. With Lamborghinis on stage and a light show for the ages, the crowd could not have been more energized. Carrying them through the set with hits such as “The Way Life Goes” and “XO Tour Llif3”, they closed out their set with the classics “7AM” and “Final Fantasy.”
Closing out day one was headliner Tyler the Creator. Known for his creative energy and style, Tyler opened his performance stating that the crowd better be ready to watch him “prance around in his loafers for an hour.” Which… is exactly what he did. Just while maintaining his impeccable stage presence, performing his catchy hits such as “WusYaName” and “CORSO.”
Day two of the festival was a Latinx dance party from start to finish – but all leading up to headliner Puerto Rican mega-star Bad Bunny, whose crowds came in droves from miles away to see perform live.
Newcomer Tate McRae performed earlier in the evening, having the crowd completely enamored by her pop-hits. McRae’s ability to take over the stage with her catchy songs and dance moves will give her the momentum necessary to gain recognition within the industry – having gotten her start on So You Think You Can Dance many years ago.
Performances from Colombian singer Ryan Castro, Snoh Aalegra, a Swedish R&B singer from Los Angeles and up and coming West Philly artist Armani White filled out the rest of day two and drew full crowds – knowing every word to every song being performed.
Leading up to the long-awaited moment of Bad Bunny appearing on the main stage, Nigerian pop star Burna Boy dominated the stage with his Afropop beats and electric presence – well deserving of the spot of opening act for the top streamed artist in the world.
The time had finally come for the sensation that is Bad Bunny, and he certainly lived up to the hype. When he entered the beach themed set, lounging on a chair as if he were on vacation, the crowd of thousands erupted. With Puerto Rican flags in the air and every word to every song being sung in unison – a dance party unlike any other erupted on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, commencing a weekend filled with multicultural vision of “Made in America” that we’d be lucky to see again.