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Photos & Review: Music Midtown 2018

Review by Jenna Hughes, Photos by Danielle Boise

Imagine Dragons, Post Malone, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Kendrick Lamar, and more made up arguably the most diverse lineup Music Midtown has ever seen on September 15th and 16th in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. The weekend vibe was relaxed and friendly, with a common love for music and dancing at its core.

The festival, which originally began way back in 1994, has grown and changed over the years (including a hiatus between 2005-2011), but it has never failed to attract thousands of music lovers to Atlanta. This year, many of the artists and bands were very young, in turn drawing a much younger crowd to the park, breathing new life into the 20+ year old festival, and introducing a brand new generation of Music Midtown.

SATURDAY

The weather was beautiful, albeit a bit hot for mid-September, as thousands made their way to the park to catch early acts such as Lovelytheband, First Aid Kit, and The Aces. I caught the 5:45 set of up and coming band Rainbow Kitten Surprise on the Salesforce stage, where devoted fans cheered the band like a headliner, and with good reason. The eclectic band, with a name sure to stick with people, played songs from the newest album How to: Friend, Love, Freefall, such as “Fever Pitch,” along with some older songs including “Cold Love” and “Seven.

As the sun set over the Midtown skyline, Thirty Seconds to Mars, now comprised of Jared Leto and his brother Shannon, took the Salesforce stage. Leto encouraged the crowd to dance, asking for the “Best and worst dancers here” to join the band on stage. The set included plenty of songs from new album America, such as “Dangerous Night,” current single “Rescue Me,” and “Walk on Water,” along with staples “Kings and Queens,” and “This Is War.” Leto, dressed in his signature robe and waving an American flag (in keeping with the album theme), was as charismatic as ever as he kept the entire crowd engaged, even those sitting on the hill in the back.

Over at the Cotton Club stage, AWOLNATION’s front man Aaron Bruno repeatedly asked for “The best dancer here” to join him on stage as well. The set, which featured the hits “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” and “Not Your Fault,” kept the crowd dancing and jumping to the beat along with Bruno, who never seemed to lose even an ounce of energy. New album Here Come the Runts was represented by “Seven Sticks of Dynamite” and “Passion.” The massive hit “Sail” brought fans even closer to the stage, with everyone singing along and waving their hands back and forth.

Post Malone and emo/punk icons Fall Out Boy also headlined the Salesforce and Roxy stages, respectively, while Portugal the Man took care of the Great Southeast Music Hall stage.

 

SUNDAY

Even though the day was cloudy and occasionally rainy, the music definitely made up for it.

On the Roxy Stage, K-Flay wowed fans with songs from her second full length album Every Where Is Some Where, including “Make Me Fade” and “Can’t Sleep.” Robert DeLong, who played an earlier set, joined her on stage for the incredible radio smash “Favorite Color Is Blue.” A cover of the Harvey Danger song “Flagpole Sitta” had the crowd loving it, and of course K-Flay performed her most well known song, “Blood in the Cut.”

Butch Walker returned to Music Midtown this year after many years away, but plenty of festival goers made it over to the Roxy Stage to see the veteran perform, and they were not disappointed. Walker commanded the stage through songs such as “Freak of the Week,” (a ’90s anthem originally performed by Walker’s band Marvelous 3), “Bed on Fire,” “Ponce De Leon Ave,” and an awesome cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”

Another Music Midtown veteran, Imagine Dragons took the Roxy Stage and launched into the smash songs “Radioactive” and “It’s Time.” Front man Dan Reynolds had the crowd screaming along to every word of “Whatever It Takes,” and current single “Natural.” Imagine Dragons are always fun to watch on stage, from the passionate, crowd engaging personality of Reynolds to the amazing percussion that made them a household name, and this performance was no different. A cover of Blur’s “Song 2” had fans jumping up and down, and K-Flay joined the band on stage for the hit song “Thunder.”

Full Photo Coverage of Music Midtown 2018

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

Sights and Sounds of Music Midtown 2014

Concert goers waiting to see Aer

Concert goers waiting to see Aer

 

John Mayer

John Mayer

 

Music Midtown gets bigger and better every year since its return in 2011. This year was no different, as the festival included three stages – Electric Ballroom, AT&T Live and Honda Stages, which encompassed the landscape of Piedmont Park in the heart of Midtown Atlanta on Friday, Sept. 19 through Saturday, Sept. 20. With 24 live performances in a wide arena of genres providing a broad cross-section of musical delights, as Jack White and John Mayer headlined Friday night and Eminem and Zac Brown Band closed out the festival Saturday night, MM 2014 was the place to be, basking in the Indian Summer with friends and loved ones surrounded by memorable performances from the likes of Lorde to Iggy Azalea all the while being surrounded by tens of thousands of music lovers.

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea

 

Top Moments relived from Music Midtown 2014

 

Concert goers waiting to see Aer

Concert goers waiting to see Aer

 

Seeing the gates opened on Saturday at noon and watching people sprint across Piedmont Park in order to get to the front of the Electric Ballroom Stage and the Honda Stage. It was a sight to see, as people burst to each of the stages in full tilt and speed as adrenaline over took and swept them up into a frenzy. It looked like a cross between the running of the bulls or a zombie chase.

#MM2014

#MM2014

 

B.o.B. mixed it up and playing with the crowd, as he got off stage and right into the pit, singing, dancing and taking pictures with the crowd’s phones and GoPro cameras.

B.o.B

B.o.B

 

Watching Lorde’s performance Friday night was breathtaking. Initially, I wasn’t sure what her stage presence would be to go with her sound. Would Lorde hide behind her hair and be shy? I couldn’t imagine her being boisterous or loud. Once she stepped onto the stage, it was hers. Lorde was beyond impressive, as she sung into the mic and used her hair as tool, not to hide behind, rather to embolden her. Truly, it was magical watching this young woman command the crowd, all the while being humble and grateful to be on the stage.

Lorde

Lorde

 

Seeing Run DMC bring “It’s Tricky” to Piedmont Park and watching the crowd go absolutely crazy, singing along and dancing.

Run DMC

Run DMC

 

The true highlight of the weekend came as a surprise to me, as I watched Zac Brown Band perform with vigor and gusto as they alternated between the band’s musical catalogue, like “Whiskey’s Gone” to a Led Zeppelin cover of “Kashmir.” But what left me gabsmacked was the band’s rendition of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” I was utterly at a loss for words. In one word, epic.

Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band

 

It truly was a perfect weekend filled with drinks, laughter, friends and great tunes. Not to mention the outstanding weather – no rain and lots of sunshine. Like I said, Music Midtown keeps getting better and better each year. I can’t wait to see what they can come up with for next year.

Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums

 

Day One of Music Midtown 2014 Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

Gallery of Fans Frolicking at #MM2014

Full Photo Gallery of Ron Pope

Full Gallery of Mayer Hawthorne

Full Gallery of BANKS

Full Gallery of Run DMC

Full Gallery of Iggy Azalea

Full Gallery of Lorde

Full Gallery of John Mayer

Day Two of Music Midtown 2014 at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, GA.

 

Full Gallery of Sleeper Agent

Full Gallery of Magic Man

Full Gallery of The Strypes

Full Gallery of Aer

 

Full Gallery of Third Eye Blind

Full Gallery of twenty one pilots

Full Gallery of B.o.B.

Full Gallery of Fitz & the Tantrums

Full Gallery of Gregg Allman

Full Gallery of Bastille

Full Gallery of Zac Brown Band