Sept. 21-22 and we were dancing in the streets with
49,999 other folks. Above: Avett Brothers.
By Michael Plumides
Peter Conlon, President of Live Nation Atlanta, was one of the
original promoters of the very first Music Midtown in 1993 while with his
outfit, Concerts Southern. I was there
from the Festival’s inception,
fortunate enough to see James Brown and Al Green back-to-back. Mr. Conlon,
having promoted Music Midtown in the early years, had been pummeled by
torrential rain and exceeding costs several years in a row, and decided to
discontinue the popular music gathering.
I must say, Conlon and Live Nation were very pleased as they
counted receipts late Saturday
night. There was a question whether or not bringing the festival back after an
eight year hiatus was wise, but when you have a sold out crowd to the tune of
50,000 folks buying those $11 beers in Piedmont Park, resurrecting the
beleaguered festival was not only genius, it was quite profitable… and not a
rain cloud in site for the two day event.
According to the Atlanta-Journal
Constitution, Conlon said the turnout was, “better than expected” and
reinstituting Music Midtown has propped the event up as one of the top
festivals in the nation, once again.
On a grassy knoll expanding three football fields on the far end
of the park is where it all happened on two separate stages polarizing each
end. Friday’s line up saw live performances by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts,
T.I., The Avett Brothers (playing music off of their new album entitled, The Carpenter), and Foo Fighters fresh
from their performance at the DNC (go here for my coverage from the event /news/view/6709/), among others.
Saturday’s performances amidst the blistering heat included O’
Brother, Civil Twilight, LP, Adam Ant (in full Napoleonic regalia) Garbage
(playing a rich and industrial set), Florence and
the Machine, Girl Talk (yes, everyone was tripping balls) and lastly,
crowd-pleasers Pearl Jam.
A sea of people against a beautiful skyline made for an
enjoyable event. All in all, I had a fantastic time and I
would recommend this festival to anyone within a few hours drive of Atlanta. My only
complaint about Music Midtown? They need more Porta-Johns.
[Photos of Adam Ant,
Foo Fighters, Joan Jett & Eddie Vedder by CatMax Photography; all others by