Rain or shine: Music Midtown rocks on

Photo Courtesy of Red Bull

Last weekend, Piedmont Park was transformed into the venue for one of Atlanta’s most popular music festivals, Music Midtown. The park was home to a number of world-famous as well as up-and-coming artists, that spanned a wide variety of musical genres, catering to all ages and music lovers.

The weekend was loud, muddy and full of energy, proving once again what a promising music scene Atlanta has to offer.

Over 100,000 people were reported to be in attendance, according to festival promoter Peter Conlon, and tickets were sold out by noon on Saturday.

The event opened its gates on Friday afternoon to bright and clear skies, complete with three separate music stages and plenty of vendors selling food, jewelry and other assorted products.

One of the first artists to perform on Friday was Atlanta-based rapper 2 Chainz at the Great Southeastern Music Hall stage. With the performances of his hit singles such as “Spend It” and “Where U Been,” he successfully energized the crowd, getting them dancing and cheering in approval.

2 Chainz was followed immediately by Phoenix, performing on the large Electric Ballroom Stage. The alternative rock band from France was certainly able to mellow out the crowd and entertain all with fun and popular hits like “Lisztomania,” “1901” and “Girlfriend.” Lead singer Thomas Mars performed passionately with the rest of his band and had some fun with the audience by crowdsurfing towards the end of their set.

Friday closed with its biggest crowd at the Electric Ballroom Stage, where 40-year-old rock band Journey literally lit up the stage. They played classics such as “Any Way You Want It” and “Separate Ways,” with passionate guitar riffs, before turning to a smoother and more soulful piano theme with songs like “Open Arms.” Perhaps the most-awaited song of the night was their performance of “Don’t Stop Believing,” which rang through the entire park as all attendees sang with the band in harmony.

Saturday morning brought heavy rain, followed by a muddy afternoon, but the long lines of anxious fans still formed down 10th Street and beyond, a true testament to the fact that Music Midtown would go on, rain or shine.

The Neighbourhood, another alternative rock band, performed early Saturday afternoon. The band, known for their gloomy music and lamenting lyrics, took full advantage of the well-accompanying weather to showcase the true effect of their music. The audience took in their somber songs while getting drenched.

Indie pop band Capital Cities surprised many in a positive way. There was a general air of uncertainty about their impending performance, as most of the audience was very familiar with “Safe and Sound,” but did not know what else to expect from them. Thankfully, the band delivered an excellent performance with most of the crowd’s approval directed towards trumpet player Spencer Ludwig, whose passionate playing was a unique and entertaining addition to the fun, upbeat tunes of Capital Cities.

One of the major headliners of the event was Imagine Dragons. As they geared up to perform, the rain ceased, and the skies opened, leading singer Dan Reynolds to comment, “I guess we came at a good time!” The band was widely well received, with a massive crowd. They played almost all of their songs from the album Night Visions. Reynolds expressed his appreciation of the massive crowd and explained the role that the band’s first song, “It’s Time,” played in their lives and the fact that Atlanta was one of the first cities to play the song on radio.

Last, but most certainly not least, was one of the most anticipated events of the entire weekend. Red Hot Chili Peppers were certainly on fire as they closed out Music Midtown Saturday night. They played timeless hits for the first half of their set, including “Dani California” and “Snow.” Even after 30 years, they still gave an excellent performance with their evergreen songs.

Concert-goers experienced both elegant sunshine and soggy showers this weekend, but nonetheless enjoyed themselves immensely. With over 100,000 people in attendance over both days, it is evident that the festival was a true success, yet again, and speaks to the great talent the city brought in for Music Midtown.