Fan-filled Music Midtown closes out first night with Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5

The Jonas Brothers perform at Music Midtown on Saturday night, September 18, 2021, in Piedmont Park. (Photo: Ryan Fleisher for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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The Jonas Brothers perform at Music Midtown on Saturday night, September 18, 2021, in Piedmont Park. (Photo: Ryan Fleisher for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

After a year’s hiatus because of the pandemic, Music Midtown took back Piedmont Park on Saturday, and despite the new safety guidelines, the venue plans to welcome about 50,000 fans.

Imagine Festival canceled its plans to host a music fest this weekend in Chattahoochee Hills because of the chance of rain, but so far only a slight drizzle and plenty of heat has welcomed fans back to the grounds for Music Midtown.

With most well-known performers starting their sets later in the day, pits in front of stages remained relatively sparse until about midday with most listeners dispersed on the grass. After long lines outside the park around 4 p.m., large crowds have situated themselves at the barricade and hilly areas.

ExplorePHOTOS: Gallery from Day 1 of Music Midtown
ExplorePHOTOS: Even more from Day 1 of Music Midtown

Morgan Vinson

Before any sets even began, a bigger crowd patiently waited in front of the Great Southeast Music Stage as Morgan Vinson got ready for her performance. Wearing light-washed ripped jeans and strumming a deep blue acoustic guitar, Vinson sat on a stool in the middle of the stage looking out to fans as they screamed with excitement for her to kick things off.

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Morgan Vinson was the first performer at Music Midtown. As fans continued to flock to the park, a smaller crowd cheered her on.

Credit: Caroline Silva

Morgan Vinson was the first performer at Music Midtown. As fans continued to flock to the park, a smaller crowd cheered her on.

Credit: Caroline Silva

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Morgan Vinson was the first performer at Music Midtown. As fans continued to flock to the park, a smaller crowd cheered her on.

Credit: Caroline Silva

Credit: Caroline Silva

Singing to an audience through her sound check, Vinson’s audio went out numerous times as sound techs got her situated. Regardless, fans cheered her through ever mishap as the sound settled.

Vinsin began her set singing her 2016 song “Uninvited“ as fans swayed in the lawn while comfortably sitting with distance between each group. Completely solo on stage, Vinson did not fail to make her presence felt as her powerful and robust voice filled the lawn.

ExplorePreview of this year's Music Midtown

”I love how I see some of you all signing along,” Vinson said in between songs to fans.

Midway through Vinson’s set, the large lawn facing her stage began to fill with small groups of people. Taking her time between each song to talk to her fans, fans awed each time they got a response from her. A handful of fans sporting diamonds underneath their eyes and bright clothing stayed plastered to the barricade until Vinson finished her set and took every opportunity to talk to the celebrity.

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Mom Rock helped get things going for the start of the two-day Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Mom Rock helped get things going for the start of the two-day Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

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Mom Rock helped get things going for the start of the two-day Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Mom Rock

As an up-and-coming Indie band, all five band mates of Mom Rock took to the stage wearing red and while baseball jerseys and pants and began their set with a spur of loud drums and bass with their song ”25.” Rocking a 1990s feel, the bandmates wore colorful eyeshadows while others drew hearts and triangles on their cheeks.

The grass seemed to shake as those in the pit jumped in sync with the music. After Vinson’s slow and dreamy introduction to the festival, Mom Rock energized the big crowd with their second song “Xylophone.” Fists immediately shot up into the air in appreciation of the music.

Curls bouncing with each guitar strum and jump across the stage, the band alternated between upbeat choruses and slower riffs with their first song release “Conversations.”

“We love a good mosh pit as long as you’re respectful of those around you,“ the lead singer said with a smirk.

Although no mosh pit ensued within the crowd near the barricade, fans did take the opportunity to loosen up by dancing and jumping to the music that seemed to follow each heartbeat.

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Teddy Swims performs at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Teddy Swims performs at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

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Teddy Swims performs at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Teddy Swims

Next door to Mom Rock’s closing set, Jaten Dimsdale, better known as Teddy Swims since starting his career in 2019, and his groovy beat had fans transverse the grassy field and already dancing. Sporting a white T-shirt with gold accents and luxurious gold shorts, the Atlanta-raised artist’s calming yet jazzy and Southern voice had fans in a craze.

Paying tribute to a song and artist that Dimsdale said changed his entire life, “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson was a total crowd pleaser. Adding a more upbeat feel to the song as the performers jumped across the stage, fans began swaying rhythmically to the beat and singing each lyric.

Moving into the artist’s first ever released song “Night Off,” the crowd swayed their arms back and forth to the groovy guitar solo mid-song as Dimsdale tried to hype the crowd even more. Starting with the song “Somebody Should Kiss You,” fans started to scream with excitement after each song as bandmates pointed at fans near the barricade.

Playing a handful of unreleased songs the artist claimed to be testing out on fans and covers by inspiring singers, Dimsdale admitted the band planned “something special for (fans) since (they’re) back home.” They then broke into Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind.”

Girl in Red

Several blue lights flashed in beat to an ominous chanting growing louder from the speakers and the huge crowd went wild before any Girl in Red bandmates took to the stage. Groups ran toward the barricade screaming just as Marie Ringheim broke into the song “Serotonin” with her all-black wear and Los Angeles red cap.

“I’m totally jet lagged right now. It’s like 11 p.m in my head right now, but that’s OK cause I go to sleep much later. I swear,” Ringheim said in between giggles before professing her love for girls and breaking into the next song — “Girls.” The song was welcomed by female fans screaming and pumping their fists in the air.

Calling in the cooler weather with the band’s love song “We Fell in Love in October,” Ringheim explained how the song does not fit well with Atlanta’s current unbearable heat. Despite the cozy song meant for the upcoming month, some fans slung their arms around friends and sang looking up into the sky in joy.

Ashnikko

As a relatively new artist, before Ashnikko even took the stage, the crowd roared after her DJ, Krystal Lake, began the set with her Pioneer mixing board and a black one piece. In the wake of her songs that blew up in 2019, Ashnikko attracted the largest crowd at Music Midtown thus far in the late afternoon.

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A large crowd turns out as Ashnikko performs on the first day of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Credit: Caroline Silva

A large crowd turns out as Ashnikko performs on the first day of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Credit: Caroline Silva

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A large crowd turns out as Ashnikko performs on the first day of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Credit: Caroline Silva

Credit: Caroline Silva

“I’m gonna need y’all to go crazy, Atlanta,” Lake yelled into the crowd. “Y’all gonna need to be louder if you want (Ashnikko) to come out.”

Wearing a baby blue lingerie one-piece, bright white high boots and deep blue hair, a fan yelled from the crowd that Ashnikko “looks like a mermaid.”

She started her set with her hit “Tantrum,” which had everyone in the crowd dancing and singing along with the star. The hype carried onto her following song “Working Bitch,” which pays tribute to working women who put aside simple pleasure for long term goals.

Though Ashnikko’s crowd was by far the most excited and engaged yet, it wasn’t until her dance in the middle of her song “Slumber Party” that fans cheered the artist’s every move across the stage. With no room to move across the lawn in front of her stage, some fans tried their best to follow Ashnikko’s dance moves

Eric Nam

Rain began sprinkling moments before Eric Nam began his set. Sporting an all-white outfit with an electric red jacket and black nails, he began serenading the large crowd with his hit “Come Through.” Screams accompanied by clapping hands tried to blend into the music.

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Oliver Tree performs amid a chance of rain at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Oliver Tree performs amid a chance of rain at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

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Oliver Tree performs amid a chance of rain at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

“I almost teared up when I went on stage,” Nam said with a fake cry. “I was like, ’live music’!”

Nam is an Atlanta-born K-pop artist, but many of his songs are in English and he said some songs he planned to perform Saturday, he had never played for an audience before. Which led perfectly to his next song “Down For You,” which Nam showed hesitation singing after realizing he had not performed it since soon after its release in June 2020.

Following the thread, Nam enthusiastically said, “You guys are gonna hear it for the first time” before breaking into his song “I Don’t Know You Anymore” that is set to be released in October. The song produced a rhythmic guitar solo at the end that left fans grooving along with the band mate’s talent.

Oliver Tree

Slightly late to his set as light rain continued to pour down, Oliver Tree joked that he thought his set was on Sunday. Despite the confusion, Tree came prepared — he wore a long blond wig, that simultaneously featured his iconic bowl cut, and a massive green cowboy hat. Certainly a walking meme with his continuous jokes throughout the set, Tree while singing “Forget It” admitted he was excited to see fans after emphasizing he “didn’t think anyone would show up.”

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Fans dance in the rain at Music Midtown during Oliver Tree performance on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Piedmont Park. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Fans dance in the rain at Music Midtown during Oliver Tree performance on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Piedmont Park. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

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Fans dance in the rain at Music Midtown during Oliver Tree performance on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Piedmont Park. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

After wrapping up his first song, Tree scared fans after he said, “Y’all ready to rock out, Atlanta? Good, cause I think we have time for one more song.” Luckily, fans recognized his humor and he was met with crowd full of laughter and slight disappointment from those still confused.

Moving into his song “Alien Boy,” the crowd danced along with Tree as he swaggered across the stage with his baggy jeans and neon pink, windbreaker jacket. Tree was at one point lying on the stage floor, spinning in circles as onlookers gave slightly confused stares.

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AJR performs at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

AJR performs at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

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AJR performs at Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

AJR

The first set of three brothers performing Saturday night began their long-awaited show with the interlude to their latest album and went right into “Bummerland” as the crowd jumped, cheered and sang each lyric with precision. Without a warning, the large screen behind the band flashed between neon pink and blue with each and every hand up to the sky.

“We always get the most applause when we say our names,” Jack Met said apparently confused, explaining he would expect the most applause after songs.

Lead vocalist Jack Met not only sang each song and gave his best go at dance moves, but he also continuously went to the piano to join his brother Ryan and played the guitar with brother Adam.

With rain slightly settling down, the band went into “Sober Up,” which was met with cheers that could be heard all throughout the park. A densely packed crowd and swaying hips made it seem as if the entire venue had settled at AJR’s stage.

21 Savage

At the other side of the park playing at the same time as AJR, 21 Savage performed to an equally large crowd. Flashing red lights and a deep bass filled the atmosphere as several girls watched the performance while sitting on a friend’s shoulders.

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Crowds continue to grow at Music Midtown heading into the evening as 21 Savage performs at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Crowds continue to grow at Music Midtown heading into the evening as 21 Savage performs at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

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Crowds continue to grow at Music Midtown heading into the evening as 21 Savage performs at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

”Now, Atlanta, I’m gonna ask you one more time, if you’re in that Savage mood, say ‘Hell Yeah!” the artist told the fans. With his monochrome pants changing colors under the lights, 21 Savage was immediately met with a massive response from thousands of fans in the pit.

The artist’s recent album released, “Savage Mode II,” has been a crowd pleaser during Saturday night’s performance with most fans rapping right along. However, the rapper took it back to his roots and performed songs released earlier in his careers while fans hyped him on.

Machine Gun Kelly

On a stage filled with purple and while lights, Machine Gun Kelly started their set with a bang with the song “Downfalls High.” The heavy punk rock guitar made the perfect ambiance for jumping and head banging, which is exactly what fans were up to.

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Machine Gun Kelly @ Music Midtown 9/28/321

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Machine Gun Kelly @ Music Midtown 9/28/321

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

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Machine Gun Kelly @ Music Midtown 9/28/321

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Before the artists jumped into his next song, lead singer Colson Baker began smoking and told fans he would explain “why (he) smoked all day.” Finishing the song “Drunk Face,” the rebellious act put fans in a daze. The trippy and flashy background that often featured the artists across the stage only added to the ambiance he was intending.

The band’s performance of their new album was shortly interrupted with Young Thug as they sang a short few minutes together before the band then went into “(Expletive) You, Goodbye” after the lead singer pointed out the fans lounging in the back.

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Machine Gun Kelly performed their hits on the first night of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Machine Gun Kelly performed their hits on the first night of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

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Machine Gun Kelly performed their hits on the first night of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Jonas Brothers

Minutes before the second trio of brothers performed, fans migrated from Machine Gun Kelly across the park, talking about songs they hoped the Jonas Brothers would perform.

The Jo Bros began their set with their new single “Remember This,” which is a part of their soon-to-be-released album and name of their current world tour. Despite it being a relatively new song, fans knew most lyrics and instead of singing along — they yelled.

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Fans packed Piedmont Park for the first night of Music Midtown, including a performance by the Jonas Brothers on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Fans packed Piedmont Park for the first night of Music Midtown, including a performance by the Jonas Brothers on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

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Fans packed Piedmont Park for the first night of Music Midtown, including a performance by the Jonas Brothers on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Silva/AJC)

Their song “What a Man Gotta Do” had fans going crazy as the 2020 single has blown up. However, the hype was far outmatched when they began singing their most popular song “That’s Just The Way We Roll,” which the crowd had been begging for since the beginning of their set. To say the least — fans were pleased when the song started.

Taking it even further back, the trio broke out into “Play My Music,” and the crowd went wild. It was clear that the majority of the crowd were longtime fans by the songs that were sung along to the most.

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The Jonas Brothers perform at Music Midtown on Saturday night, September 18, 2021, in Piedmont Park. (Photo: Ryan Fleisher for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

The Jonas Brothers perform at Music Midtown on Saturday night, September 18, 2021, in Piedmont Park. (Photo: Ryan Fleisher for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

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The Jonas Brothers perform at Music Midtown on Saturday night, September 18, 2021, in Piedmont Park. (Photo: Ryan Fleisher for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Keeping it old school, for anyone who has been to a Jonas Brothers concert in the past, they know “Burning Up” has always been a classic — and it always starts with flames bursting on stage. Clearly a fan favorite, the crowed yelled all the lyrics and jumped to the beat.

Maroon 5

As the final act at Music Midtown on Saturday before fans flock back to the venue for another full day of live music, Maroon 5 sported a massive crowd that spanned the entire grass area up into the hills where the food vendors were situated at Piedmont Park.

Shirtless, yet covered with countless tattoos, lead singer Adam Levine serenaded the crowd with the band’s hit “One More Time.” Although most fans were frequented with the chorus of most songs during their set, “One More Time” was a definite hit with apparently every fan singing along.

Certainly a calmer crowd than the Jonas Brother, Maroon 5 kept it groovy with their “What Lovers Do.” The perfect head bobbing and hip swaying song. The lighting throughout the song, and most of their set, was by far the most impressive of the day. Lasers and beams shot into the far off crowd and sky as Midtown buildings kept the streets bright in the distance.

“Guys, look at this, it’s a concert! A concert!” Levine said before singing the group’s classic “Payphone.” Asking the crowd to sing along, the band was certainly not let down. Pulling out the acoustic guitar, the mood grew lighter as a hectic day came to an end with a bit of relaxation.

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Maroon 5 performs at Music Midtown on Saturday night, September 18, 2021, in Piedmont Park. (Photo: Ryan Fleisher for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Maroon 5 performs at Music Midtown on Saturday night, September 18, 2021, in Piedmont Park. (Photo: Ryan Fleisher for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

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Maroon 5 performs at Music Midtown on Saturday night, September 18, 2021, in Piedmont Park. (Photo: Ryan Fleisher for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Credit: Ryan Fleisher