Music Midtown was this past weekend (Sept. 18 & 19). I prepped you with a Music Midtown Countdown and playlist last month and now I’m back with a recap and some video footage from my favorite sets. The weather was perfect and although I didn’t see everyone that was on my list – I saw my “must-sees” and they did not disappoint. Sadly, I only caught little a bit of Elton John as the crowd in front of his stage was ridiculous.
With his man-bun and a guitar that had a gas can as the body – Hozier delivered an amazing live show. A few months ago, I had only heard “Take me To Church” (which he slayed live) until I heard a clip of “Work Song”. I immediately put his album on rotation and fell in love with his voice. He absolutely sounds just like his record when singing live and not a lot of artists can say that today. With his haunting voice, he preformed “Like Real People Do”, “To Be Alone” a cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” and Ariana Grande’s “Problem” as the sun began to set over Piedmont Park.
Although I’m still mad at Drizzy for ruining Serena’s historical moment I had to forgive him after putting on such an amazing show on Friday night. His energy in combination with the crowd’s energy made an incredible performance. He moved from “Trophies” to “Hold on, We’re Going Home”, to “Over”. The crowd almost overpowered him as we rapped along to “The Motto” and his verse from “Tuesday”. “Worst Behavior”, “0 to 100”, “All Me”, “Know Yourself”, and “Back to Back” (the latter four are in my video) were other favorites of mine. Near the end of his set – he announced his mixtape with Future would be released before the end of the weekend and boom it came out last night. To end the night with a bang (pun intended) he had fireworks at the end of the set. So you win Drake.
I won’t lie to you. I don’t know all of Billy Idol’s catalog, but I was prepared for him to rip off his shirt (it did indeed come off) and give a good show. The British rocker is almost 60 and proof that age ain’t nothing but a number. He showed off those abs and killed it while the crowd howled “Rebel Yell” and “White Wedding” back to him.
Panic! at the Disco
Panic! at the Disco makes me think of high school and although Brendon Urie is the only original member left, Panic! delivered. The set included “Ballad of Mona Lisa”, “Hallelujah” and “Miss Jackson”. Urie joked that the band had just written a song backstage they wanted to preform — cue an excellent cover of Bohemian Rhapsody (which you can find in the video below). Bravo Panic! Bravo.
Holy mesh shirt, ripped jeans and cowrie shell necklaces!! Lenny – rockin’ his sunglasses at night – was feeling the Atlanta crowd and the entire set was just this cool effortless groove. The youngin’s know him from The Hunger Games, but there were plenty of longtime fans chanting the lyrics with him and cheering on his guitar solos. The best part of the set might have been the solos from the band – his drummer (Cindy Blackman) absolutely killed it!! P.S. She’s married to Carlos Santana. The trumpet player took me to church and the saxophonist gave me chills. Some of the hits we heard were: ” Frankenstein”, “American Woman”, “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over”,“Dancin’ Til Dawn,” and “Always on the Run”.
I left Lenny early to get a spot for Sam Smith. I’ve been excited about this performance for a long time and he slayed from the first note to the very last note. Like Hozier, Sam Smith sounded fantastic live – it was like listening to him on Spotify. The other thing I loved is he seemed so humble. He was in awe that we truly connected with his music and he was overjoyed that the crowd sang his lyrics back to him. You could tell that he was having a great time by the smile that almost never left his face. He shared his story and the crowed roared in appreciation. As if I could love him anymore: he acknowledged that Amy Winehouse’s birthday had just passed and how much he appreciated her as an artist before launching into a cover of “Tears Dry on Their Own”. Smith sang another cover “Can’t Help Falling in Love” that made the audience hang on to every note. Other hits sung: stripped down version of “Latch” (see it in the video), “Lay Me Down”, “Money on My Mind”, “Like I Can” and the smash “Stay With Me” (also in the video).