Concert rocks American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS – On Saturday, numerous artists took the stage in downtown Indianapolis.

The “I Made Rock and Roll” festival, which celebrated the role black artists have played in the creation of American rock music, drew thousands of fans to the American Legion Mall.

“To be completely honest, I don’t think everyone has a full understanding of the impact that African Americans or black people contributed to what rock and roll is right now,” Kwesi Rogers said.

In a month of May that saw the debut of the Fever’s Catlin Clark, a Pacers run in the NBA playoffs and cars running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, downtown shook with sounds that carried popular music to its roots and looked toward its future.

Gary Clark Jr. blew the roof off the outdoor concert venue with his Texas brand of blues-infused rock. Clark Jr. was caught in the middle of a lineup that included local artists, DJs and headliner Janelle Monae.

“We’ve gone to all the front-of-the-yard vendors,” Kennedi Burroughs said. “And we also went to check out the food. We looked at the rock box that has videos of a group of black artists playing, so we’ve been everywhere so far.”

Promoters GANGGANG and Forty5 expected 4,000 attendees for the opening concert. Depending on the financial viability of the first year, promoters will be better able to determine whether such a show should become an annual event in downtown Indianapolis.