For those of you who were too drunk or terrified to remember, or were out of town and reading this from a remote location, safe with frozen drink, here is a short list of things that happened in Philadelphia last night:
· It was hot; Holy Mother of God was it hot.
· Mayor Nutter made sure that he said “Wawa” like 500 times, and “Made In America” like 250 more, putting the Dude once and for all in a very Philly position indeed: These days, even the Mayor is a show promoter. The combined effect of such speech-bombing has now created a Pavlovian effect that makes us think “HOAGIE” every time we hear “Wawa,” and “MUST MAKE PLANS TO GET OUT OF TOWN LABOR DAY WEEKEND” every time we hear “Made In America.”
· Joe Jonas definitely sang to a backing track.
· Queen Latifah went smooth jazz, assisted, as all of the headliners were, by The Roots. We cannot lie: We worry about The Roots these days. They held it down last night for sure, but they’re overexposed, overworked and sometimes if you close your eyes you can almost mistake them for a very, very expensive wedding band. Somebody give these guys the keys to a shore house.
· Common should have been the vibe sherpa for the whole evening, but sadly, was not; it wasn’t your fault, Common, and please don’t hold it against us. For a few hours last night, it felt like the entire city was on the verge of melting down.
· Because of course, somewhere in all of this, various and sundry shootings broke out, which created a melee both on the streets and on Twitter. When all was said and done, three teens were shot, two by fellow teens, one by a police officer.
· Daryl Hall seemed oddly disengaged, recycling a lot of lead-ins to things that we’ve seen him do before. Sweet Fancy Moses, it was fucking hot. They really should have moved this whole thing to Union Transfer. Rick Williams of Action News did the robot on live TV.
· OH! Also, while all of this was going down, a few hundred Occupy-ers, after projecting a big 99% thingy on Indepedence Hall, were trying to march to the Parkway and got held off around 15th for an hour or two. Ultimately, cops told them they were allowed to go join the fireworks crowd, but only if they weren’t carrying signs. This city, man. Hilarious. (P.S./FYI: Seems like a lot of Occupy Nat Gat-ers have set camp at Franklin Square, so, you know, it’s probably a bad time to get a Squareburger. Just saying.)
· Then, like we told you would happen, Lauryn Hill played a surprise set where everything was sped up from 33rpm to 45 rpm; not once during her set did she stop gesturing for more vocals in the monitors. It was so so Winehouse. But also, her version of “Could You Be Loved” got us right where we lived.
· Finally, there were fireworks. With a soundtrack curated by ?uestlove that for some reason included that “well I’m proud to be an American/because at least I know I’m free,” it all dovetailed into a pretty interesting meta-media moment, wherein Action News, who’s made hay on the blood of poor teens shooting each other since before you were born, totally buried the Parkway shooting stories way at the back of the broadcast. It’s what Wawa would have wanted. HOAGIE.