Made In America kicks off with killer beats, big crowds and top names
In the Historic Core of Los Angeles, life hums along quietly.
However, Saturday night was different. The echoes of youth cascaded over the newly renovated Grand Park. Bass lines that could have been mistaken for small earthquakes shook the local architecture. The Made In America Fest had taken over.
The product of Sean "Jay-Z" Carter and Budweiser, the two day, two festival kicked off Saturday and features 40 artists and is the first paid admission event in Grand Park.
With all due respect to the closing act Imagine Dragons, who in the final tour stop for their Night Visions album were excellent in their own right, the highlight of the night was Kendrick Lamar.
Preceded by Schoolboy Q, his set, which was based off of his 2012 album Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, progressed like a rock concert which happened to feature one of the best rappers in hip hop. His intimate interaction gave a worn out audience a second wind and set the stage for an electric set by Afrojack. Hopes for a reunion between Lamar and Imagine Dragons on the latter's closing song "Radioactive," were dashed as Lamar, who was born and raised in Compton, did not reappear at the end of the night
Though Hits since ’87 were given the opening duties, ZZ Ward got the party going.
The electric blues songstress took the Marylin stage under the shadow of Los Angeles City hall and played it like a club. Ward made an already sweaty crowd even sweatier with a four-song set including "Blue Eyes Blind" that compelled an energized crowd to dance.
Her presence was an anomaly compared to the rest of the set, which relied heavily on Alt-Rock acts and brought out Hip Hop’s biggest stars.
Crowds flocked to the Dylan stage when DJ Mustard took over the ones and two and the crowd grew to a certifiable mass of humanity when Mustard brought out YG
YG's set was surprisingly crisp and clear given the Compton rapper's gutteral style and his rendition of "Who Do You Love" had the crowd, to borrow from YG, "turnt up."
From there, the crowd moved as a herd between the Dylan and Marylin stage witnessing Iggy Azelea remind the world that she's "Fancy," Capital Cities telling the crowd that they would be "Safe and Sound," and Sublime With Rome recounting the tale of "Santeria."
For those who wanted their fill of Electronic Dance Music, the Dean Stage offered DJs including Will Sparks, DVBBS and Gareth Emery, throughout the evening.
This is the first time that the festival has been held in Los Angeles and it appears that organizers may need to make some adjustments if they seek to hold it again. Lines for multiple food trucks reached across First Street and by the end of the night, one festival-goer described the restrooms as, "a trash can." This as Los Angeles Police Department reported that approximately 34,000 people attended Saturday night, well below the alloted 50,000 people.
However, the less than optimal conditions did not put a damper on USC student Miles Smith's experience. "I'm in the heart of Los Angeles, this doesn't happens. I can't stop smiling," Smith said.