Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday afternoon at Made in America: Gaslight Anthem, Robert DeLong and Solange

A stroll around the Made in America grounds on Sunday afternoon was a move through disparate musical genres.

Sunday afternoon at Made in America: Gaslight Anthem, Robert DeLong and Solange

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Solange performing at the Made in America Festival. (Colin Kerrigan / Philly.com)
Solange performing at the Made in America Festival. (Colin Kerrigan / Philly.com)

A stroll around the Made in America grounds on Sunday afternoon was a move through disparate musical genres.

Jersey was represented on the streets of Philadelphia with the Gaslight Anthem, the New Brunswick Springsteen-influenced rockers whose lead singer Brian Fallon delivered winningly earnest, straight-ahead rock on the Rocky Stage that was effective but somewhat out of place on a festival lineup dominated by hip-hop, electronic and slicker rock acts. (Though tell that to Diarrhea Planet, the unkempt Nashville sextet slated to go on at 4 on the Skatepark stage.)

Meanwhile, over on the dance-music Freedom stage, Robert DeLong was up to something newer. The Los Angeles based DJ-programmer-drummer is a one-man band who specializes in building up loops of sound and then adding live percussion to them in real time. A fairly common trick these days, but DeLong distinguishes himself with a flair for melody and a high-energy attack. He doesn't just bang on the single drum set up next to his electronic hookup, he also sits down on a full kit and wails away.

He sings, too, most effectively on "Global Concepts," in which he asked an overheated crowd -- cooling itself with promotional hand fans advertising either Budweiser or the new Arcade Fire album -- a series of existential questions that provdied keys to his mission in life:  "Did I make money, was I proud? Did I play my songs too loud? Did I leave my life to chance?  Or did I make you f---- dance?" The latter, he did. (He didn't do quite as well though, when he moved on from his own material to a thin cover of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You.")

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Gallery: Made in America 2013: Day 2 Photos
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As DeLong was wrapping up, Solange was getting going. Beyonce's more hipster-friendly little sister -- who also played an MIA after-party gig at the Theater of Living Arts on South Street for corporate sponsor Skype on Saturday night -- wore a retro print dress and a blown-out Afro. And with the assistance of aide de camp bass player Dev Hynes and three backup singers, she charmed the crowd with a trilling voice on her own "Losing You" and a cover of the Dirty Projectors' Zen anthem "Stillness Is The Move." 

Previously: Made in America day two gets underway with Fitz and the Tantrums Follow In The Mix on Twitter

 

MORE: PHILLY.COM'S MADE IN AMERICA FESTIVAL 2013 COVERAGE

Inquirer Music Critic
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