Made in America: Jay-Z rocks the Parkway

Jay-Z was everything as advertised Saturday night at the "first annual" Made in America music festival on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

“Love me or leave me alone,” was the cry from Jay-Z into the Philadelphia night sky Saturday and off went the “first annual Made in America festival” on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Tens of thousands sweaty concert-goers — many of them shirtless — threw their Hova signs up in the air as the rapper announced his presence on stage, opening with “Public Service Announcement.” That was quickly followed up with a special video message from President Barack Obama, who urged everyone to vote this fall, “whatever your politics or party.”

Jay-Z, dressed in all black, got the party started for real seconds later, when he belted out “H to the Izzo.” His set list featured all his chart-toppers and he pulled out all the stops, including a special tribute video to the City of Brotherly Love, which was capped by a semi-RocBoy reunion with Philly natives Freeway and Young Gunz making appearances. (No Beanie Sigel, but Jay-Z rapped his verses).

“You all know my love affair with Philadelphia,” he shouted. “We made some amazing music in Philadelphia.”

Later, Jay-Z was joined with his New York running crew, Swizz Beatz and Memphis Bleek. Surprisingly, his wife, Beyonce, never took the stage — even though Jay-Z paused in dramatic fashion while sampling “03 Bonnie & Clyde” making many think she would burst onto the scene. Sadly, she didn’t show.

Jay-Z instructed the crowd that “Numb/Encore” — the collab hit with Linkin Park — would be the show’s last number, then after a short rest, with fans shouting “Hova, Hova, Hova,” his voice came back over the speakers and promised a special treat.

“Philly, because you’ve been so good to me, I’m going to be good to you.”

In what was arguably the night’s crescendo, out trotted Kanye West dropping “Cold” lyrics, “Can’t a young nigga get money anymore?” West controlled the stage for the show’s final 40 minutes (Jay-Z’s main set last about an hour) and brought out 2Chainz, Common, Pusha T and Big Sean.

Jay-Z returned a little after 11 p.m. and teamed with West on “Niggas in Paris” to close the show. He thanked everyone for coming out and hugged West as red, white and blue fireworks exploded over the Art Museum stage.

Crowd control, no problems

The scene inside the music festival was similar to an overheated frat party. Tens of thousands roamed the closed-down Parkway, ranging in ages from 16 to 35, all sweaty and armed with Budweisers (24 oz. cans went for $11).

Police manned the perimeters with paramedics patrolling on scooters. The event featured three stages — the main stage in front of the Art Museum, along with the adjacent Liberty Stage and the Freedom Tent down the road.

Janelle Monae rocked the Liberty Stage around 4 p.m. with Maybach Music Group (Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Wale) locking down the main stage at 3:30. Calvin Harris turned the Freedom Tent into the biggest rave party in Philly, complete with laser lights and pulsating base. When he put “Bounce” on the turntables, it felt like a hurricane had hit.

The ultra-elusive Jay Electronica owned the Liberty Stage at 5 in one of the day’s most captivating performances. He hopped into the front row to belt out “Exhibit C” which talks about his time living in North Philadelphia. Electronica, whom Jay-Z has been begging to put out a record for years, announced that his debut album would be coming out “real soon.” He told the crowd it would feature a single with Chris Brown.

Local food vendors, like Chickie’s & Pete’s, Tony Luke’s, Guapo’s and PJ Whelihan’s, peddled their goods out of tents and food trucks and the lines were out of control, worse than the ones for the bathrooms. (Cheesesteaks were selling for $10 a pop).

Of course, the smell of marijuana smoke was hard to ignore. The cops didn’t seem to mind, they just didn’t want people causing any trouble. One woman was escorted out, but it appeared she simply had too much to drink. For the most part the crowd was tame, by Philly standards, and legitimately into the music which blared non-stop for nine hours.

There were no reported incidents, even as a sea of drunk/drugged people filed out of the venue around 11:15. Impressive considering the shootings that happened in the same area less than two months ago, after the free Fourth of July concert.

The festival continues Sunday at 2 p.m.

More about ‘Made in America

Made in America: Success sparks calls for annual music festival

Jay-Z’s ‘Made in America’ concert nets one arrest

Made in America: Drake croons, Pearl Jam rocks the vote


Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.


Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…


Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…


Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…


Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.


Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."


Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…


3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.


NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.


Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.


Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…