Kanye, Juanes enliven LA’s Made in America fest
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new outdoor music festival in downtown Los Angeles reflected the city’s diversity with a lineup that included rap, rock, punk, blues and Latin music. Kanye West, Cypress Hill, Weezer, Rise Against, John Mayer and Juanes were among Sunday’s performers.
“This whole place is full of good, loving people,” Mayer told the crowd from the Budweiser Made in America festival’s main stage.
The two-day concert, held simultaneously with a sister show in Philadelphia, featured more than 30 acts. Iggy Azalea, Metric, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons took the stage Saturday in Los Angeles. The Philadelphia festival included performers such as Kings of Leon, Tiesto and Pharrell Williams. West and DJ Steve Aoki performed in both cities.
More than 37,000 people attended the Los Angeles festival’s second day in downtown’s Grand Park — the first time the two-year-old park has been used for a large, ticketed event. Authorities made 59 arrests Sunday — including four for narcotics-related felonies — and cited 67 others for alcohol-related offenses, Los Angeles Police spokesman Lt. Andy Neiman said. Nearly 50 people were treated for alcohol-related problems and released, and three others were taken to a hospital for treatment, he added.
But the music, food and festive atmosphere were the stars at LA’s inaugural Made in America festival. Here’s a look:
MUSIC: Kanye brought the house down with a dramatic hour-long set to close out the concert. He commanded the stage alone, donning two different spangled face masks and injecting a bit of his trademark ranting into his abbreviated performance. “I know there’s more people that love me than hate me,” he insisted. Mayer brought the day’s folksy blues, playing several of his hits, along with a cover of “All Along the Watchtower.” Juanes did almost his entire set in Spanish, inspiring Latin dance moves throughout the audience. Weezer delivered their feel-good rock, along with news of a new album in October and a preview of its first single. Rise Against brought slam-dancing punk. Los Angeles natives Cypress Hill played their 20-year-old tunes to an enthusiastically receptive crowd. Singer B-Real smoked an enormous joint onstage before urging California voters to “legalize it.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti, who championed the Made in America event and fast-tracked it through city approvals, appeared onstage during Aoki’s misplaced set Sunday night. The mayor said nothing, while Aoki repeatedly implored the crowd to “make some noise.”
In a statement Monday the mayor praised organizers and city departments for making sure the event “went off in an orderly and safe manner.”
“We showed LA can do big things for our economy and people’s enjoyment,” Garcetti said.
Saturday’s highlights included a sexy performance by Iggy Azalea that featured rump-shaking dancers and a surprise appearance by Rita Ora; a hit-packed set by Sublime with Rome, whose singer sounds eerily similar to Sublime’s late former frontman Bradley Nowell; and a rousing performance by LA’s own Kendrick Lamar.
FOOD: Gourmet food trucks were stationed on the streets that span and surround Grand Park. Hungry concertgoers could choose from Thai, Argentinian, Greek, Japanese, Korean and American grub. There were also ice cream cookie sandwiches, churros and shave ice. Unfortunately, lines stretched more than 20 diners long at most trucks. Budweiser brews were available at various beer gardens onsite for $14 a cup. No liquor was sold, but plenty of empty airplane-sized booze bottles dotted the festival grounds. Also, there weren’t enough trash cans.
ATMOSPHERE: Los Angeles City Hall provided a stately backdrop for the concert’s main stage, the building’s columns perfectly framing the performance space. A second stage stood just adjacent, and acts alternated between the two. There was a smaller, third stage on a different tier of the multi-level park, plus a skate-park area that featured stunt skateboarders and a dance DJ. Though crowds pooled around the food trucks and stages, Grand Park offered enough space for attendees — but not enough shade. Concertgoers crammed under scant trees and tarps during the sunniest afternoon hours. The audience was notably more diverse than those seen at the Coachella or Stagecoach festivals, but the vibe was just as unified and festive. The event’s “Made in America” name even inspired sartorial patriotism in some concertgoers, who wore red, white and blue.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .