Music Midtown rocks through the rain

It wasn’t quite Woodstock, but the persistent rain that drenched Piedmont Park — and most of Atlanta — on Saturday turned the sold-out second day of Music Midtown into a mud pit.

Not that the 50,000-plus who eventually filled the space to see a lineup ranging from the fresh new sounds of Imagine Dragons and hip-hopper Kendrick Lamar to funk-rock stalwarts the Red Hot Chili Peppers cared, even if they didn’t get the sunshine of Friday’s lineup that included Journey and Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz.

Tens of thousands wearing ponchos and rain boots and toting umbrellas crammed in front of one of three stages staggered around the park early afternoon Saturday. Although fans seemed content to revel in the sounds of the diverse musical lineup, some had to wait to gain access to see the bands, thanks to the gloomy cloud cover.

Lines to enter Music Midtown snaked down 10th Street for hours in the afternoon, a problem Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, which produced the event, attributed to sluggish scanners.

The scanners, he said, are powered by satellites, so the wall of clouds prevented them from working. The solution came when he ordered entrance guards to tear tickets the old-fashioned way.

As for the rain, a water-logged Conlon, his phone tucked into a plastic baggie for safe-keeping, said backstage that it was “just an annoyance. There’s nothing dangerous about it. Everyone seems to be in a good mood.”

While music lovers clamored to the park for the third consecutive outing of Music Midtown — it returned in 2011 after an extended hiatus — to hear and see rock stars, at least one guy on the bill remembered what it felt like to be part of the crowd.

Daniel Platzman, drummer for hitmakers Imagine Dragons, whose “It’s Time” and “Radioactive” are two of the biggest songs of the past 12 months, is an Atlanta native who attended Paideia High School and remembers coming to see Incubus at Music Midtown with his school buddies.

On Saturday, Platzman’s family and those old friends were tucked among the thousands gathered to see the band.

“This is surreal,” Platzman said backstage. “We woke up in the bus this morning and looked out the window and I was like, ‘We’re five minutes from my parents’ house!’”

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For a complete roundup of Music Midtown 2013, visit