Pearl Jam takes the stage amid no-streaming gripes

Posted: September 03, 2012

Welcome to The Philadelphia Inquirer's by-the-minute coverage of the Budweiser Made In America festival. Check back as we post updates here and at from a team of reporters covering the two-day music festival on The Benjamin Franklin Parkway that ends Sunday night, including: Inquirer Music Critic Dan DeLuca, and reporters Suzette Parmley, Melissa Dribben, Jan Hefler, Jonathan Lai, Jeremy Roebuck, Leah Kauffman and Esther Lee

9:34 p.m.

That sound you hear now from outside the fences at the Made In America festival are all those who didn't spring for a ticket and thought they would catch the action streamed live on the Internet.

Well tonight's feature act, Pearl Jam, is not being streamed live and many have taken to social media to gripe about it.

Organizers no doubt will have three words for them if/when there's a MIA II next year: Buy a ticket.

- Diane Mastrull

9:12 p.m.

Right on time, Pearl Jam takes the stage . . . and equally on cue, the rain begins to fall.

The band said heck no to live streaming. So if you're not in the rain watching, you're not seeing it.

- Diane Mastrull

8:09 p.m.

Oh the life of a city mayor.

Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca ran into Mayor Nutter, who was bolting from Made in America – to catch The Boss at Citizens Bank Park.

"It's been an amazing two days," the former Mixmaster Mike gushed. "Jay-Z, Budweiser and Live Nation deserve all the accolades . . . I think we've been treated to one of the greatest concerts America has seen in a long time."

So will there be a MIA II next year in Philly? Stay tuned, says the mayor.

- Dan DeLuca

7:24 p.m.

Matt Norwood, 30, and his brother, Dan, of Northern Liberties, were standing just outside the fence off Pennsylvania Avenue, near Spring Garden Street, and were pleased they could see a third of the screen by the Rocky stage and could hear the performers clearly.

"It's great," said Matt, who works with autistic students for the Philadelphia School District.

Of the concerns the concert was costing the city money, he had another two words: "It's nonsense."

And then he added a few more: "The stores and restaurants were jampacked after the concert last nite."

If there is a concert next year, Dan Norwood is planning to attend – on the inside of the fencing.

"Next year I'm going to buy a ticket," said the student at Eastern University in Radnor.

– Jan Hefler

6:52 p.m.

Again, disputing the city's sound-proofing assurance that only those within the fence at MIA would hear and see the acts, lots of people outside the gates could hear and see perfectly well, including Shayna Lowy, 23, who resides at 21st and Spring Garden Streets. "It's like opening my window and listening to Pandora," she said Sunday night. "People on stoops hearing concert."

Lowy said she thought the collection of bands "felt too random, so it didn't seem worth spending the money on a ticket There were only a few bands I liked."

But one band didn't have any problems attracting a crowd. About four hours before Pearl Jam was set to take the Rocky Stage at 9 p.m., many had already staked out territory in front of the stage to get the best view.

- Melissa Dribben

6:30 p.m.

Jay-Z and Beyonce, walking hand-in-hand, came breezing through the media section just now. Surrounded by a bevy of photographers and videographers. The buzz is Beyonce will perform tonight's finale.

- Jonathan Lai

5:10 p.m.

It's raining beer and Philly Love.

Olivia Lysomirski, 28, a legal secretary from Rutherford, N.J., is sitting cross-legged on a blanket reading a Jodi Picoult novel. "Killing time" until Pearl Jam comes on stage, she explains. Pearl Jam is set to hit the Rocky Stage at 9 p.m. for a two-hour set.

She and her boyfriend, who was off getting beers, watched Saturday's MIA concert live streaming on YouTube.

The couple drove down last night and stayed in a hotel. They are going to see "Bruce" on Labor Day at Citizens Bank Park, part of that first name fan connection thing. "I was expecting this to be more hectic and hyper," Lysomirski said, "but it's nice. Really mellow. Everyone is here for one reason and one reason only - the music."

- Melissa Dribben

5 p.m.

Jill Scott, a Grammy-winning American poet, actress, and singer-songwriter, took to the Rocky Stage around 4:30 p.m., and revived the crowd.

Scott opened with songs from her 2000 album, Who is Jill Scott?, which she told the crowd she recorded in Philadelphia.

Scott, 40, has other ties to the City of Brotherly Love. She was born on April 4, 1972, in North Philadelphia, where she was raised by her mom and grandmother. Scott began her career as a performance poet. She was discovered by Amir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots.

- Suzette Parmley

4:15 p.m.

At 4 p.m., the crowds began picking up as the rainfall disappeared. Many hoped for good.

Funny opener from Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, lead singer of the European garage rock band, The Hives. "That's right. We are made in Sweden, but with all American materials. Like Rock n Roll," he boasted to the audience.

Reporter Melissa Dribben wondered about Almqvista with this feed: "The lead singer for The Hives strangely has a southern accent."

She added it was definitely getting more crowded on Day Two of the mega-music festival and there is a line now to charge phones.

Earlier, Philly native Santigold referenced the festival's name, when she wondered mid-set: "What does Made in America mean anyway?"

- Jeremy Roebuck and Melissa Dribben

3:40 p.m.

Day Two of Budweiser Made in America got under way with Rita Ora ... who went over well with the the early, drizzled on crowd, particularly with her closing hit "Party and B------." It was easy to see what Jay-Z hears in her; as one approached the Liberty stage before gaining sight of her, the similarities to the timbre of her voice and Beyonce's were striking.

And speaking of Beyonce: the Queen Bee may not have performed as expected last night, but she is on site at the fest, and was spotted walking around with Jay-Z while Philadelphia's Santigold played on the Rocky stage and the gospel group, Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago – who are on their way to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. – brought the sounds of the church to sparse crowds at the Park stage. - Dan DeLuca

2:40 p.m.

There is a gospel group singing. No crowd at all. Raining harder now. I'm standing near a small stage left of the museum. (Ground) is soggy.

- Melissa Dribben

2:25 p.m.

But another reporter was seeing something else.

"I'm seeing umbrellas and ponchos. Not that great of a crowd, in terms of size and how into it they seem to be," said Jonathan Lai.

2:20 p.m.

Along the collection of tents dubbed "Cause Village," non-profits, ranging from the NAACP to charities promoting clean water access, urged concert goers to answer the question, "What's your cause?"

Large white tarpaulins provided the canvas for scribblings, ranging from the uplifting – "Peace + Equality = Love" – to the political to the downright depressing. "Sometimes I cry myself to sleep," a message left by one festival attendee read. But despite the mix of free-form forum, flowing alcohol and a younger crowd, a surprising lack of profanity marred the canvases Sunday afternoon.

"It's still early," said Cassandra Johns, 24, of Baltimore, as she studied the messages left by others. "Wait till people get a few drinks in them. By the end of last night, it went from all "hope and change" to "raunch and rage.'"

   - Jeremy Roebuck

2:05 p.m.

Raining lightly. People wearing plastic ponchos. Like they are covered and ready to pop in the microwave. The pounding bass and loud music just started but mostly you can hear "Bud Light! Ice cold beeerrrrr!" from those in neon yellow t-shirts.

   - Melissa Dribben

2 p.m.

Stronger rain is falling at Made in America as Rita Ora performs on Liberty Stage.

The 21-year old British songwriter/singer and actress has scored three No. 1 singles in the UK. No coincidence she is performing here Sunday. Ora is signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label. She made her chart debut in February on DJ Fresh's "Hot Right Now". Her chart topping, "RIP" with Tinie Tempah was No. 1 in May in the UK, and she also topped the chart with "How We Do (Party)". In a recent interveiw, Ora recalled how Jay-Z made her fly economy class to meet him for the first time.

"PHILADELPHIA, HOW YOU DOIIIIINNNGGGG??" Ora shouted to the MIA crowd at 2 p.m.

   - Suzette Parmley and Jonathan Lai

12:15 p.m.

Day Two of Budweiser Made In America is just getting under way. There were about 100 poeple milling outside the venue at 11:30 a.m. By noon, the doors opened on time. The venue is litter-free, as trash from Saturday has all been picked up.

Everyone got through security the first five minutes, quicker than Saturday, which had a much bigger and more boisterous crowd around this time. There are three rows of security for pat downs. The grounds are definitely wet from this morning's drizzle.

According to a security supervisor, small hand-held umbrellas that extend or pop open are the only kind allowed in. Any others that may cause cause harm to concert goers are not allowed. At least two people have thrown out their umbrellas since they were not allowed in with them.

The weather could play a factor in the logistics of Made in America, as well as traffic flow in and out of the city. Also, The Boss – Bruce Springsteen - plays the first of two shows tonight at Citizens Bank Park. So combined, there could be close to 80,000 in the city thoughout the day. Throw in rain, it could make for a dicey commute in and out of the city. Plan accordingly if you are going to either.

The first act of Sunday's Made In America is Rita Ora, who takes the stage at 2 p.m.

   - Jonathan Lai and Suzette Parmley

11:15 a.m.

Jonathan Lai is reporting a light drizzle. Small umbrellas will be allowed in. Security guards are beginning to pass out clear white ponchos for themselves.

11 a.m.

In addition to Pearl Jam, today's acts include Rita Ora, Drake,The Hives, Santigold, Burns, Jill Scott, Run DMC, Odd Future, X, Afrojack, Alesso, DJ Shadow, Betatraxx and The Knocks. Drake tweeted a funny tweet last night that sort of spotlights this question of "What does 'Made In America' mean?" Because several artists are not American, but there's been some Budweiser rhetoric (e.g. of The Hives, "Born in Sweden, Made In America.") Hip hop sensation and Toronto-based Drake tweeted, "Philly ...Come see this kid from Canada at this thing called Made in America."

   - Suzette Parmley and Jonathan Lai

5 a.m.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to converge on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for day two of the giant music festival.

How did day one go?

Jovida Hill, who lives on 20th Street within hearing distance of the concert, was impressed.

"I was struck by the diversity of the concert goers, which I haven't seen much of since my youth in the '70s, when rock and rhythm and blues converged," Hill said. "Kudos to the festival's curators."

Neighbors noticed a lot of out-of-town license plates. And some thought the hovering helicopters were more annoying than the thumping bass of the concert.

Concert promoter Steve Stoute said on Saturday that he knew that the big draw of Made in America would be the headliners, but he was excited that the Parkway crowd would be exposed to all kinds of music.

"What's great is coming to see Pearl Jam and learning about an Afrojack or a Rick Ross in the process," he says. "It's about cultural sharing at this type of event. That's what it's all about - bringing people together and learning from each other."

Gates open at noon, and the music begins at 2 p.m. It's set to wrap up at 11 p.m. with Pearl Jam. Also in the lineup: Afrojack, Run DMC and Philly girl Jill Scott.

   – Kristen Graham

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