CALVIN HARRIS TURNS IT OUT
Nine Inch Nails was the headliner, but it was Calvin Harris that much of the audience was waiting to see: putting him on the smaller Liberty stage served to give his set even more of a vibe of an extremely sold out concert, and one that everyone felt happy to be at. Starting his set with “Sweet Nothing,” his collaboration with Florence Welch, he had the audience in the palm of his hand for an hour, and judging by the crowd reaction, they would happily have bounced through another hour or two. Whether playing his own hits (his Rihanna collab “We Found Love,” “Drinking From The Bottle” with Tinie Tempeh) or other people’s music (Showtek’s “Booyah” made people lose their minds, as did Knife Party’s “Lrad”), the energy level never lagged during the show (as opposed to Deadmau5’s set on the same stage the prior evening). And he also had his genuine rock star moment, closing with his own hit “Feel So Close,” which the audience sang back to him, as he beamed from behind his DJ gear. – B.I.
MIGUEL SEDUCES LITERALLY EVERYONE
If you leave a Miguel performance feeling anything less than great, it’s probably your fault. For his turn at the stage in Philly, he came out in all white — a smart choice as he had the second stage at the exact moment the sun was blazing straight onto it. Within a few short songs, he was lifting his shirt to taunt the crowd with glimpses of his abs while singing “Use Me.”
His entire set was, as is expected, completely sexy but his live band makes it feel like a rock show. Like Prince, who has clearly influenced his performance style, you don’t get skeeved out because you’re being rocked as you’re being turned on. Teasing is a huge tool in his arsenal and it came out with a double head on “How Many Drinks?” The track started with a sample of “Swimming Pool (Drank)” by Kendrick Lamar, who had performed on the opposite stage just before him. Lamar didn’t make an appearance, but by the end of the song Miguel was asking the audience how many drinks — and when they agreed it would take none, he told them: “Prove it.”
He closed his set with “Beautiful,” which he’s worked into a serviceable solo song with all traces of Mariah Carey removed but it still sticks out in his catalog as the cotton candy flavored martini next to a bottle of whiskey. – Courtney E. Smith