We spent the day watching football, napping, and just generally being lazy. When the maid came by to clean the room we told her there was no need in cleaning and could we just have some fresh towels. Finally, late in the afternoon we managed to crawl out of the bed and get ourselves ready for night number two of Music Midtown.
We decided to leave the hotel around 5:30. We wanted to stop by the CVS a couple of blocks from our hotel and buy some supplies. We purchased hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and travel sized Kleenex – all for use in the port-o-potties. We did not want to risk a non-tissue port-o-potty experience again.
We then took MARTA to Midtown and began our trek to the park. We had seen a Jason’s Deli in the area the night before and had made plans to eat our dinner there. When we got off MARTA, there was a man standing outside just rambling on about nothing and was saying crazy things like, “Don’t step in front of me or I’ll punch you out.” I got a big laugh out of this – Jackie apparently didn’t see the guy, which is a shame. While we were walking towards the park/Jason’s Deli, there was a black guy walking in the crowd with really tall hair like from the 1980s (remember Kid Play?). He said, “No autographs, please, I’m the Fresh Prince’s son.” Oh, sweet mercy, that caused me to laugh really loud. A few minutes later (now, keep in mind we are walking down the street with hundreds of people) someone who was driving, rolled down the window and yelled, “Hey, what’s going on?” Clearly he lived in Atlanta and didn’t have a clue there was a music festival taking place in his own city.
We made it to Jason’s Deli where we were expecting a large crowd, but surprisingly not many people had the same plan we did and the restaurant was pretty empty. We ordered and ate our food and enjoyed one last use of a real toilet before heading to the park and the land of the port-o-potty.
After dinner, we headed to the park and on the way passed a lady who was talking on the phone and crying. Needless to say, we saw all kinds of situations over the weekend. We entered the park around 7:30 or so and Florence and the Machine was playing. After Florence, a band called Girl Talk came on and they were basically a remix rap band and not anything like what Jackie and I were expecting. We were quite anxious for them to finish up in fact. We made use of the port-o-potties around 8:15 and then headed towards the stage where Pearl Jam would be playing.
Pearl Jam came on at exactly 9:00 p.m. It was obvious they were unable to have a sound check earlier in the day because the sound was not so great for the first few songs, but eventually was worked out and sounded much better by the end of the night. We were kind of towards the back when the show started but kept moving closer and closer and ended up with a pretty good spot.
Here’s the thing with outdoor concerts, especially ones that last all day – by the end of the night everyone is drunk and chatting it up as if they were sitting on their sofa at home. There were so many conversations going on around us and it was more than slightly annoying. Other than the random conversations taking place around us and the crazy drunk people, the show was enjoyable. Jackie and I had both worn black tops and we were bumped into more than one time and each time someone ran into us they looked at us like it was our fault. Clearly we were invisible to everyone around us and apparently should not have worn black.
The Pearl Jam show was awesome. I had sent them a message on Twitter a few months ago and then again a few weeks ago asking them to play “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter in a Small Town,” which is one of my favorite songs of theirs. It was the third song in the first set and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t break down in tears. I grabbed Jackie and screamed, “They’re playing my request!” and then the waterworks came. Y'all I have loved Pearl Jam since I was 14 years old and sometimes the emotion of being at a live show is more than a little overwhelming. I couldn’t stop crying for at least two songs. All I could think of was that 14 year old girl who had 1,000 hopes and dreams and who plastered her junior high and high school locker with photos of Pearl Jam and it was just a little more than I could handle for those few moments.
With about two minutes left to play (remember the stupid city ordinance that required the band to end at 11:00 p.m.), Eddie Vedder said they had two more minutes and one more song and they were going to sing it as fast as they could. In proper Pearl Jam fashion, they ended on “Keep on Rockin’ In The Free World” and with that, the show and Music Midtown 2012 came to an end.
This particular night we were much wiser and decided to exit the same way we came in. This turned out to be a much quicker way back to the hotel than the crazy route we had taken the night before. It was kind of strange to see 50,000 people walking down the street to the MARTA station. As we were leaving, I was really thirsty and dreaming of a Diet Coke when I heard someone yell “Free Coke” they were giving out free Coke Zeros and I ran over to get one which in turn ended up scaring Jackie because I didn’t tell her I was going to grab one and when she turned around I was gone. We obviously found each other again in the mass of people. We encountered all sorts of interesting situations on the way back to the hotel. I forgot to mention that on Friday night we were walking behind a girl who peed her pants, bless her heart. Guess she had a wee bit too much to drink. Saturday, there was a couple behind us who were arguing. There is never a dull moment walking in a crowd of hundreds and thousands of people.
We made it back to the hotel around midnight or a little after, but not before stopping by a statue that was a on the way back to our hotel. We saw it every time we left the hotel and we were wondering who is this man with the outstretch hands. Jackie said he looked like he was saying, “My people!” So, we stopped by to see if there was a plaque or something telling folks who this man was. There was no plaque, but I took Jackie’s photo with him. When we got back to the hotel, I asked the guy at the desk if he knew who the man was and he didn’t. He surely thought we were crazy for wanting to know.
We headed up to our room and soon went to bed to get a few hours sleep before heading out the next morning. It was a fantastic weekend. We both were itching for a little road trip getaway and it was just a perfect outing for these two music lovers.
Just a few people were there on Saturday night
Jackie and Me at the Concert Saturday
Can't you tell, it's Pearl Jam!