PHOTOS / REVIEW: Music Midtown 2011 Rocks Atlanta

78 degrees, sun, enormous park in the middle of the Midtown neighborhood in Atlanta – those are some helpful ingredients for a music festival. It also helps when the festival goes off like clockwork, with great food and not too many long lines. But what really makes any music festival a success is the music itself, and that ingredient certainly didn’t disappoint yesterday at , Atlanta’s major festival that was returning for the first time in six years.

While the headliners were great, I thought it was the earlier acts that really gave the festival a bit of a unique identity and personality. started the day off, unfortunately not for much of a crowd, but they put on a great show of very Strokes-esque rock. Local favorites followed, bringing over an hour of indie and sometimes almost rap-rock sounds to a crowd that slowly started spilling in, but was very into the set. WALK THE MOON, a young four-piece out of Cincinnati that’s been picking up some buzz lately, was my favorite set of the afternoon. Their poppy, art-rock sound is surprisingly polished and they brought some awesome energy to the stage, complete with paint that put a face to the name “neon indian”. They showed some love for the local crowd, mentioning that they had recorded their new album (produced by Ben Allen) down the street from Piedmont Park back in July of this year. Their cover of Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House” was a highlight of the afternoon for me, as I thought they really made it their own, especially with lead singer Nicholas Petricca’s throaty vocals as a contrast to Byrne’s more polished tone.