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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Music Midtown Day 2: A sold-out musical slam dunk

People rockin' in the free world at Music Midtown. All photos: Hyosub Shin/AJC

People rockin' in the free world at Music Midtown. All photos: Hyosub Shin/AJC

We can officially stop wondering if Music Midtown is back.

If you have a sold out crowd of more than 50,000 in Piedmont Park then yes, it’s an unqualified success.

Though Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, the promoter that produced the event, could have been doing a shout-from-the-rooftops victory lap at the end of the night, he simply noted that the “better-than-anticipated success” of this year’s event “has re-established Music Midtown as one of the country’s top festivals.”

While Friday’s lineup packed the park with sets from Joan Jett, T.I., The Avett Brothers and Foo Fighters, among others, the mass of humanity that endured Saturday’s sweaty temperatures (first day of fall? Ha!) for 10 hours of music had an even broader spectrum to sample.

Here’s a rundown in case you missed it or want to relive it. And also, let us know below what you thought of this year’s Music Midtown.

O’Brother:

“This has been an incredible experience,” singer Tanner Merritt said to the early-comers congregated at the Great Southeast Music Hall Stage. “We’re not used to playing in broad daylight. I think we’re much scarier this way.”

Merritt is so soft-spoken and boyish-looking that his aggressive vocals throughout the band’s 30-minute set took a moment to get used to hearing.

Though the Lawrenceville-based band might not have appealed to a mainstream audience with heavy, guitar-driven songs such as “Machines Part 1 and 2,” they’re currently riding an impressive wave with their new EP, “Basement Window.”

After their set, drummer Michael Martens, bassist Anton Dang and guitarist Johnny Dang humbly noted how excited they were to play a festival that they used to pay to attend themselves and also about the band’s continued escalation.

“Things keep happening to us in the past year that are like, wow,” Anton Dang said. “Our dream was to play the Tabernacle and we did that last year, so it was a dream come true.”

The band mentioned that they’ll head to Australia for a tour next year, “Which is insane to us,” Dang remarked.

Civil Twilight:

The South African outfit fronted by brothers Steven McKellar on bass and Andrew McKellar on guitar (plus Richard Wouters on drums) presented an impressive set that ranged from the insinuating groove and wonky guitar effects of “Move/Stay” to the soaring “River,” accented by Steven McKellar’s acoustic guitar.

The highlight of the group’s 30-minute set, though, was the cumbersomely titled “Every Walk That I’ve Ever Taken Has Been in Your Direction,” a song that started with a bit of drum sequencing, then surged into a bit of grandness, with Steven McKellar showcasing skills learned from the School of Bono.

L.P.


While I sadly didn’t get to catch all if L.P.’s set because of a timing conflict to chat with O’Brother, I did hear enough of the fabulously unconventional Laura Pergolizzi to keep her performance fresh in my mind after nearly 12 hours of other music.

Known for her songwriting skills with work for artists such as Rihanna and Christina Aguilera, L.P. is like a current-day Linda Perry, a background talent who is quirky and interesting enough to deserve her own spotlight.

The title track of her spring release, “Into the Wild,” was alternately poppy and sweet, but it was her powerful take on Beyonce’s “Halo,” with upright bass and strings, that truly resonated.

Garbage:


Shirley Manson walked onstage, arms overhead, hair in a tight knot, shades on, and rammed into “Supervixen.” A few minutes later, Steve Marker’s serrated guitar sliced through the gloss of “I Think I’m Paranoid,” drummer Butch Vig slamming the skins in the background, and Garbage was off on an hourlong tear.

“It’s good to see you, Atlanta,” the ever-enigmatic Manson said, somehow still looking cool in a black ensemble despite the searing sun (and yes, it was odd seeing Manson, with her luminescent skin, performing in daylight).

Though the band has a solid new album (“Not Your Kind of People”) to promote, they packed plenty of ‘90s nostalgia into their set, including “Stupid Girl,” which featured an underlying keyboard that sounded like Donna Summer’s “I Fee l Love.”

Throughout the band’s set, Manson paced the stage like a panther, turning sultry and playful for “Queer” and semi-jokingly taking a front-row fan to task for possibly watching a football game during Garbage’s set.

“We’re all multi-tasking!” she exclaimed, leading into the new “Automatic Systematic Habit.”

Manson might give off a coolly remote vibe, but she’s actually quite a warm presence, at one point thanking fans for their loyalty as well as all of their “ridiculous tweets.”

Adam Ant:


After giving one look to Ant in his ridiculous Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean” getup it would be simple to write him off as a kook (and apparently someone without sweat glands).

And maybe he is.

But he’s a kook who sounded punchy on throwbacks “Stand and Deliver” and “Desperate but Not Serious.”

Backed by his band, dubbed “The Good, The Mad and The Lovely Posse,” a visually entertaining bunch including a pair of drummers, Ant sauntered through “Kings of the Wild Frontier” (“Every time I sing this song it’s like the first time I sang it,” he said), the title track of his 1980 album with the Ants.

Then he jumped forward to 1995 and his last semi-hit, the underappreciated midtempo love song, “Wonderful.”

But most in this crowd – at least the ones older than 25 – wanted to hear those New Wave classics and Ant obliged.

“Strip,” always a better song than the ubiquitous “Goody Two Shoes” (and that hasn’t changed in nearly three decades), glided along on its cheeky chorus, while “Antmusic” and, of course, “Goody,” flourished with additional percussion.

Ant has a new album arriving next year. Hopefully he’ll add a return to Atlanta to his itinerary.

Ludacris:

Before his set, the Atlanta rapper, clad in his stage uniform of black tank top with USA across the front, black shorts and also headphones around his neck, professed genuine excitement not only to be playing a festival in his adopted hometown, but also that he had a full hour to perform and could pull from his eight-album catalog.

Backed by a full band, Luda asked the by-then-sold-out crowd, “Are you ready to party tonight?”

Snippets of his high-profile work with others – Usher’s “Yeah,” Enrique Iglesias’ “Tonight I’m Loving You” (the clean version) and Fergie’s “Glamorous” – were interspersed with his own material.

The agreeable crowd put their hands in the air, waved them like they just didn’t care and followed Luda’s other cheerful instructions on tracks such as “What’s Your Fantasy” and “Stand Up.”

His fluidity as a rapper can never be overstated – he’s like verbal liquid when he gets going – but what made Ludacris’ set even more enjoyable was his obvious glee at performing.

Neon Trees:

(From my editor and helper extraordinaire, Jamila Robinson)

It’s fitting that “Animal” is one of alt-rockers Neon Trees’ hits because lead singer Tyler Glenn tries to fall squarely into that role. The magnetic front man launched into the band’s set just moments after Ludacris left the opposite Electric Ballroom stage, kicking with “1983 and “Mad Love.”

“We’re one of the newer bands, so we’re happy just to be on the bill with names like Adam Ant and Pearl Jam,” Glenn told the crowd humbly. But he proceeded to show how why the group could hold its own with the other acts. Glenn knows how to use his charisma and how to control the soulful howl in his powerful voice – as if he were channeling Freddie Mercury.

This was especially evident in “How Long ’til Your Surrender” – on of the few ballads we heard all day – and “Love and Affection.” Plus, Glenn isn’t afraid to play with a crowd, from the moshing he did in the pit, to the humorous hand-jive gestures he showed on stage.

Florence and the Machine:

Florence Welch is such an imposing figure that the thought of her getting flustered seems an impossibility. But something funky happened at the beginning of the band’s set that stuck with her until the end.

Florence“It was a scary start to the show, but you made me feel so welcome,” she told the massive throng at the end of her hour-and-15-minute show.

Leading up to that, though, the riveting Welch led the Machine through their ethereal, artsy Brit pop with her soaring voice on songs that escalated into furious crescendos.

Her heavenly backup singers added beautiful depth to “Raise it Up,” and she decided to run barefoot into the audience during the galloping “Spectrum.”

There is something uniquely regal about Welch, with her crimson hair, ruffled clothes and distinctive voice, which echoed through Piedmont Park.

“This is for all of your hangovers tomorrow,” she joked, leading into “Shake it Out,” a glass-like pop song that built into a frenzy of screaming lights.

Naturally, she ended her commanding set with “Dog Days Are Over,” which had the super-sized crowd twirling and swirling.

Girl Talk:

There isn’t much to say about mashup artist Gregg Michael Gillis.

GirlEither you were riveted by his highly adrenalized mixes of such interesting combos as The Ramones (“Blitzkreig Bop”) and Missy Elliott (“Get UR Freak On”) with snippets of Aerosmith (“Sweet Emotion”), General Public (“Tenderness”), Beyonce (“Single Ladies”) and Beck (“Loser”) all making ADD-like appearances. Or you took the opportunity during his set to grab a snack or a beer.

Gillis makes the most out of a genre that really isn’t suited for 50,000-plus people in a park prepared to enjoy rock, pop and rap, by adding skillful and colorful multimedia and crowding the stage with dozens of fans to equate the scene to a club environment.

Frankly, Gillis’ performance would have been better-suited to next week’s CounterPoint Festival, but points to Music Midtown organizers for including dance music in this year’s diverse mix.

Pearl Jam:

With the boom of Matt Cameron’s kick drum, Pearl Jam lunged into a two-hour set that rivaled Friday night’s Foo Fighters’ headlining slot in intensity and audience enjoyment.

EddieSeconds earlier, frontman Eddie Vedder and the rest of the band trotted on stage, Vedder clutching a folder (likely) full of lyrics and a bottle of something, which he swigged from throughout the show.

Though Vedder looks perpetually angst-ridden, it’s easy to confuse those furrowed brows and angry spitting with passion, which is really what he was exhibiting.

After unfurling a tight “Animal,” Vedder grabbed an acoustic guitar, gave high praise to Florence and the Machine, told the crowd not to be afraid to express themselves during the performance, and strummed the introspective “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.”

On the high-octane numbers, such as the fast and furious “Better Man,” Vedder frequently leaped and whirled, seemingly overtaken by the music.

Guitarist Stone Gossard cranked the intro to “Even Flow” (somewhat unbelievably now 20 years old), which bubbled into a volcano of sound, before Vedder urged the audience to remember to vote – or at least register to vote – and the band dove into a growly take on The Clash’s “Know Your Rights.”

With “Supersonic” and the ageless “Jeremy” making the cut, it’s doubtful fans – many of whom parked themselves in front-of-the-stage spots hours before Pearl Jam arrived – could have been disappointed.

Even producer Brendan O’Brien, who worked on many of the band’s songs recorded in Atlanta, received a shout out from Vedder.

In fact, Music Midtown as a whole was executed surprisingly smoothly given the number of moving parts involved and likely left attendees “Rockin’ in the Free World” several hours later.

pearl

106 comments Add your comment

ozzfest

September 23rd, 2012
8:45 am

CASH ONLY FOR BEER AND FOOD (AND T-SHIRTS AND POSTERS)
ALL ATM’S RAN OUT OF CASH AT 6PM ON SATURDAY.
I WAITED 45 MINUTES TO USE THE RESTROOM FROM 6:45 TO 7:30.

MUSIC WAS GREAT. MANAGEMENT FAILED COMPLETETLY.

PETER CONLON SHOULD BE MADE TO ANSWER FOR THIS CRAP!!!!!

DAWG POUND

September 23rd, 2012
8:49 am

Who needed beer? The warm smell of colitas was rising up through the air, LOL!

ozzfest

September 23rd, 2012
8:51 am

…AND PETER CONLON KNOWS BETTER….I HAD A BRIEF CONVERSATION WITH HIM IN THE VIP AREA AT PAUL McCARTNEY IN THE PARK IN 2009…AND HE COMMENTED ON HOW “THIS THING IS NOT SET UP RIGHT…AND HOW HIS OPERATION WOULD HAVE RUN IT MORE SMOOTHLY.)

I HAVE BEEN TO HUNDREDS OF SHOW ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND THE RESTROOM LINES YESTERDAY WERE AS BAD AS I HAVE EVER SEEN. THERE WAS PLENTY OF ROOM ALONG THE BACK FENCE TO PUT ANOTHER 250 OR SO TOILETS.

PRAY I DO NOT EVER RUN INTO YOU AGAIN, PETER CONLON.
BETTER YET, PRAY MY GIRLFRIEND DOES NOT GET TO YOU FIRST!!!

sps

September 23rd, 2012
8:57 am

ditto on the bathroom complaint — I pretty much missed all of Florence waiting to pee. But I don’t agree that Girl Talk was misplaced–everyone around me was going absolutely wild during that set.

Michael

September 23rd, 2012
9:19 am

I completely disagree with the writer’s comments on Girl Talk. The entire crowd was working it through his whole set and everyone was into it. Great way to pump up everyone prior to Pearl Jam. Also, I have to disagree on the bathrooms….If you had to go bad enough, plenty of men, women, children were peeing along the fences, in bushes, and near the exits. :-) Problem solved.

John

September 23rd, 2012
9:23 am

I was there Friday night for the Foo Fighters and Saturday night felt like the size of the crowd was easily double!!! Florence and the Machine blew my mind with the strength of her voice and how personable she was, she’s a true entertainer. Sorry that people had problems with lack of restrooms, ATM’s and food but I definitely would not say that the management failed completely, I applaud them for such a great show!

Vedder Fan

September 23rd, 2012
9:31 am

Eddie didn’t play the acoustic guitar on Elderly Woman…Stone did. Eddie was playing the black telecaster.

Daniel

September 23rd, 2012
9:55 am

I also completely disagree with the writer about Girl Talk, the crowd was going absolutely wild. It was personally what I think was the best performance and in no way was out of place. Also using the bathroom at any concert is a cluster it’s just part of the experience. Im so glad that Music Midtown is back, what a great time.

Daniel

September 23rd, 2012
9:57 am

The writer is dead wrong about Girl Talk, the crowd was going absolutely wild. It was personally what I think was the best performance and in no way was out of place. Also using the bathroom at any concert is a cluster it’s just part of the experience. Im so glad that Music Midtown is back, what a great time.

oscar

September 23rd, 2012
10:10 am

love the festival ‘in theory.’ In actuality, if they could sell more tickets.. they would. Until that culture changes you’ll always have empty ATM’s and 1hr waits at the toilet. For those reasons, the pic-nic crowds and 10th street yard parties will always exist. You get the best of both worlds.. you can hear all the sounds without having to witness the sights of what the park turns into for 2 days a year. IF you must pay 70 bucks to be on the inside of the fence.. you can always save time and see that next act by relieving yourself behind the portable toilet. We witnessed one lady doing that Sat afternoon on the way back from the dog park.

Monica

September 23rd, 2012
10:11 am

Loved it!!! Had a great time – fantastic spread of musical styles, something for everyone. Venue was great for hearing or seeing both stages. Restroom lines were pretty bad late in the day but honestly – can you really provide “enough” restrooms for 50,000+ people?? And the crowd – what a great music town Atlanta is!! Can’t say enough about Atlanta fans. Kudos to Peter Conlon – can’t wait ’til next year!

Southgate

September 23rd, 2012
10:15 am

Friday was a joy and an excellent show. Saturday was a train wreck. The lack of bathrooms and arm’s is inexcusable. The sound for pearl Jam was horrible. The big stage actually sounded worst than smaller. A lot of the back could not hear PJ. Dissapointing to say the least. /uric /midtown has some work to do before we can call this a success much less one of the best festivals in the country.

The Badger

September 23rd, 2012
10:23 am

I was at the fest yesterday. I give the lineup a solid B and the organization of the event a solid F. The terrain at Piedmont is very well suited for a music fistival, but they should have stopped selling tickets at 40,000. Way too many people for that space.

The organizers need to go back to music fest 101. You can never have too many porta toilets. 30 – 45 minutes wait on average to use the toilets. 52,000 people and something like 30 toilets? Really???? There seemed to be more beer stands than toilets. Of course the drunk people are not going to wait in that kind of a line. They were peeing wherever. So those of you sitting in the field areas and noticed that it was a little wet….yeah. Horrible organization.

Zen in the park

September 23rd, 2012
10:31 am

I totally disagree with the author’s comments about Girl Talk. Maybe you don’t enjoy dance music, but this 50-something does! I thought that his was one of the best sets of the weekend and shame on you for being a party pooper :P

I agree, the lines for the toilets were inexcusable. So was $13 for a beer. Although, knowing that you had to wait in a 30 to 45 minute line for the toilet, it was quite easy not to shell out that $13.

Drinking

September 23rd, 2012
10:36 am

Why was the Sweetwater beer $8 for 16 oz and $13 for 22 oz.? It is a better deal to buy the 16 oz? $4 -> 8 oz

dark30

September 23rd, 2012
10:40 am

Adam Ant was wearing his “ridiculous Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean” getup” when Depp was a kid. May be kooky to you, but it’s been part of his image for decades.

Calvin Pei

September 23rd, 2012
10:58 am

Slam dunk…are f-ing kidding me?!?!? I’ll never go back to that hell storm again. That was one of the most poorly run events I have ever seen. I mean the music was great, but everything around it was nauseating. The lines were so long to use the bathroom that people were pissing in the bushes. You know it’s bad when you see grown women taking group squats. It’s real simple: MORE PORTER POTTIES.

MM Fan

September 23rd, 2012
11:12 am

As a 47 year old Dad I agree on Girl Talk – a welcome addition to the line up. They were the favorite amongst the teenagers I took, Luda a close 2nd. Energetic and creative, will take Gillis over Captain Jack any day. Pearl Jam was great, really enjoyed Garbage too.

Management was terrible. I don’t mind waiting a few minutes for a porta potty, but there were 52,000 people there Saturday and nowhere near enought of them. I too missed Florence standing in line. And they were OVERFLOWING – the poor ladies had to pee on a mound of toilet paper, beer cans and stuff. In one handicapped potty people resorted to just peeing on the floor to avoid getting splashed from the mound. And yes, guys and gals were peeing in public all across the park.

I thought lessons were learned in the past about multiple stages but I guess not. The local stage bled into the main, very annoying from the hill where many people were camped. If you want a locals stage that’s great, just position it better.

All in all, a fun time. Great for Atlanta, great for fans. This is probably my 6th MM – keep it going!

JATL

September 23rd, 2012
11:29 am

I’m not often this ugly in comments, but the person writing this must be a complete MORON for the piece about Girl Talk. Where were you? Certainly not in the crowd of thousands of dancing, screaming, jumping people going absolutely INSANE over Girl Talk! The GT crowd was FAR more pumped than the Pearl Jam crowd. I’ve seen Girl Talk before and thought it was absolutely fantastic and perfect to see him perform outside at a festival. His show was the highlight of the entire weekend as far as I’m concerned and that sentiment was echoed by many people I talked to, including several who have never seen him before or heard his mashups.

Oh -and I’m 42 and enjoyed dancing my Girl Talk loving butt off to it.

Melissa Ruggieri

September 23rd, 2012
11:30 am

Yes, Dark30, I am aware of that. I was pretty much reared on New Wave. But it isn’t any less kooky in 2012 than it was in 1980, so it isn’t an invalid comment!

Cheers,
Melissa

P.S. For the folks complaining about the bathroom situation, I’ll try to talk to Peter Conlon this week to get his thoughts on how the festival turned out and what he would like to improve for next year. Sounds as if Porta Potties are the priority! For those complaining about the sound, not sure where you were situated, but I had vantage points from right in front of the stage to back at the food tents to the side grassy areas to back by the Ferris Wheel and the music always sounded pretty crisp, regardless of who was performing.

Jorge "PRK"

September 23rd, 2012
11:32 am

Had a wonderful time at the event….I also do agree that Girl Talk was one of the highlights of the event (Just plain FUN!)….Thought FOO Frighters were awesome/same for Pearl Jam/Luda/TI….Definitely the biggest issue was the bathroom situation..Unfortunate….Still will not change my mind about comng again next year.

Melissa Ruggieri

September 23rd, 2012
11:35 am

Hey, Girl Talk fans! I think I made it pretty clear that plenty of people enjoyed his set. I was not one of them. It’s merely my opinion and you’re obviously free to disagree. Glad you had fun!

Cheers,
Melissa

Will10

September 23rd, 2012
11:40 am

Loved every minute of it, almost wish the neighborhood would allow for a little louder / longer play times.
The Porta-potty situation always seems to be the crutch, has been for a long time now, back to the old Music Midtown. Same exact situation then 10 years ago, long lines, people going right behind them.

Freedom Rocks

September 23rd, 2012
11:53 am

Totally off the subject, but it was great to see the folks protesting outside the Federal Reserve Bank when I got off Marta to head to the show. Far too many just don’t want to take the time to find out the enormous crime the Fed has committed since its founding in 1913. The high gas prices, the high ticket prices, the high t-shirt prices, etc. are all a direct result of what they have done to the value of the dollar.

Seeing them out spreading the message of liberty was a great way to begin the day on Saturday.

Mbrown325

September 23rd, 2012
11:55 am

Can’t please everyone! I thought the lineup was excellent, but some people will always complain. No matter what festival, there can never be too many port-a-johns! Beautiful park, Awesome weather & Great music…lets do it again next year!

Vote For Obama Because He's Black

September 23rd, 2012
12:00 pm

Bunch of bull***t,no smoking,$8 for a beer,$4 for a coke.
Other tha Pearl Jam,a bunch of warm up acts,openers.
Hip hop ? Those clowns aren’t even musicians. No black people at this fest,they aren’t shelling out $65 for 2 hip hop acts,they can make a rim payment with that kinda dough.
Weak Peter,weak.
I mean McDonald”s sells more hamburgers than anybody,take a good look at the people who eat there.
Get it ?

Foggy

September 23rd, 2012
12:02 pm

The idea of going to an outdoor musical festival and not expecting to be inconvenienced by cash-only policies or long bathroom waits is laughable/absurd.
It was a smash, and Conlon is an ATL legend.
I don’t care for crowds and rarely attend live shows. But I stayed in the VIP area, had all the food and drink (no additional charge) I wanted and enjoyed a great view of the show.Well done!

Rock and Roll

September 23rd, 2012
12:08 pm

We need Slayer and Motorhead at the next one! Also Ted Nugent and Iggy Pop and the Stooges!

Worst Bathrooms Ever

September 23rd, 2012
12:17 pm

Had a good time, but terrible setup for bathrooms. Conlon needs to visit Lollapalooza in Chicago to see how a real music festival is run. Been going to that for years and never encountered a single logistical problem, from lines to get in, to food lines, to porta potties. Waiting 15+ minutes every time to use the bathroom is inexcusable.

Also, I too thought Girl Talk was terrible. Was Gillis even doing anything back there other than dancing like an idiot? That whole set could have been pre-recorded months ago and no one would have known the difference. Luda was far better.

Props for getting PJ as the headliner though, that was awesome.

ATL8

September 23rd, 2012
12:19 pm

I wish they would have piped in the music and video from the other stage so I wouldn’t have missed one performance while holding a spot on the other stage.

Chainshaw

September 23rd, 2012
12:20 pm

The only poor planning was by the people who are complaining. Come on, porta potties are an issue at every outdoor event. Pace yourself and go when you have the chance. Try not to drink 5 gallons of $10 beers and you probaly won’t have to piss so much. Oh yeah, go to the ATM BEFORE you go to the festival.

We had a great time and had no issues. The only problem was smoking was rampant even if it was illegal and that the giant Exit sign was not an exit until the festival was completely over.

Jared

September 23rd, 2012
12:20 pm

Restroom lines – absurd. Sound quality was at times very poor, especially the second stage. Been to a lot of shows and most of the big festivals, just seems like growing pains at the moment. I concur with most of the review regarding the acts, with one exception. Ludacris, get over yourself already. The constant reminders of how great you are coming out of your mouth was a huge distraction. Couldn’t imagine Dave Grohl or Eddie Vedder doing anything so ridiculous. I was hoping to like you but I couldn’t get past your self promotion. Guess what, if you have to keep telling people your great, well, your not….

Worst Bathrooms Ever

September 23rd, 2012
12:22 pm

I will also say that it was great that beer tents were everywhere and they had quality hometown Sweetwater beer. But people might be inclined to buy more beer if taking a leak didn’t require missing almost an entire set of music.

The Rooster

September 23rd, 2012
12:36 pm

Why don’t they just have it at Road Atlanta, Atlanta Speedway, The Georgia Dome or Turner Field?

CDOsborne

September 23rd, 2012
12:46 pm

Had a great time at MM12. When attending a festival, you have to have a strategy for potty breaks. If you wait till everyone else has to go too; then you’re going to wait a while.I didn’t have to wait long except for that last run before PJ. I brought cash with me so I wouldn’t have to stand in the ATM line so didn’t have a problem there, actually helped me stay in budget, lol.

Minor

September 23rd, 2012
12:57 pm

One complaint. 50k + people would be fine for 1 stage but not 2. We couldn’t move between stages at the end. At the least consider broadcasting the video to the other stage for those who paid to see all the bands but couldnt get over there.

what?

September 23rd, 2012
12:59 pm

What did everyone think about the sound on the main stage? I cannot be the only on that thought it was bad. The cash issue is standard fare for festivals. The restrooms or lack there of has to be addressed. It was pretty horrific.

midtown girl

September 23rd, 2012
1:19 pm

Replace the VIP areas with portajohns, let Grady High School raise money selling indoor plumbing at the football stadium, put clorox in the lake and let the guys go there, move the fence and double stack them on 10th, do the math on more johns = more beer sales = happier fans that don’t miss what they paid to see. If you can’t figure it out, call Tech, I’m sure they would be happy to work it out for you.

kevin

September 23rd, 2012
1:21 pm

The sound was messed up during most of middle 45 minutes of Pearl Jam. Other than that seemed fine. We assumed the stop at 1015pm was to fix sound as seemed OK after.

Evile fan

September 23rd, 2012
1:28 pm

I ROCKED OUT last night, so I know you did, “Mrs. Evile fan.” ;-) I came to the festival mainly for Garbage, but every act was amazing, especially Neon Trees and Adam Ant. Pearl Jam made the cramped, hot, smokey wait near the stage worth it. What I need now is a red Pearl Jam poster with those skeleton hands and the name of my city on it.

Garbage COMPLETELY blew me away. Already looking forward to next year’s lineup.

Rock on, Melissa!!! \m/

Chris

September 23rd, 2012
1:30 pm

I loved MM12!! Music line-up was great. Florence, Luda, etc…were awesome! Couple points and improvement ideas as follows:
– The people suggesting piping music/video to the other stage – Great Idea!
– Wrist bands for alcohol please! Having to fetch my ID every time I want a beer is cumbersome.
– To those complaining about cash/atm, get real. Most outdoor festivals require cash and most intelligent ppl get their cash ahead of time.
– Finally, to those complaining about smoke, again get real. If they tried arresting/stopping everyone who smoked at an outdoor music festival, a quarter of the ppl there last night would have had to be escorted out.

Can’t wait until next year!

BulldogBen

September 23rd, 2012
1:34 pm

Went both days and thought it was an unqualified success. I felt the 2 stages alternating bands worked great. I hope they don’t get greedy and try to go bigger because Saturday got really packed. Agree with the other posters about Girl Talk. May have been the highlight of the weekend for me. Absolutely awesome and PERFECT for a festival in my opinion. It was like listening to the greatest mix tape at a huge party. Also loved the hip hop. T.I. was great. The sound was totally an issue during Pearl Jam. If you were more than 75 yards away it seemed to be fade in and out from super loud and crisp to muffled and unintelligible.

Not sure where people were going with bathroom issues. There were 30 or so over next to the Music Hall stage and I never waited more than a couple minutes the entire weekend.

All in all a rousing success. Glad it’s back.

BulldogBen

September 23rd, 2012
1:37 pm

Hey “Vote for Obama because he’s Black”, it’s a good thing you don’t have to go to the festival then. But, way to go completely racist. Happy trolling.

Chuck

September 23rd, 2012
1:54 pm

I came from Buffalo to see the Foos at this festival and wasn’t sure what to expect. I was there all day Friday but missed Saturday. I was really impressed by the whole atmosphere at the festival, from the art and jewelry vendors; to the huge food selection, to the general pleasantness of the crowd. The whole vibe was extremely cool, and the setting in the park was fantastic. Beer prices where standard and food prices where reasonable I thought. And you never had to walk far to get a beer! We did luck out and get into the Citi Bank skydeck for part of the show and that helped. But it was topped by one of the best Foo Fighter shows I’ve seen yet – and I’ve seen a bunch. Good job Midtown Music, hope to get down there next year!

Nothingman

September 23rd, 2012
2:15 pm

There was a definite problem with the sound during Pearl Jam. That was very disappointing as they couldn’t make up for it in extra songs due to sound curfew. We brought cash to avoid astronomical fees. It did seem oversold to be in such a small space. Glad there were no fires. And to the girl who took a pregnancy test in the porta potty, you’re gonna make a great mother someday.

The Badger

September 23rd, 2012
2:33 pm

For those of you responding “It’s a music festival you should expect long lines”. I’ve been going to Music Midtown every year that they have had it since 2003, every year to the New Orleans Jazz Festival, which is a much bigger event than MM has ever been, and the Voodoo Fest. You do expect lines for the bathroom at music festivals. Normally 10 minutes or 15 at them most. 30 to 45 minutes is way too long. When you do finally get in and they are overflowing is just unacceptable. And to have the volume of people choosing not to wait and line and going wherever is a problem. Take lessons from other music festivals that do not have this problem because of better planning.

Atlanta native

September 23rd, 2012
2:42 pm

38 years old, Atlanta native, and finally attended my first MM (day 2), and it did not disappoint! The music selection was great- retro, electro, hip-hop, and rock- and the variety of artists, food, etc. was great. Yes, bathroom lines were ridiculous and could definitely stand some improvement, but if you pace yourself with your drinking, you should only have to go once during the peak time (post 6pm). Shuffled within 50 feet of the stage for Pearl Jam and it was SO worth it- great memories of their music from high school and college. Both Florence+the Machine and Ludacris also put in great performances. Only negative points of the day- trying to find a cab at lunch in East Atlanta to get us there (ended up driving to the train station and using Marta) and the 10:30pm funnel cake that gave me food poisoning!

PJ Fan

September 23rd, 2012
2:47 pm

The bathroom situation is inexcusable. The concert managers know about the problem as this has happened EVERY year. They limit the amount of bathrooms in hopes of getting people to shell out money for VIP tickets the next year. It had the opposite effect on me. I will never return. Only a few, dirty, overflowing toilets? Those things were a biohazard and needed a good fire by the end of the night. I refused to buy beer not only because it was ridiculously overpriced but also because I didn’t want to constantly have to wait in line for a restroom. I was not the only person with this rationale. Increase the amount of bathrooms and you’ll increase beer sales. I came to hear Pearl Jam and the sound problems were disappointing. Atlanta’s musical festival will never be in the same league as larger cities if they can’t fix these simple problems.

Will

September 23rd, 2012
2:50 pm

Bathroom situation was pathetic. Worst ever. Way too crowded. The lines for the food vendors were 50 people deep. Ended up getting a Vietnamese sandwich (whatever that is) because that line was only 30 people deep. Music was great. Girl Talk was hands down the best event with the most crowd participation.

UGA Fan

September 23rd, 2012
2:57 pm

The lack of restrooms was inexcusable. The concert promoters know about the problems, but they do this in hopes of selling more VIP tickets the next year. The few bathrooms they did have were dirty and overflowing by the late afternoon. They were a biohazard and probably could’ve used a good fire. I went to the concert for Pearl Jam and their sound was barely audible.