13 June 2005

Musica de Midtown en Revue

As seen on Kirsten's blog, we made the trek to see Music Midtown XII. (For more on the venue, you can read band reviews and blogs from the fest (access required) at ajc.com.) Since I already had previous business to attend to earlier in the day (just a checkup), we missed out on Red Letter Agent, who were apparently quite good. Oh well. Needless to say, the rest of the weekend turned out pretty good. Below you will find the bands that we caught along this smorgasboard of music:

Lou Reed
8:45 pm - 9:45 pm - Ford/Best Buy Stage
Everyone was wondering if he would play any Velvet...one song in after we arrived, the familiar open to "White Light/White Heat" sealed the deal. Further, Lou rocked so hard for the Friday night crowd that he blew his amp 20 minutes into the show. After a brief stopdown, he broke out a vintage kit, saying that he was going to take it easy from then on: "I can't replace this one", he quipped.
Easy there, gramps.
Good show, made great by seeing Lou Weed for the first time.

8:45 pm - 9:45 pm - Miller Lite/99x Stage
What can I say? Their onstage persona is exactly as I thought it would be: dark, mysterious, no-nonsense brooding rock. The boys never really got into the set, breaking a little early.
I can say that I blame them...the crowd was impatiently awaiting the Stripes, so I wouldn't expect them to welcome Interpol with open arms.
A good, tight set IMHO, taken away from by the waning mood.

The White Stripes
(in their only US concert for the entire year)
10:30 pm - 12:00 am - Miller Lite/99x Stage
Two words: F%*&ing incredible. Out of all the performances of the weekend, this one finishes third by the slimmest of margins.
Jack and Meg are definitely meant to be seen live. The power of their dual romp through the recent catalogues cannot be justly served on vinyl, let alone the CD. It is meant to be shouted from the rooftops, and their beautiful setup and gorgeous red, black and white theme fades quickly to the genius of their dynamic: The (new) Blues.
As our good friend, -B explained about the Stripes:
"All I'll say is that Jack & Meg have mastered this thing called rhythm and blues. Man it's good."
Indeed. I hope all of you can one day see them live. It's an experience.

Bloc Party
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Miller Lite/99x Stage
I'm slightly biased. This is one of my favorite new bands. Their new album, Silent Alarm, is wonderful. So, how did they sound live?
Starting out the day at a festival stage usually means you're fighting an uphill battle. Not many people know you, so you're getting the stone-faced, arms-crossed look from the fans, basically saying, "Prove to me that you're worthy of my attention".
Message received from quite a few fans in front of us: These blokes from the UK passed the test.
My verdict: Another band that's better live. Amazing. The drummer was spectacular. Having a backbone like that really allows the other members to explore and create, making for a magnifique performance. A close third for the weekend.

MetalSome Monday
Various Times (Friday - Sunday)
(A heavy-metal karaoke band in Atlanta. They were awesome! I recommend visiting their website) - KO
Kirsten says it all. Unbelievable idea for a great moneymaking scheme. Why can't I think of these things?

Robert Randolph and the Family Band
6:00 pm - 7:15 pm - Ford/Best Buy Stage
(if you've never heard of them, I pity you. An amazing show.) - KO
I had seen these guys on Conan a few months back, doing their version of Hendrix's "Voodoo Child". I was blown away. That was on television.
This was easily the second-best show I saw, and I knew it would be unreal. No dissappointment at all...in fact, it exceeded my expectations.
If you're lucky enough to see them, don't miss it...regardless of your musical tastes and preferences.
This is a band of musicians, to which playing "musical chairs" with all the different instruments is a key attraction.
I'm done....for fear of my life. This is a very dangerous band...don't let the "family" stigma fool you. Consider yourselves warned.

John Fogerty
8:00 pm - 9:15 pm - Ford/Best Buy Stage
(sounding just fine without CCR, thank you very much)
How old is Johnny now? 60? Still a rock staple...the catalogue is mind-boggling.
Don't even get me started on the whole CCR crapfest that's been ongoing for over 30 years. It's an injustice, to say the least.
What this man has done for rock n' roll....it should be taught in schools and revered in Contemporary American History.
And, he still kicks ass.

The Killers
8:45 pm - 10:00 pm - Miller Lite/99x Stage
Great band. Great prescence. Hey, does it matter what I say? The 12-year-old girls that rule the world we live in love these guys. They're set for life. At this point, KO and I are about done with the rain. We're re-grouping, but struggling mightily.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
10:00 pm - 12:00 am - Ford/Best Buy Stage
Great band. Pretty good set. I couldn't really get into it. I remember in between the raindrops being stunned by the large turnout for Petty. Do that many people like him? KO, myself, and the older folks...but the young people? Really? Shocked, I say....shocked.

The Pixies (reuinited and touring after 12 years)
10:30 pm - 11:30 pm - Miller Lite/99x Stage
They ended their set 30 minutes early, so we almost missed them. Glad we didn't, as they sounded as great as I had hoped.
Only got to hear about 3 songs, including the classic, "Where Is My Mind?" Great, great, great...did I mention that I liked it?
All in all, a fitting end to a rain-soaked day. Man, please don't rain tomorrow...


Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Ford/Best Buy Stage
Kickin' ass and playing all her classics. Hard to fathom that she's been around over 30 years...a great, ass-kicking show.

Def Leppard
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Ford/Best Buy Stage
Here's your number one show..undisputed. What did Def Leppard have that R. Randolph didn't? Try about twice as many people, inifinitely better scenery (1 clue: many girls on shoulders, doing what girls sitting on shoulders do), amazing crowd surfing, and some great music to boot, including a cover of Badfinger's "No Matter What".
Midtown was thoroughy rocked after they left the stage.
Well done, boys.
(Oh, and it made KO very, very, very happy. 'Nuff said.)

7:15 pm - 8:30 pm - Miller Lite/99x Stage
(That's right. I said DEVO. As in "Are
we not men? We Are DEVO! The first show of their 2005 tour. They're in their 50s now, and look like they're having a blast!)-KO
Oh, DEVO. The moment was here. A band that I have worshiped from about 10 years...begins its first tour in over 20 years...in Atlanta. Yellow jumpsuits. Synthesizers. Red "Energy Dome" hats. Heavenly. Amazing. Funny. Smart. Goofy. A showstopper. The weekend was capped off by picking up a DEVO tour shirt that you can see similar to this shirt here, only in black.
Ties for second with Robert Randolph...and I couldn't think of a better way to end the fest.

KO and I had a blast this weekend.
Thanks, Music Midtown...and a word of advice...keep the fest in June.

Rawk on.
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