Made In America: Diary Entry, Part 2

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Nice Move

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Don’t worry, guys. I made it to Day 2 alive.

4:12 p.m. – Just in time to catch Cypress Hill on stage, with B-Real smoking a MASSIVE spliff. He was getting everyone to chant “legalize it” at one point, but I’m pretty sure he just wanted to get high. He doesn’t strike me as the activist type. Either way, the guys put on a hell of a show. I was pretty surprised how much energy these dudes put into a set after a quarter-century of performing. They’ve got stage presence for days, and there was a bongo solo, so that was cool.

4:53 p.m. – Who is Nipsey Hussle, and how is he this high in the pecking order? I just waited 10 minutes for my Wikipedia search of him to load (there’s no fucking service in this place) only to find out that his debut album hasn’t even dropped yet. I’m not trying to watch a dude who only has mix tapes, and whose most notable performance was being the fifth-deep feature on the West Coast remix of “Ice Cream Paint Job.” I’m gonna go sit in the shade.

5:21 p.m. – Ah, Weezer. So this is where all the old people are. Taking a look at some of the people around me, I’m kind of surprised they’re even here. I mean, Weezer has longer solo concerts, and I can’t imagine these people like anyone else in the festival lineup. Yes, I’m judging people based on appearances. That’s what you do at a festival. Oh yeah, John Mayer’s playing–they’ll stick around for him for sure.

6:31 p.m. – Juanes is singing in Spanish. That’s fun.

6:40 p.m. – Is he doing his whole set in Spanish? My six years of combined Spanish are not paying off in the least.

6:51 p.m. – Yes, he is. Well, at least half of this crowd understands his lyrics.

7:25 p.m. – I do enjoy Rise Against, but I think I need to go get a spot for John Mayer.

7:31 p.m. – Apparently everyone else had the same idea.

8:10 p.m. – Mayer was supposed to go on by now. The plebs are getting restless.

8:18 p.m. – Everyone’s getting cranky. There has been speculation that Mayer is delaying due to nefarious backstage activities. Unclear whether that’s why or if it’s just because Rise Against is going long.

8:22 p.m. – There he is. What the fuck is he wearing? High-waisted pants, suspenders, and horn-rimmed glasses. At least he finally ditched that sombrero and poncho look that he seemed to wear to everything for, like, a year. Actually, these pants are kind of growing on me. Makes me wonder if the whole 1940s high-waist thing is coming back in style, between Mayer and Joaquin Phoenix in “Her.” Spike Jonze seems like a guy who’d know what’s next.

8:40 p.m. – Apparently, this is the first time John’s played since the whole vocal thing, so that’s pretty special. He’s back in the groove for sure, though. Guitar playing is on point.

8:52 p.m. – He just rocked a self-aggrandizing solo with his guitar on the floor of the stage. Can’t be mad about that–shit was prime.

8:56 p.m. – He just made fun of himself for the floor solo. Smart move.

8:57 p.m. – “I honestly need your love. You better believe I’m gonna check Twitter when I get home. And you’ll be like, ‘I heard he said some questionable things, but you know what? He seems like a pretty cool guy. He had it together–I really think he’s changed.’ ” I’m paraphrasing, but John Mayer, ladies and gentlemen.

9:20 p.m. – You know, I always had a dim view of modern DJs, but between Afrojack and Steve Aoki this weekend, I think I’m shifting on this. I like that good ol’ Steve has live performers going along with his knob twisting. He really swears a lot, though. I mean, I’m a “fuck” connoisseur, but his level of vulgarity is a little off-putting.

9:53 – Steve just brought the mayor of L.A. up on stage while swearing up a storm. I take back my critique of his F-bombs.

10:04 p.m. – He just threw multiple cakes into the crowd, and now there’s a food fight breaking out as he douses everyone with two industrial smoke sprayers. He might not play the guitar, but this Aoki kid is a showman.

Midnight – This is what you need to know about Kanye’s performance: new song, new song, old song, rant. New song, new song, old song, longer rant. Lather, rinse, repeat. Weird mask, wardrobe changes, thermal imaging cameras, teasing a Jay-Z appearance, no Jay-Z appearance, curtain. That’s about it.

Pretty solid festival overall. More plentiful alcohol dispensaries, porta-potties, food establishments, and shade would’ve been nice, but it wasn’t too bad for a slapdash deal thrown together in mere months. Plus, the whole “partying downtown and getting high right in front of the cops” aspect was appealing to…well, just about everyone.

Here’s the recap from Day 1 if you missed it.

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Sterling Cooper is a contributing writer for Total Frat Move and Post Grad Problems. He has never understood why people like sand, and has been in a bitter ten year rivalry with Muggsy Bogues, for reasons neither of them choose to reveal.

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