Playlist: Music Midtown
By Allie Binford
For the last weekend of summer, I had the awesome experience of going to Music Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia. I had never been before so I had no idea what to expect. The festival had five different stages, but I stood at the Electric Ballroom stage both days. I’ll give you a little recap of the weekend and the acts I saw, as a way to reminisce one last time on some warm (and a bit rainy) summer days.
Zella Day, DNCE, Leon Bridges, G-Eazy, Twenty Øne Piløts
I had never heard of Zella Day or her music before until I saw her live. She has a beautiful voice and a classic bohemian vibe to her music and clothing. She has some great, upbeat and dancy songs as well as some slow and soulful ones. To get an idea of her music, think Lana Del Rey and Stevie Nicks.
Next up was DNCE. I don’t know about you, but ever since the era of the JoBros, Joe Jonas has always had a piece of my heart. His new band is cutting edge when it comes to the pop music world, a nice contrast to Joe’s previous boyband tracks. Complete with outfits just as out-there as some of their lyrics, DNCE did not disappoint. They showcased some of their new album (coming soon) as well as taking their own spin on some cover tracks like Roxanne, Hold On We’re Going Home, No Scrubs Allowed and Hotline Bling.
Leon Bridges is a smooth and soulful singer from Fort Worth, Texas. Everything from his style of clothing to the way he speaks seems to transport you back in time to the 60s.
With pounding beats and cut-throat lyrics, G-Eazy was a sharp contrast to the R&B vibes of Leon. G-Eazy definitely stood out in the lineup amongst the more pop and chill artists, but he still put on a good show. He played all of his major hits and a few new songs while constantly praising Atlanta for the city’s contributions to his newest album.
Last but not least, Twenty One Pilots took the stage. Personally I am a huge fan of TØP so their performance was what I was the most excited about. Tyler and Josh, the two guys behind the band, played a full set of their radio hits – think Stressed Out, Ride, Tear In My Heart, Heathens – as well as a few fan favorites like Trees. Twenty One Pilots always pair their songs with dramatic stunts and costumes, and this festival show was no exception; stage climbing, crowd surfing, and visual effects are just a few of their trademarks.
Joseph, St.Lucia, James Bay, The Lumineers, The Killers
Day two started out in the pouring rain, but it paired nicely with the soulful harmonies of the band Joseph. Joseph is made up of three sisters, Natalie, Allison, and Meegan, from Portland, Oregon. Their set was small and intimate, which made you feel involved in the music. One thing I liked about Joseph’s music is that the songs not only sounded good, but they had much deeper meanings. “White Flag” and “I Don’t Mind” are just two of the songs on their album that explore subjects like violence and depression.
Jean-Philip Grobler, better known as St. Lucia, came onstage next along with his band, which included his wife Patty. Despite the consistent drizzle of the rain, St. Lucia pressed on and managed to get a rain-soaked crowd to jam along to his upbeat tracks.
After St. Lucia’s set the festival issued a state of weather emergency and required all festival goers and musicians to evacuate the festival. This caused a huge uproar amongst the crowd, but we had to do as we were told and exit the premises. The festival wound up being delayed for two hours and then when the gates were reopened people stampeded through, knocking fences down along the way.
Next up on the schedule was James Bay. This indie/rock singer-songwriter welcomed the crowd back with some good old rock ‘n’ roll. With John Mayer-esque guitar solos and melodies reminiscent of Ed Sheeran, Bay was the perfect act to get the crowd back into a good mood. The slight trickle of rain during Let It Go just made the song sound more romantic.
The Lumineers hit the stage as the second to last act and they did not disappoint. Of course they played their most recent single “Ophelia” as well as some other tracks off of their newest album, Cleopatra. Some songs they brought back from their self titled album were “Ho Hey,” “Stubborn Love,” “Flowers In Your Hair” and “Classy Girls.”
Finally, around 9:45 p.m., it was time for The Killers. Of course these legends could not simply just walk on stage and start their set – they were introduced by the one, the only, Daniel Craig, (better known as James Bond). The city noise ordinance set a bit of an ultimatum on the act, but The Killers managed to squeeze a jam-packed set in and finished exactly at 11. Lead singer Brandon Flowers’ iconic voice flowed flawlessly over their classic tracks such as “When You Were Young,” “Somebody Told Me” and “Mr. Brightside.” The set ended in an explosion of confetti and a dramatic mic drop while the crowd raged on for an encore (that legally couldn’t happen).
Overall, Music Midtown was an incredible experience that I would do over again in a heartbeat.
SEPT 17 & 18, 2016
PIEDMONT PARK, ATLANTA, GA