I missed this festival. Back in the nineties they use to produce 2-3 days events, with multiple genre-centric stages to accommodate a broad range of fans. Like many festivals back then it got a bit too big too fast, and eventually a bit out of hand. The last Music Midtown I attended about a decade ago was produced on an asphalt parking lot in midtown behind the Civic Center, which made for a horribly hot experience and one I would ever wanted to repeat.
This weekend, Music Midtown returned from a 6-year hiatus to Piedmont Park, with two stages in the meadow – a grassy valley surrounded by a sloping hill shaded by trees. This was a return to true form – a comfortable, beautiful venue for the festival.
Most bands on the lineup were developing, relatively unknown bands. Personally, the only one that shined for me in that mix and picked my interest is Young The Giant – I will have to listen to their album. And then, The Black Keys, baby! The Black Keys are, well, just so good! Solid, intimate performance, amazingly energetic and totally fun.
The headliners – Coldplay – opened with a bang. Literally: They launched their first song with fireworks. I was worried about how their performance would translate in the park setting. I saw them a year and a half ago when they came through Atlanta in support of their last album, they performed to a sold out Phillips Arena back then, and provided plenty of theatrics on stage which I was worried would be too cheesy following a full day of raw rock n roll. However, in Piedmont Park, they focused more on the music and less on the theatrics – and used impressive pyrotechnics and lasers to augment the music with some exciting drama. Most important, Coldplay’s musical performance was simply wonderful. Towards the end of their show they also performed a couple of new songs that sounded wonderful (one is a single in waiting…); and then, closed with fireworks again.
Thank you Music Midtown! Looking forward to next year’s event, which hopefully would be even bigger!
(by Shachar Oren, Neurotic Media CEO)