Made in America 2013 moved into the home stretch with a trio of back to back to back hot shot acts as a sweltering Sunday gave way to early evening twilight.
Miguel, dressed in white from head to toe, played before a huge crowd on the Liberty stage with a set that synthesized the R & B and rock elements prevalent in so many disparate act in the festival. The mixed-race Southern Californian displayed an agile, yearning falsetto on "Adore" from last year's sterling Kaleidoscope Dream, and his band was equally adept and putting crunchy power chords and sinewy funk grooves to use.
He was followed by Wiz Khalifa, the wiry Pittsburgh rapper who is in competition with Willie Nelson as the pop culture figure most clearly identified with marijuana. He was introduced to lusty applause as "stoner of the year." His set was built on burly bass heavy riffs, offset by his easy going manner and light touch on the mic as it built to his signature hit, "Black and Yellow."
Next up, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Seattle rappers who have brilliantly captured two aspects of the 2013 zeitgeist with their gay rights anthem "Same Love" and anti-bling "Thrift Shop" a celebration of not letting empty pockets keep anyone from creating their own fashion identity.
For this gig, Macklemore's ws typically canny: the rapper came on stage wearing a John Kruk Philllies throwback jersey, and explained that he wsn't kidding when he aid that Philadelphia ws one of his favorite cities. "It's the passion, it's the architecture," he said. "But let's not kid outselves: It's really the cheese steaks," redeeming that predictable quip with shout out to South Street eatery Ishkabibble's.
More than any other act of the day so far, the Seattle duo, augmented by a trouple of sngers, musicians and dancers, owned the inter-racial crowd throughout their exuberant set, and their was a serious crush of people moving over from Wiz to see their set on the Liberty stage, which ws not really big enugh to hold them.