Bleachers, the solo project of fun.’s Jack Antonoff, has been attracting attention with poppy hooks and ’80s-injected melodies on his 11-track debut LP, Strange Desire. One track in particular, “Take Me Away,” stands apart as a dreamy cyber-hop tune that definitely channels the influence of his collaborator, Grimes.
The Canadian producer/singer’s ethereal vocals offer a delicate contrast to Antonoff’s beats, stark screams, and dramatic build-up towards the end of the song. The song’s brevity keeps it tight, but you may find yourself hitting “repeat” at least twice. Bleachers is scheduled to play the Made In America Festival on August 30, while Grimes is slated to perform on August 31st. You can find information about MIA on our concert calendar here. You can listen to the track on Pitchfork here.
After an incredible afternoon and rap and electronic music, if you had a moment to breathe after Macklemore and Ryan Lewis finished their fiery set at Made In America on Sunday, it was time for the rock. While many concert goers were clearly at MIA for the hip-hop flavor, the rock showed its face when Queens of the Stone Age took over at 7:30 on the main stage for an explosive hour long set. Fronted by guitarist and singer Josh Homme, the Queens wasted no time at the party in drawing the rock and roll line in the sand and immediately slammed into “My God Is The Sun” from the band’s recent album, Like Clockwork, which immediately set the tone with an efficient, hard working set of songs, highlights of which included “Make It Wit Chu,” “No One Knows,” “Go With The Flow,” and the pulse-pounding “A Song for the Dead.”
The first question that was on a lot of Made In America concert goer’s minds about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ mind blowingly jubilant set was: “why aren’t they on the main stage (the Rocky Stage)?” Right before their set, it seemed as if the entire audience shifted to the right side of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, nearly tipping it over with sweaty bodies, crazily dancing and bouncing around to the band’s 45 minute set. “Philly, welcome to The Heist,” rapped Macklemore with their set opening “Ten Thousand Hours” and from the moment they stepped on stage, Macklemore – wearing a John Kruk Phillies jersey – along with DJ Ryan Lewis and the band had as much command over the crowd as they’ve had on the Billboard music charts this year. Macklemore and Lewis gave the audience what they came for – the hits. “Same Love,” “White Walls,” “Crew Cuts,” “Thrift Shop,” and their set closing “Can’t Hold Us.” Watch the set below. Go here for a complete recap of the festival.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar performed an excellent and enthusiastic half-hour set on Sunday afternoon at Made In America. After a 15 minute set from his Top Dawg Entertainment pals Jay Rock, Black Hippy and Schoolboy Q, Lamar, came out wearing a white t-shirt and a black L.A. Dodgers cap. Backed by an absolutely top notch band, he opened with “Backseat Freestyle,” performed an exuberant version of “F— Problems,” “Money Trees,” “m.a.a.d.city,” and ended with a rousing rendition of “B- Don’t Kill My Vibe.” In the hot and humid mid-day, the crowd gave Lamar a welcome, fanatical reception and were treated one of the many highlights of the weekend. Watch Lamar’s set below. Go here for a complete Made In America recap.
Beyonce headlined this past Saturday night at Made In America and performed a 90-minute set. She brought the first day of the festival to a close with more than a handful of hits, five costume changes and lots of smoke, glitter and hot dance moves. Made In America may have been Jay Z’s festival, but Beyonce stole the show. Go here for a complete photo recap of the weekend.
The sisters of Haim performed on the Made In America Liberty Stage, early in the day on Saturday. They told stories of growing up in Philly going to Wildwood, had shoes thrown at them, and played a set that showcased their charisma and classic rock flavored songs including, “The Wire,” and “Falling.” Watch the video below and check out the photo recaps of both days of Made In America here.
Some high points: Los Angeles oddball Robert De Long used video game controllers to warp and bend his vocals, and threw down a nice cover of “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones. Kendrick Lamar kicked off his 45 minute set with a showcase of rappers on his Top Dawg Entertainment imprint: Jay Rock, Black Hippy and Schoolboy Q. Kendrick’s own fiery performance heralded the most crowded point of the afternoon, followed by back-to-back appearances from Miguel, Wiz Khalifa and Macklemore. Meanwhile, UK-based electronic pop outfit AlunaGeorge made their Philly debut with an impressive performance in the shaded grove of the Freedom Stage, and Jersey’s always-energetic four-piece The Front Bottoms put on a lively set at the Skate Park Stage – complete with the wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tubeman they’ve been taking with them on tour. And before NIN brought the festival to a close with their signature angst-ridden electronic dance, British sensation Calvin Harris took the opposite approach, giving a totally euphoric performance for a captivated crowd and no fewer than six plumes of smoke firing off in jets with each crescendo. Crazy. Check out photos from the festival in the gallery below.
The opening day of the 2013 Made In America festival was jam packed with a wide variety of sounds and styles, from Haim kicking off the day at the festival’s Liberty Stage to EDM heavy hitter Porter Robinson making the crowd move on the Freedom Stage and tremendous headlining performance by Beyoncé.
Some of the amazing / exciting / unusual things we observed during the day: Philly’s Restorations rocked an impressive set on the Skate Park stage, with singer-guitarist Jon Loudon playing so hard that he cut his hand open and splattered blood all over his guitar. During Public Enemy‘s set, local teacher Heather Marcus was brought onstage to make an impassioned speech about the need to support public schools in Philadelphia. Alt-rock heros Imagine Dragons gave a propulsive, high-energy performance, while Phoenix delivered an impressive assortment of hits, deep cuts and bright stage lights. With all the Deadmau5 fans walking around the festival grounds during the day with imaginatively decorated mouse heads (one dude’s was done up like a disco ball), the Los Angeles via Toronto DJ’s set was a tremendous crescendo that set the stage well for Ms. Knowles’ incredible closing performance. Check out a massive photo recap in the gallery below, and follow XPN on Instagram to keep tabs on today’s action.
Philadelphia welcomes the highly-anticipated Made in America festival today, which will take over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the weekend. The gates open at noon, and indie rock bands Walk the Moon (Rocky Stage) and Haim (Liberty Stage) will be among the first sets. Headliner Beyoncé won’t perform until the end of the night, so catch earlier acts like alternative rock band Phoenix and legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy on the main stage. And if you want to get your electronica fix, walk over to the Liberty Stage for Australia’s Empire of the Sun or the Freedom Stage for the UK’s Rudimental. But make sure you don’t miss out on homegrown hardcore punk bands, Balance & Composure and Restorations, who will take to the smaller Skate Park Stage.