Review By: Molly Free
Even a monsoon sitting over Piedmont Park on Saturday afternoon wasn’t going to stop the thousands of music enthusiasts from hearing some amazing music, at Music Midtown Day 2.
After waiting about an hour in line in what seemed the heaviest rain of the day, I marched through the mud towards the Electric Ballroom stage to catch The Neighbourhood. Despite playing early and in the rain, it was the perfect backdrop for their dark indie rock/rap sound. Since catching them last at Center Stage, it was treat to hear the band on a larger stage and in an outdoor setting, amplifying their sound. Highlight not by surprise, was their hit “Sweater Weather” bringing smiles to a crowd cold and drenched in ponchos.
I then made the trek over to the Roxy Stage for Capital Cities. The Roxy was a new addition to Music Midtown this year, as in previous years there have only been the two main stages in the Piedmont Park venue. I have to say that Capital Cities was the highlight of my Music Midtown 2013 experience. I have been waiting to catch this band live ever since I heard their song, “Kangaroo Court” on blog radio. Despite the rainstorm and a crowd whose boots were filled with rainwater, Capital Cities’ fantastic energy had the crowd break dancing in the mud. Duo, Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian were not going to let the rain slow their set down. The guys had us “capital city shuffling” to their hits, including an extended remix of “Safe & Sound” and a variety of covers including “Staying Alive”. I can’t wait to catch these guys again (preferably dry and indoors).
After taking a break to indulge in the fine food fare the festival had to offer I couldn’t help but run over to catch the end of Weezer’s set, that even in a rain shower their sound was incredible, covering all of their greatest including “Pork and Beans” and “Undone”. Again another band who despite the gloomy weather, utilized the entire stage and kept the crowd rocking under their umbrellas.
The next two hours were a blur of hopping from stage to stage to catch the next three acts, including the always entertaining and out there Black Lips, sultry ZZ Ward with her bad ass chick anthems, and ending at Artic Monkeys. I was looking forward to not only seeing the Artic Monkey’s for the first time, but this performance was also one of the first instances for the British band to play their brand new album, AM. They definitely capped off the mid-afternoon block for me.
I caught a little bit of Tegan & Sara’s surprisingly mellow set, and the end of Imagine Dragon’s just in enough time to hear their anthem, “Radioactive” which seemed to light up the entire park. I parked at the Electric Ballroom stage to catch some of The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. I have seen the dynamic group before, but I just had to check out what wild outfit Karen O was wearing (a green sequined suit) as her uniquely loud shrills flooded through the park.
I perused the food truck line getting some more grub and settling down on the grassy knoll surrounding the Great South East Music Hall stage to listen to Queens of the Stone Age. Catching the Queens set was the only thought getting me through the long wet afternoon. The rain ceased and a beautiful cotton candy sunset appeared; the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Queens sounded absolutely incredible. Their sound was crisp and clear, and they played “Little Sister” so my ears were happy. Playing an incredible roaring encore was the perfect set up for the final band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers to wrap up the evening on the Electric Ballroom.
RHCP was incredible with an electric sound you could feel down to your rain soaked swollen feet. Anthony Kiedis, Flea, and crew never disappoint with incredible stage presence, ripping through their set with hits including “Snow”, “Otherside”, classic “Under the Bridge” and the perfectly fitting, “The Adventures of Raindance Maggie” which thankfully did not bring any further rain!
The Black Lips:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs:
Queens of the Stone Age:
Red Hot Chili Peppers: