Yeezus closes Made In America with pomp and style
Shirts foretold the coming of Yeezus and basketball jerseys proudly bared the name and number of an unheralded player, "Bound 2."
Once the man they had come to see stepped on stage, the audience never knew what hit them as Kanye West closed out the first Made In America music festival Sunday night.
With Los Angeles City Hall as his backdrop, West tore through a condensed version of his Yeezus tour set list, including a version of "New Slaves" that appeared to have an added element of angst on top of his already high strung performance.
The audience never saw West's face as his entire set was backlit and he switched between multiple masks through the night.
Many people had problems viewing the performance as sight lines were blocked by multiple camera towers and trees. Some in the audience chose to climb trees and even signs that rose above the crowded pit.
Those bracing themselves for one of West's signature rants were satiated as he gave an abbreviated rant that was seamlessly blended into "Runaway" saying, "I don't want to go over my time limit out of respect for my big brother Jay."
Hopes for an appearance by festival organizer Sean "Jay-Z" Carter rose as he was spotted walking towards the backstage during a lull between then end of a tender "Bound 2" and the closing redux of "Blood on the Leaves."
Co-headliner John Mayer's set drew from all eras of his 14 year catalog, including a smoky rendition of "Who Says" off 2009's Battle Studies, a soulful version of "Gravity" off of 2006's Continuum and an unexpected cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."
However, due to multiple delays earlier in the day, the set had run over its allotted time and Mayer's final song, "Dear Marie," off of his recent album Paradise Valley, clashed with the opening of Steve Aoki's set. This was the first time the Dylan and Marylin stages had competing artists during the entire weekend.
The Electronic Dance Music superstar brought out rapper Machine Gun Kelley to perform "Free the Madness" and closed his time with his remix of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness."
Before the close of his set, Aoki brought out Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti who fast tracked the festival's use of Grand Park.
Aoki implored the audience to "Give some fuckin' love to Eric Garcetii."
The under-bill for the second day featured an greater diversity of artists than day one.
Rita Ora made her solo live performance debut on the Marylin stage. The London born Jay-Z protege held the stage like a seasoned veteran performing "I Will Never Let You Down," off of her upcoming album, and a solo repeat of "Black Widow"which she performed with day one standout Iggy Azalea.
On the Electronic Dance Music only Dean stage, Dutch DJ trio Yellow Claw turned what had previously been a festive yet benign rave and turned it into a mosh pit that would have made Slayer or Flogging Molly proud.
On the Marylin stage, Juanes' Spanish only throwdown drew the largest crowd of the under-bill and, aside from Aoki, had the most people dancing in the crowd.
Alt rock band Scavenger Hunt opened the day in impressive fashion with "Lost" and "Boys Like You and Girls Like Me" which coaxed a brave few to dance in the mid afternoon sun.
Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper reminded that it was "his show" and spoke with the audience as much as he rapped. Buoyed by the audience, Chance ran 15 minuets over his allotted time.
Rock fans got the chance to see Weezer and Rise Against and Nipsey Hussle performed despite being arrested for allegedly "interfering with an investigation" according to the Los Angeles Police Department Saturday night.
"Los Angeles is known for it's diversity but living here, you don't see it that often. At least until something like this happens," USC student and Portland, Maine native Miles Smith said.
The problems from day one persisted as the biergardens, which had presenting sponsor Budweiser's logo splashed across every possible surface, ran out of beer before John Mayer went on stage and some refreshment stands ran out of soda and sparkling water before West's performance.
However, the problems did not kill the energy of the crowd for West.
"I want all y'all [sic] to tell your kids and your grandkids about tonight. Tell them you saw Yeezus. Tell them you saw Kanye mother fucking West," West said.