[/caption]Nine Inch Nails headlined the second night of Made In America, filling the “rock legend” slot occupied by Pearl Jam at last year’s festival. As with Pearl Jam, many fans showed up mainly to see the headliner, and others left before their set. Like Public Enemy, who played the Rocky stage the prior day, NIN do not fit into the #YOLO vibe, which means that a good amount of the audience don’t know what to do with their music. Are girls expected to grind? Should guys twirl their t-shirts over their heads? There’s no question that it’s a much different era from the one when Trent Reznor and crew leveled the stage at Woodstock ’94 and had their zeitgeist moment.
He may be a member of a band called Eagles Of Death Metal, but that doesn’t mean that Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme isn’t a nice guy. Early in the set he announced, “Philly, it’s goddamn good to see ya! Let’s keep sweating together!” And while the hot day was beginning to cool down (temperatures passed the 90s for much of the afternoon) the Queens worked the crowd and themselves into a healthy sweat. Opening with “My God Is The Sun” from their current album …Like Clockwork (which recently topped the Billboard Album Chart), they played material from their entire career, and the dedicated audience members knew every song. As with Nine Inch Nails, they didn’t really fit in with the party vibe of the festival, but still went over well with those who hadn’t left to grab a good spot for Calvin Harris. Homme observed, “There’s lots of rules here! We know how to have fun and respect each other. Let’s put those rules in our back pocket and get s***-faced!” Sadly, he soon saw why some rules are necessary, when some unruly fans caused him to call them out from the stage during “Make It Wit Chu,” yelling, “Where do you think you are? Your parents’ house?” The Queens’ blend of black-light ’70s metal and ’80s hardcore punk was a throwback (kind of like NIN) to the Lollapalooza tours of the ’90s, but also provided a guitar-filled contrast to the hip-hop, EDM, R&B and pop music of the day. – B.I.
ARTIST TO WATCH: ALUNAGEORGE There’s been a lot of buzz around AlunaGeorge, but their festival performance showed she’s not quite ready for the festival circuit yet. The jams are tight: it is almost impossible to stop yourself from dancing to them and the music is on point. But vocalist Aluna Francis wasn’t quite able to let go of the charisma she’s clearly holding in and get the crowd into the palm of her hand. But the duo’s potential is clear. – C.E.S.