2013 Music Midtown Festival – Saturday (Recap)

The second day of Midtown Music started out wet and the rain kept a lot of fans from coming to Piedmont Park early. By this point, organizers had announced that the festival had sold out and thousands braved the rain with their ponchos, umbrellas and rain boots to catch the early acts of the day like Mona, Capital Cities,The Neighborhood and Reignwolf.

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Many loyal fans walked straight to the Great Southeastern Music Hall Stage as soon as they entered the park. Reignwolf played a little before 2pm, accompanied by the heaviest downpour of the day. Jordan Cook thrashed on his guitar while bouncing between playing his kick drum and full drum set, his guitar never leaving his hands. After a few solo songs, the band joined him on stage. Fans didn’t seem to notice the rain and most stayed for his whole set that included a remarkable cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” and Reignwolf’s current smokey single “Are You Satisfied?”

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90’s alt-heroes Weezer took the main stage in the middle of the afternoon to a nostalgic crowd. They opened their set with “My Name Is Jonas” and then went right into “Hash Pipe.” Rivers Cuomo paused to tell the fans that his parents were Atlanta natives and that his grandparents still live there. And that maybe someday Weezer would come back and play in his grandparents golf cart-driving neighborhood of Peachtree City, Georgia. Weezer were able to pack in such hits as “Island in the Sun,” “Buddy Holly,” and “Undone-The Sweater Song” into their short one hour set.

By mid-afternoon, Music Midtown had become Music MUDtown and some ticket scanners had shut down because they were satellite powered and the dense cloud coverage made it nearly impossible to operate. Concert promoters decided it best to grant entry to all with a soaked tickets to keep the lines moving.

Arctic Monkey’s, The Black Lips, and ZZ Ward all played their sets while a light drizzle continued to fall on fans.

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Canadian twin sisters Tegan and Sara played the Roxy Stage in the late afternoon after a slight delay due to audio problems. They opened their set with “Drove Me Wild” and “Goodbye, Goodbye” off their latest album Heartthrob.  Tegan thanked the fans for showing up to their set because Imagine Dragons were playing across the park at the same time and she had been genuinely worried no one would come to see her and her sister play. The crowd reassured her with their cheers. Tegan and Sara played a dozen songs and closed their set with smash hit “Closer.”

By 7:00pm the drizzling had stopped and anyone who had not made their way to Piedmont Park earlier in the day had now arrived.

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The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, led by magnetic front woman Karen O, warmed up the main stage next. They opened with the buzzing sounds of their song “Mosquito,” off their latest album of the same name. While playing the broken relationship song “Maps,” which was the first song to get them widely noticed in 2004, Karen O pulled down the collar of her heavily bedazzled Michael Jackson shirt and twisted the microphone into her chest, right over her heart. They also played their two most recent singles, “Sacrilege” and “Despair.” After the song “Despair”, in which Mrs. O sings “Some sun has gotta rise,” the clouds started to clear and Music Midtown finally saw its first sun of the day, just in time for sunset.

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Many of the people at the front of the barriers had been there all day, patiently waiting through the other acts while securing their spot for Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Chili Peppers played a small intro to hype the spirited crowd even further, before Anthony Kiedis ran out to the mic in his long tailed tuxedo jacket with ripped t-shirt and started their two hour set with “Can’t Stop.” Flea continually paced the stage and if he wasn’t pacing, he was whipping his head to his own bass rhythms, accompanied by the rock-steady Chad Smith on drums. The Red Hot Chili Peppers played hits spanning their 30-year, 10-album career. Songs included “Otherside,” “Under the Bridge,” “Higher Ground,” “Californication” and “By the Way.” They ended their four-song encore, and Music Midtown 2013, with their colossal 1992 hit “Give it Away.” The wet and muddy throngs left Piedmont Park elated and looking forward to a bigger and better Music Midtown in 2014.

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