Oh hey Mayer Hawthorne… #musicmidtown (at Piedmont Park)
Tinashe x Vulnerable (Sango Remix)
Drowning x BANKS
Can’t wait until Music Midtown starts Friday!
.::Ed Sheeran, 9.12.14::.
My, how things have changed for Ed Sheeran. When I first saw the British singer/songwriter live in September 2012, he was playing for an intimate crowd of about 1,000. Fast-forward two years + suddenly I was in a crowd of at least 10,000 screaming, slightly insane fans. To give you context, the girl in front of me periodically would exclaim “Jesus!” while pointing in Sheeran’s directon throughout the show as her friend would then ask her to calm down. Thankfully, her (mildly blasphemous) outbursts would subside, but that’s just one example of how Sheeran has become one of music’s most popular acts today. It’s been amazing to see his trajectory, especially since he’s an artist who’s become incredibly successful without sacrificing his musical vision to create his own distinct sound. I’d venture to say his career to-do list has probably shrunk substantially as he’s now playing arenas + been in the studio with the likes of Pharrell, Rick Rubin + The Game.
Touring to support his sophomore effort, x, the album had Sheeran’s characteristic reflective acoustic feel but also saw more overt R+B + hip-hop overtones with tracks like “Thinking Out Loud,” “Bloodstream,” + “Don’t.” Each time the lights would intermittently dim, piercing screams would suddenly ring out until they became overwhelming as we waited for him to open the show. Each time I see him live, I keep expecting to see Sheeran come to the stage with a band in tow, but that’s just another reason why his talent is so obvious. All he needs is his loop pedal, guitars, + his mics to command crowds of thousands…so basically, he’s magic. He opened with “I’m A Mess” that utilized the amazing build up effect that his loop pedal helps him create when the end of the song approaches. In addition, it wouldn’t be an Ed Sheeran show if he didn’t throw in some covers, even if only briefly. “Don’t” had short appearances from “Loyal” + “No Diggity.” “Runaway” featured an interlude from Backstreet Boys’ “Backstreet’s Back (Alright).” The set featured throwbacks including (of course) “Lego House,” “Drunk” + (my personal favorite) “Give Me Love.”
During previous tours, Sheeran had asked us to stay silent during “Small Bump” but this leg he chose to request that treatment for “Afire Love.” It makes complete sense as these songs demand that you absorb the emotion behind them, heightening the experience. He asked for absolute silence + miraculously…it happened. Stripped down, the song took on a completely different, arresting sound especially during the ending section of the track. His encore included the instant feel good anthem “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” followed by his smash hits “The A Team” + “Sing.” As he approached the end of “Sing,” we all kept going with the chorus until he left the stage with a huge smile on his face.
Fast Car (Cover) x Sam Smith
All of the feelings.
Hometown Hero (Remix) x Big K.R.I.T. f/Yelawolf
Good to be back in the South.
ONE MusicFest is back + helping to establish Atlanta as a premiere festival town with an amazing lineup. This year, legends like Nas and Method Man + Redman will share the stage with stars on the rise like Jhene Aiko + Daley. Also, shout out to the addition of Soulection crew members as well. For more information, check out the website for more info.
I will be at OVO Fest one day. Mark my words.
Flawless (Remix) x Beyonce f/ Nicki Minaj
Sunday Jam: My Love For You Is Real x Ryan Adams + the Cardinals
I remember the first time I heard Ryan Adams was on a mix my friend gave me during my sophomore year of high school. I’ve been hooked ever since. For more info on upcoming U.S. tour dates, click here.
@sbtrkt_official + @samsmithworld only a day apart in ATL? Yes please! Check out new tour dates on SBTRKT’s website!
Lights x Suspension (Acoustic)
.::Jay Z + Beyonce, 7.15.14::.
Featuring the reigning King + Queen of basically everything, Beyonce + Jay Z’s On the Run was the experience I had expected it to be. This would be the first tour stateside since the release of her surprise fifth studio album. This also meant we spent months brimming with jealously directed towards the European Beyhive as they got the chance to listen to the newest album during their tour dates. However, the animosity wouldn’t last long with the announcement of the On The Run tour. Armed with current projects + their legendary catalogue of hits, the show was more like an epic party. The couple have created this perpetual buzz around them based on their staggering talent + with that, a devoted fan base that’s comprised of all different cultures + ages. This was apparent as my friends + I took our seats in our section. An excited woman turned to me + quickly said, “What’s your name because we are about to be friends!” Of course, I thought nothing of it because sometimes this is what happens at concerts. The couple from Charlotte in front of us then turned to our row + we debated after concert options. Later on, that same husband would turn to a new bestie behind him + instantaneously start hugging during Jay Z’s “On to the Next One.” Ladies + gentlemen, this is the power of Beyonce + Jay Z…turning strangers into lifelong friends with just a couple of notes.
As soon as the stadium went black around 8:55pm, screams erupted + camera phones immediately went bright waiting for the couple. Video montages then appeared of outlaws on the lam, committing crimes left + right with that familiar never say die attitude. They both appeared shrouded in light (like angels) + appropriately began the concert with “Bonnie + Clyde ’03.” There was intertwining of their respective hits throughout the show, often seamlessly as one would take the baton from the other. There was a focus on the latest projects for both though Jay Z went further back with songs such as “Hard Knock Life,” “Song Cry,” (the guys in the audience really seemed to feel this one) “On to the Next One,” “Big Pimpin,” + “IZZO (HOVA).” Mrs. Carter stopped by to add her flair during “Tom Ford” + “Holy Grail.” Of course, there were the performances everyone was waiting for including “Partition,” “Drunk in Love,” “***Flawless” that included all the dance moves, Sasha Fierce attitude, + amazing vocals to boot. There were some fun surprises including “Love on Top” remixed with Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” + a beautiful cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor.” The latter featured a sizable portion of the female audience in attendance singing along with her.
The last act featured pairings, including “Part II (On The Run)” + another surprise. The finale featured “Forever Young” mixed with “Halo” as we got a look at the current state of the Carters including appearances by a one Miss Blue Ivy (we even saw her face!). They both watched arm in arm with us probably reflecting upon how amazing they are just like everyone else was doing in the stadium.