Pearl Jam, the Seattle grunge survivors fronted by Eddie Vedder who closed down the Spectrum in South Philadelphia in 2009 with four sold-out shows, will headline the Made in America festival in Philadelphia on Sept. 1-2 along with Jay-Z.
Other notable acts added to the lineup on Monday, according to Live Nation, include Skrillex, the electronic producer and DJ (born Sonny Moore) who won three Grammy Awards this year and has become the face of dubstep, the throbbing, bass-heavy dance music; Maybach Music, the alliance of hip-hop heavyweight Rick Ross, Washington rapper Wale, and Philadelphia’s Meek Mill; the formerly reclusive, now resurgent soul man D’Angelo; Dutch DJ Afrojack; the acclaimed Brooklyn indie-rock band Dirty Projectors; genre-smashing avant-pop acts Janelle Monáe and Santigold (the Philadelphia-reared songwriter Santi White); controversial hip-hop collective Odd Future, and indie-electro band Passion Pit.
Last week, Jay-Z and Mayor Nutter announced that the two-day festival would be happening on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Labor Day, but did not say who would be performing at the Budweiser-sponsored fest, other than Jay-Z himself. Jay-Z will headline one of the two nights on the biggest of the ticketed event’s three stages.
The Los Angeles punk-rock legends X, British electro-soul man Calvin Harris, production duo The Knocks, and British singer-songwriter Rita Ora, who is signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, are also on the bill, along with rocktronic trio Savoy (performing a DJ set), Swedish pop band Miike Snow, and Bronx-born Latino pop star Prince Royce.
Jay-Z assured The Inquirer in an interview last week that Made in America would be wide-ranging and “very diverse” musically. “The lines that separate us, I don’t believe in that,” said the rapper born Shawn Carter. “That’s for people who need to easily define what they’re hearing. Me, I’m cool with everything and anything I’m hearing that’s music.”
Along with Jay-Z’s considerable star power and unassailable skills, Made in America mixes in one classic rock-friendly headliner in Pearl Jam with a significant dose of hip-hop, R&B and an especially impressive selection of electronic music, plus a smattering of indie-rock.
One prominent name rumored to be performing at Made in America that were not announced yesterday include Jay-Z’s wife, Beyoncé, who will make her return to the stage this week at Revel casino in Atlantic City, after giving birth in January to their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. Also not on the list, but the subject of much speculation, are smooth-operating Canadian rapper Drake and Philadelphia’s The Roots.
The latter, who host their own Roots Picnic festival on June 2 and 3 at the Festival Pier and will also play on the Parkway during the city’s Welcome America! Fourth of July celebration, are expected to play a role at the festival even if they don’t wind up on the official card. “I wouldn’t come to anyone’s city and not ring their bell,” Jay-Z said of the Roots last week.
It still hasn’t been officially announced who will close out the show on Saturday and Sunday, though Jay-Z told Rolling Stone last week that he was planning on playing the first of two nights.
Last week, Roots drummer and bandleader Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson blogged on OkayPlayer.com that “his Hovness will bring you a two day festival, with an artist roster big enough to rival Philly’s Live Aid from ’85.” So far, the formidable lineup for Made In America, which hopes to attract 50,000 people per day to the Parkway, does not appear to be quite on that scale. More acts will be announced in the coming weeks, however, and the the Made In America Facebook page refers to this list as just "Phase 1" of the acts that will play the fest.
Two-day Made in America passes go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster and LiveNation.com. Tickets for admission to both days show range from $99 to VIP packages that go as high as $655. There will be a presale on Facebook at 10 a.m. Tuesday.