MUSIC MIDTOWN DAY TWO
(featuring: Kid Rock, Counting Crows, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Adema, and Dropsonic)
Downtown Atlanta, GA
May 4, 2002
I arrived on Saturday around three in the afternoon. First, I caught Atlanta rockers Dropsonic on the Locals Only stage.
They sounded great augmented by a second guitarist. Front man Dan Dixon nailed all of his parts and the rest of the band was dead on also. Its a shame these guys dont get the attention they deserve. I can't wait to see them again.
For an exclusive Dropsonic interview, click here.
Over on the 99X Stage, Adema was brutalizing the early birds with their brand of techno tinted modern rock.
As the skies finally burst open and the rain came down, singer Marky Chavez had a bit of a freak out. He kicked first one, then another spotlight into the security pit almost crushing one unfortunate photographer. The lights were toast by the time they introduced a strong new song called "Immortal." Adema is one of the best bands stuck in the nu-metal pigeonhole and they were solid (if a bit petulant).
Bone Thugs N Harmony:
Over in the parallel universe called the V-103 area, Bubba Sparxxx was dressed a lot like Charlie Brown as he got "Ugly." Unfortunately, I missed most of his show, but what I heard was good enough to make me bob my head. Next, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony staged their Atlanta comeback. They're so much more tuneful than most of their contemporaries, it'll be refreshing to see if they can manage to get back to the top. Everyone here was certainly with them. I soon found myself wandering again and as the Bone Thugs faded with distance, I heard The Producers bouncing out "What's He Got." When all those sounds start bleeding together, things can get pretty weird. I shook off the minor disorientation and kept moving. Newly bearded Pete Yorn did a late afternoon set as all of the girls crushing on him were crushed in the crowd.
After sticking around to catch a bit of Counting Crows, I had to get out of the madness around the 99X Stage.
There were way too many bodies in that area. I saw dozens in tears of pain and/or panic from their inability to escape the waves rolling through the sea of people. I decided to forego sets from Bush and Stone Temple Pilots for a nice relaxing couple of hours in the adjacent Atlanta Civic Center.
Even though I wasn't allowed to take pictures of it, this turned out to be the highlight of Music Midtown for me. I couldn't believe that the venue was only half-full for such a unique experience. This was a round robin song swap extraordinaire. Where else could you hear June Carter Cash, Edwin McCain, Don McLean, Cindy Wilson of the B-52's, Tony Rich, Angie Aparo and R.E.M.'s Mike Mills play their songs stripped down to the basics. Don McLean's version of Roy Orbison's "Crying" actually brought June Carter Cash to tears. McLean also managed to induce chills from "Vincent." June Carter Cash represented her legendary Carter Family with "Wildwood Flower" and "Will The Circle Be Unbroken. She also did Ring Of Fire which she wrote for her future husband Johnny. Her auto harp accompaniment was an improvement over the mariachi cheese of her husbands recording. Cindy Wilson's acoustic version of "Roam" wasnt quite right, but she made up for it with a song about her late brother. It was truly touching. Mike Mills did a phenomenal version of "Wendell Gee" as well as a cover of The Troggs' "Love Is All Around." He also seemed to be the anchor of the group. He was relaxed, funny and genuinely appeared to be easing the jitters of the others as the hot seat rotated. Everyone else played well, too. Unfortunately for them, Edwin McCains Ill Be and Angie Aparos Spaceship couldn't help but pale a bit next to the legends Tony Rich fared better with his new song Free, but all three of these guys were definitely in the shadows of those around them. There were too many other highlights to mention during these two hours. It was broadcast live on Turner South. Do yourself a favor and track down a copy. After a massive sing a long of "American Pie," I decided to ditch. I knew that I'd seen the best, so I decided to head home.
On the way out, I caught Kid Rock screaming "American Badass" while topless girls and Confederate flags dotted the audience.