Music superstars from all around the country (and beyond) descended upon Philadelphia to light up the Budweiser Made In America festival on Labor Day weekend. But a few notable Philly artists gave the celebration a touch of hometown pride.
On the Saturday, the first day of the festival, Philadelphia native Meek Mill left an impression during Rick Ross’ Maybach Music set. But on day two (Sept. 2), the ladies of Philly– Jill Scott, Santigold and Eve–raised their voices in celebration (Janelle Monae, also with ties to Philadelphia, performed on day one).
“You know this is my hometown,” Santigold said during her set. “You know this is a really special event.”
Santigold showed out with a lively, if quirky, set that included a dance routine with two people in a horse costume. She lit up the stage with a lime green dress (her band wore knee-hi neon socks). At one point in the show, she invited audience members to come up on stage to strut their stuff.
“You with the green hat, and the dreads, and with the pink hair,” she began to call out the audience, ensuring a colorful experience. A throng of misfit dancers pranced around the stage, including the guy with the striped green hat, who danced along to “Creator,” a single from her 2007 album Santogold. The stunt lifted the energy level of the show that was already bursting with color.
“It was the hat, that’s why she chose me,” the guy with the green hat, Brian Pauling, later told CBS Local. While Brian came to the festival to see Odd Future, he was caught up in the magic of Santigold. “I don’t know her that well, but the energy got me pumped up.”
While Santigold’s set was deliciously eccentric, Jill Scott was elegant and playful. Her live vocal performance was pitch perfect and sharp as any recording. She eased into her hits, stretching “Gettin’ In The Way” from a slow sweet groove to an upbeat party starter.She didn’t invite the audience up on stage, instead she called on Philly rapper Eve for a rousing performance of “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” from Eve’s 2001 Scorpion album. Jill sang the chorus, which was originally voiced by Gwen Stefani.
It was a moment of Sisterly love in the city known for brotherly love.
“I was made in a back room,” Jill said of her Made In America connection. “I was made in North Philly…I was made in Girls High School, I was made right here on these streets.”
Thanks to a few of her fellow “Made In America” performers, Jill enjoyed the company of others who were also proud to be made in Philadelphia. —Erik Parker, CBS Local