Music Midtown 2015 Recap

Photos and Review by Danielle Boise

Friday, September 18 kicked off the 5th invocation of Music Midtown in Midtown Atlanta at the luscious Piedmont Park. Since Music Midtown’s rebirth in 2011, after a lengthy reprieve, it had come back stronger and better each year, with varying lineups and additional stages for the 2-day fall festival to truly bloom into something special. And this year was no different, with a brilliant crossed section of music that had a little something for everyone with a great exposure to not only established acts, like Van Halen, Sir Elton John and Lenny Kravtiz to newcomers to the music scene, like Elle King, Vinyl Theatre and Alessia Cara. From the “Renegades” to “Bad Habits” to “American Woman” and “The Bitch is Back,” you couldn’t have come up with a more clever lineup, even Foy Vance did a cover of Fleetwood Mac to perfection.

 

Festival goers enjoying bathing in the sun to the sounds of Darryl Hall & John Oats

Festival goers enjoying bathing in the sun to the sounds of Darryl Hall & John Oats

 

Music Midtown was also an interactive experience, it had the Coor Light Lounge where a DJ would spin tunes while festival goers created their own vinyl art that they could take home. At the Jack Daniel’s booth you could take your chance with a wheel, circa The Price is Right style, and win prizes, including hats, lip balm and sunglasses. Around each corner there were giveaways vying for attention.

 

Coors Light Lounge #CLreFRESH

 

As always, the weekend was about the love and expression of music, while being surrounded by friends, and of course determining a plan of action. Figuring out which artist was playing at what time and stage. Devising a blueprint to the day, one that consisted of either being in constant motion by running to catch half of this band to the next or staking out the perfect location at the front of the stage, even if it meant spending the entire day in one spot, to have the chance to be as close as possible to your favorite artist. Regardless of the scheme, running or staying, it was a truly magical time; with the absolute perfect weather in the lower 80s, the aroma of delicious food from the food truck alley to drinks pouring all day long, and of course the memories shared with new and old friends alike. Music is what stitches us together in our lives into one moment to the next; it’s at the center of who we are and I for one cannot wait for next year’s Music Midtown for more memories, music and fun.

 

Getting lost in the moment.

Getting lost in the moment.

 

Top Five Personal Moments from Music Midtown 2015

Lenny Kravitz walking out on stage, he’s performance was utterly fluid and totally sexy and it’s Lenny Kravtiz – nothing else needs to be said.

All the deliciousness of Lenny Kravitz making an appearance on the Music Midtown stage, as Kravitz's last stop of his STRUT Tour.

All the deliciousness of Lenny Kravitz making an appearance on the Music Midtown stage, as Kravitz’s last stop of his STRUT Tour.

Elle King, attitude, sass and all the ‘Love Stuff,’ ‘nough said.

Loved Elle King's sass and a mouth like a sailor. What a perfect combo.

Loved Elle King’s sass and a mouth like a sailor. What a perfect combo.

Billy Idol, no one can sneer like the king of “Flesh For Fantasy.”

Nothing is better than Billy Idol's '80s rock'n'roll in all his glory.

Nothing is better than Billy Idol’s ’80s rock’n’roll in all his glory.

Emily Haines of Metric and all her hair blowing around.

Adored Metric's, Emily Haines hair's movement as it floated about - it was pure bliss.

Adored Metric’s, Emily Haines hair’s movement as it floated about – it was pure bliss.

Finally, David Lee Roth and all those tattoos with a cowboy hat, what a wonderful surprise.

Never in a million years would I have imagined Roth moving from his long hair days of the '80s to short hair, tatted up with a cowboy hat. What a delight.

Never in a million years would I have imagined Roth moving from his long hair days of the ’80s to short hair, tatted up with a cowboy hat. What a delight.

Friday Lineup Photos

Faces of Music Midtown

Vinyl Theatre

Kodaline

Tove Lo

Elliot Moss

Hozier

Jenny Lewis

Alice In Chains

Metric

Saturday Lineup Photos

Face of Music Midtown

Colony House

X Ambassadors

New Politics

Alessia Cara

Elle King

Rozzi Crane

 Billy Idol

Icona Pop

Panic! at the Disco

Lenny Kravtiz

Van Halen

CD Review: ‘The Rue’ by The Rue

Better B# - TAM Logo 2
 

In school I learned that to be taken more seriously you should always preface yourself by citing your bias. I don’t want to lead any of you astray, so I will say up front that I’ve been a huge fan of Chris DeGarmo’s work since Queensrÿche. His band Spys4Darwin with members of Alice In Chains; his collaboration with Dredg, which even led to several songs in the independent film Expiration Date; as well as his work with Matt Messina and the inspiring Amy Ogmundson have all held special places in my heart. So when I heard that he and his daughter, Rylie, were writing together, I was ecstatic! A live video of the duo surfaced several years ago and the songs were, quite simply, exciting. But that video came and went without any signal of things to come. To my surprise and pleasure, the pair emerged quite suddenly a few weeks ago with an EP. I invite you to join me as we talk about the self-titled release and its creators, The Rue.

The Rue EP is a mostly acoustic journey. Rylie’s vocals are comforting and cradled by the embrace of her father’s tasteful guitar playing. Each song is performed so intimately, you get the feeling her voice is right up to your ear. We’re swept away in a sea of romance, but maybe not the kind you usually hear about. Far from words about physical love, the majority of these tracks touch upon love and how we deal with it in our minds. The games we play, the distances we create, even when none truly exist, and the uneasiness that we bring to our relationships are all covered within. The conviction that shines through in Rylie’s voice carries the music up and away, giving you the feeling that she’s a truly old soul. And there is really no one that could hold this together finer than Chris, whose beautiful phrasing and unique chord voicings make him an indispensable part of this duo. We’re never treated to any guitar solos, though a swelling bridge sneaks into the slightly electrified “Sweet Love,” teasing our senses while allowing Rylie’s singing to capture us without competition.

This six-song EP has been a welcome friend to me these last few weeks. There is a soothing that it brings, with just a kick of sass, and more romanticism than I’ve heard in quite a while. Perhaps my favorite tune of the bunch is the closer, “Sap,” which is more storytelling than anything else found here. It presents an air of hope and human togetherness that struck a chord with me from the moment I had heard it. I know this is not the return to music for Chris DeGarmo that many are expecting, but I would urge you to open your ears and your mind and give it a listen. I believe you’ll enjoy yourself more than you could imagine. The Rue, and their EP, have offered a brief respite from daily life with music that will surely elicit childlike wonder within you if you’re prepared to lower your defenses. I, for one, have happily shed my calloused skin and am ready for more.

 

For more on The Rue, visit:
Official Website
Purchase The Rue EP:  From The Band
Purchase the “Love Song” music video: From The Band
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