The second day of Music Midtown 2012 was a commercial success, but physically taxing. Ludacris bragged to the crowd at around 5 p.m. that 52,000 tickets had been sold, and it soon became clear just how that amount of people packed into Piedmont Park actually feels. Like a lot of mammoth music festivals, everyone stayed in a state of constant flux, fumbling into each other and muttering “excuse me,” because there literally was not enough room to stand still.
In spite of the craziness, bright sparks flared, sometimes due to pop culture signals crossing and jamming. The songwriter turned performer Laura Pergolizzi (who goes by L.P.) belting out Beyonce’s “Halo” was one of them. She’s worked for divas like Rihanna and Christina Aguilera, but has plenty of outsider diva punch of her own. Tipsy men in Polo shirts dancing to happy hardcore served over the hook from “Sweet Child of Mine” was another — that came courtesy Girl Talk, a DJ whose mixes barely, but almost always, work.
Ludacris had better success riling people up with “Get Low” and “When We Were Young” than Garbage with “Stupid Girl.” Which was confusing given that Pearl Jam was headlining. Much of Ludacris’ set consisted of DJ’ing samples of artists ranging from Usher to Nirvana.
Florence and the Machine very well could have been the headliner, at least in terms of performance. Florence Welch’s set started off with technical problems, which she seemed pretty mortified about. She compared it to that dream where you wake up naked in school.
Because the schedule was back-to-back all day between two stages, the crowd engaged in a clumsy congested migration after every set. It took almost half an hour to get within a few thousand people of Girl Talk.
Speaking of which, the dance music trend has obviously gripped the mainstream. I saw Girl Talk a few years ago when the stage was a few hundred deep. Now, thousands of people scrambled to get close enough to feel like part of the dance party, which roped the Notorious B.I.G. and Kelly Clarkson into the same set.
I found a rare piece of grass to sit on during Pearl Jam’s set. The unforgiving barrage of flesh had reduced me into a shy, awkward weirdo. It was high school all over again, and perfectly so. Eddie Vedder’s delivery of “Better Man” and “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter In a Small Town.” were met with an unbelievably loud chorus of voices. He looked very dad-like with his paunch and weathered face as he encouraged everyone to vote and keep loving each other. By then, much of the crowd had turned cantankerous, probably from a mixture of booze and exhaustion. Dealing with 52,000 people in Piedmont Park might have been a little stressful, but hearing as many voices sing along to Pearl Jam made it memorable.
View the complete photo gallery of the two-day Music Midtown 2012 fest.
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Still looking for Masta Killah and Killah Priest for the Killah Trifecta!
ahh. i see what u did there. clever as always.