The “Made In America” Music Festival, sponsored by Jay Z, was a huge success this past weekend at the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philly. He bought some of hiphop and rock’s best music acts together over a 2 day period to a young multiracial crowd reaching 50,000. Lots of grassy grounds, rows of food trucks, voter’s registration booths, concertgoers came to enjoy some of the best music acts in hiphop, RnB and Rock. Pearl Jam, D’Angelo, Santigold, Jill Scott, Drake and Janelle Monae, just to name a few. My friend Travis and I bought tickets tothis event in May, so I went as a concert goer the first day. A big THANK YOU to friend and StyleBlazer’s Jada Gomez-Lacayo for getting me media credentials for Day 2 of the festivities. This pass allowed me to shoot the acts up close on stage instead of from a crowd view. Unfortunately, security after a while didn’t honor certain photo passes, so I only got a couple acts the way I wanted.
Super excited to see Janelle Monáe after not seeing her perform for a year and some change (she and her 13 piece band have been traveling the world to places like Switzerland, Australia, Brazil and more) I really wanted to make sure I saw her perform back in the US. And just like the old days when I’d go see her, Kellindo (guitarist) and YoungPete (drummer, at the time) play, I was certainly blown away! Her show is bigger and better than ever before and something worth experiencing live. She’s upgraded her act to include The Arch Orchestra of string musicians, background dancers and other woodwind instruments.
The show starts with The Suite II Overture, a film score from her debut album “The ArchAndroid” as it plays loudly over speakers while the crowd fills in. Suddenly, George 2.0, enters the stage to hype up the audience with claps, whistles and a back and forth shouting of the name “Monae!” JM’s band members soon take their places on stage to prepare for the electrifying musical experience they’re about to bring and WE all about to witness! I kid you not when I say I felt like I was in church catching the holy spirit some songs during the show.
DANCE OR DIE
It’s always a bit ofa challenge taking pictures at her show because I want to sing and dance my heart out! Hit songs like “Sincerely, Jane” “Tight Rope”, “Cold War” and new tune “Electric Lady” were performed that day. Needless to say, Jane and her band are doing the damn thing. I’m so proud at how far they’ve come and look forward to all the amazing things that are in store. Want to keep up with JM? —>;; http://jmonae.com
GARY CLARK JR.!
Gary Clark Jr. is an amazing up and coming blues rock musician that’s blowing everyone away. I’ve had the pleasure to photograph him live twice this summer. First in Atlantic City at Metallica’s Orion Music Festival and now, Jay Z’s Made In America Concerts this past weekend. I know great music when I hear it. Gary’s got it and you all should definitely check him out!
See more shots on facebook.
Just the day before, I actually got to meet Gary, too! It happened on the first day of the festival right after I caught Janelle Monae’s set. While Travis and I were headed to see D’Angelo perform, I spotted Gary on the sidelines among a crowd of people watching D’Angelo’s show. He blended into the crowd wearing a red tank, jeans and dusty boots. Walking over to introduced myself, I tried explaining over the loud music how much I love his music and how I first saw him perform a couple months ago at Baders Feild in Atlantic City. He was very down-to-earth as he smiled and nodded to what I was saying. Something told me it was silly continuing a real conversation with him over the loud music, so I asked if I could have a photo with him and he generously complied. Thanks Gary! (And a special thanks to my friend Travis for taking this!) 🙂
Spent the rest of the time capturing the people, atmosphere and energy of the event. Many came wearing patriotic attire sporting their national pride while others came dressed in unique personal styles. See link below to see more pics:
Check out my photos and article written by Jada from Jill Scott’s Post-Celebration Scholarship Fund on StyleBlazer.