Highlights from Music Midtown 2018
If you are native to Atlanta, you know that summer does not end in September. Since most people are sick of the pool by now, what better way to forget about the heat than enjoying some of the year’s top artists in Midtown’s Piedmont Park?
Many attendees, both young and old, enjoyed the weekend covered in glitter and sweat vibing to artists from Rainbow Kitten Surprise to Kendrick Lamar.
Day One consisted of 18 artists, including Børns, Portugal. The Man and Post Malone.
With his emotional yet upbeat tunes, Børns wooed the audience with his angelic voice and groove. His original spin on indie-pop blasted Børns to the top of the charts in 2016 with “Electric Love.” However, some of his best songs extend farther into the album, beyond the radio hits. His psychedelic pop-rock vibes carry throughout his albums in his songs “American Money,” “I Don’t Want U Back” and “Past Lives.”
Portugal. The Man
The Alaskan band opened with a heavy claim that they were better than icons such as The Beatles. While this claim was made in obvious humor, Portugal. The Man definitely blew the crowd away with a performance that was close (but not quite) to the musical wonders of previous rock icons.
If you listened to the radio at least once this year, you probably heard the band’s hit “Feel It Still.” The song, influenced by social movements as well as the bands personal lives, blew up this year and drew many new fans into their experimental rock sensations. Their Saturday performance was full of dry humor, guitar solos and an ecstatic crowd.
No one can hype up a crowd as Post Malone succeeded to do last weekend. It seemed as though the entirety of the Music Midtown population flooded the Salesforce Stage to see the rapper joyfully lament about his past exes.
Post Malone was one of the few performers who actively spoke to the audience. No matter how far one was from the stage, the atmosphere felt more similar to an intimate concert rather than a huge music festival.
Billie Eilish, Khalid and Imagine Dragons graced Midtown on the second day of the festival alongside many others.
The breathtakingly talented starlet drew dozens of fans Sunday evening as she rocked out to her bedroom-electropop tunes. Eilish’s breathy voice mirrors that of Lana Del Rey and Lorde, causing her fans to often forget that the singer is only 16 years old.
Her hit song “Ocean Eyes” was written and recorded when Eilish was only 13 years old, and soon gained her a large following.
While her amazing lyrics and vocals speak for themselves, Eilish did not stop there. Her Music Midtown performance was completed with a surprise performance from her brother, Finneas, and a ukulele cover to Drake’s “Hotline Bling” by Eilish herself.
With her name becoming increasingly well-known, Billie Eilish’s Sunday performance will for sure continue to launch her to the top of the charts.
As the day turned to night and the heat subsided, fans packed the Great Southeast Music Hall to enjoy Khalid’s nostalgically charged songs. The 20 year old sang and danced along to his older hits as well and performed his brand-new song “Better,” that came out last week.
In addition to his newer hits, Khalid also performed his first ever written song, “Saved.” Compared to the rest of his performance, this song displayed a more vulnerable and personal side of his artistry.
His performance was full of a smooth energy that had the entire crowd swaying in unison. The cool air paired with Khalid’s mesmerizing voice created a peaceful atmosphere to start the night off.
To finish off the last night of the festival, Imagine Dragons gave a strong performance alongside socially relevant commentary from lead singer, Dan Reynolds. Between songs, he discussed the importance of mental health awareness and how his struggle with depression has only made him stronger.
His commentary was followed by the fitting song “Thunder,” discussing how he overcame his obstacles to break into worldwide fame.
The performance was rounded off with colorful flashing lights that, when paired with Imagine Dragon’s electric energy, made for a perfect ending to the best year of Music Midtown.