One of the few things I do like about living in Atlanta is Music Midtown. Its a 3 day music festival. This year it had 8 stages, plus the usual set of vendor booths and non-profit organizations.
Friday. We (Kevin, Jodi and I) headed down a little late, got there just in time to catch a song or two of American Hi-Fi on the 99x stage, and then wheeled over to 96rock to see Cheryl Crow with a plan to return for the big act (for us) of the night, Live. A few songs into her set, the winds picked up, and with the lights swinging over the stage they called for a break and slipped off. A few minutes after that, the sky opened up and dumped water on the city. We made a run for cover, and waited a bit. Before we could decide if we wanted to try to wait out the rain, the PA system crackled to life and announced that the show was being called and that everyone should head for cover. Seems there were “extreme weather” warnings out for our area. Despite the forecast for rain, we’d hoped it wouldn’t, and optimistically didn’t buy ponchos. So we walked about 6 or 7 blocks back to the car in the rain. In the parking garage we dried off a bit, then called it quits and went home. It rained. Alot. All the way home. Then it stopped. Live played at midnight. We missed it.
Saturday. We managed to get downtown a little earlier this time, around 2:30. Armed with ponchos this time, we stood in the rain and heard the last few songs of Die Trying on the 99x stage. Jodi and I headed off to check out the vendors who were weathering the weather, but returned shortly (not much to see). The rain stopped. The clouds began to part, and the blue sky beneath became revealed. Evanescence took to the stage. Poetry. They played their album, which of course, as often is the case, would have been better had the guy working the soundboard not decided that EVERYTHING had to be set at eleven. During their set, the crowd around the stage increased ten fold as people came crawling out into the sunlight. After Evanescence, we slid back to the food court near 99x’s stage and found something to eat. As we sat consuming our far too expensive food, Angie Aparo went on and played well. A good performance. After that we wandered around a bit, mostly checking out the location of some of the other stages and passing through the non-profit zone. Then returned to the 99x stage to catch Cowboy Mouth and a few drinks. At 8:30 we had to make a dash for the other end of the park, to the V-103 stage, to see the greatest band ever… Morris Day & The Time! (oh-ee-oh-ee-ohh!) After 20 years you expect a band to be tight and have a polished act, and they do. Song to song, Morris and the Time play and perform almost perfection. It was like opening a door and looking into the 1980’s. Pure bliss. Once we’d finished absorbing the funk, we split up and Kevin headed off to see Godsmack, while Jodi and I took a mellow turn and visited the stage of Tony Bennett. All these years, and Tony still knows how to croon.
Sunday. Down for the last day, we went late. We slid past the 99x stage as Jack Johnson played and headed to where I would plant my feet for the remainded of the day, 96rock. drivin n cryin were up first (not Kevin Kinney solo, but dnc a.k.a. the good stuff) and they put on a decent show, swinging through all the expected hits with a few other tunes for flavor. We stayed there through Everclear. While I respect any band that puts themselves out there, and Art is a pretty decent guy, Everclear really needs to expand their sound. I enjoy them. They have a bunch of good songs. But boy do alot of them sound alike. Still worth listening too though. Kevin took off again at this point to go see Zwan, while Jodi and I remained to experience Def Leppard. They opened with Side 1 of High and Dry. Not many bands have the balls to do something like that. Then they began to slither down through their hits (avoiding notable love balads like “Love Bites”, but hitting all the others that got them banned from Dial-MTV in the 80’s like “Animal” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me”) and slipping in a new song now and again from their new album “X”. Just like Morris Day & The Time, after 23 years (Def Leppard first came to Atlanta in 1980) you expect to see a good show, and they delivered. Joe still has a pretty good voice, Vivian and Phil are good guitarists, Rick Savage thumbs a mean bass, and Rick Allen, the one armed drummer, still bangs a wicked set of bongos. I missed them in tour for Hysteria (my parents wouldn’t let me go, my brother did, I have a t-shirt), while this doesn’t make up for it, it helps.
3 Days, 2 legendary bands, a few other good ones, rain, feet aches, expensive food, more expensive drinks, and a couple of souvenir t-shirts. All in all, a good way to spend a weekend.