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CounterPoint Festival-Day 3

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(Photo Courtesy Chris Barrow / CBS Atlanta)

(Photo Courtesy Chris Barrow / CBS Atlanta)

The CounterPoint Curse is real. Extreme weather is a music festival’s worst enemy, but the show must go on. A nasty storm blew through CounterPoint 2012, causing the festival grounds to be evacuated and line-ups to be rescheduled. Sure enough, fast forward two years and the weather gods continue to test the will power of both the festival crew and the attendants.

The day was just getting started. Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike and El-P had the crowd hyped up on the mainstage with their signature bass-laden southern trap. Abruptly, the sound was cut and it was announced over the PA that a severe storm was headed to the area and we had to evacuate the grounds. Festival staff quickly ushered everyone back to their camping areas and told us to keep an eye on social media for updates.

Not much will make a group of strangers band together quite like a flooded tent village. Neighbors looked after each other and helped rebuild any damaged gear. Just after 7 p.m. the Twitterverse exploded with the announcement that the fest gates would be re-opening at 7:30 and an adjusted line-up schedule. Instead of having to cut off other sets, the organizers decided to just let the night go later! No one was mad about this decision!

I made it back into the slightly more damp festival grounds in time to get close for Phantogram. The New York-based band are no strangers to the festival circuit or to playing in Georgia. They stop by our lovely city regularly, but there was something special in the CounterPoint air for Phantogram’s post-evacuation show. Bass-heavy and highly danceable, their set proved to be one of many truly stand out shows from the weekend.

When asked by a coworker to describe a Major Lazer concert, the first word that came to mind was “hedonistic.” Their CounterPoint set was that and beyond. The act of “Twerking” officially got added to the dictionary last year, so I no longer feel bad about using it in a journalistic setting. Diplo and pals turned all the way up (okay–I feel a little bad about using that phrase in a journalistic setting) with their unique blend of dancehall, reggae, hip hop and southern trap.

While most people spent the 10 o’clock hour trying to stake out a good spot for Outkast, I ran over to the Hillside Stage to spent some time with Sleigh Bells. Easily the loudest set of the weekend, a small but dedicated turn out didn’t stop dancing and singing along to their guitar driven, bass heavy noise-pop.

Oh and then it was time! ATLiens landed in the fields of Kingston Downs to witness the return of Outkast. Big Boi and Andre mad magic happen from 11 p.m. on into the night. Fans sang along to every word from every hit to every b-side. Guest appearances by Janelle Monae and Killer Mike brought even more Atlanta flavor to the set. Presented as a homecoming celebration, Outkast at CounterPoint will go down in the history books of live music in Georgia.

Late night sets from Flux Pavilion and Tycho kept fans busy until 2 in the morning. This served as the soundtrack for an exodus of people leaving after Outkast, but for those that stuck around, it was the opportunity to have one last party before heading back to normal life the next morning.

As camp sites are still being packed up and production teams are tearing down the Blu Freedom, Hillside, Steeple, Undergound and Silent Disco stages, the whole picture is coming together of what a milestone festival CounterPoint 2014 was in so many different regards. There was so much about CP14 that felt like Atlanta. From the eclectic line-up to the great food and southern hospitality that pervaded the camp grounds, there are a lot of fingers crossed in the southeast that we’ll receive confirmation on CP15 sooner than later. EDIT** CounterPoint has confirmed via their Facebook page that the festival will continue in 2015. Get stoked!

Revisit CounterPoint Festival Day 1 and Day 2.

 

I’m on the internet @theactualkurt and I’ll see you guys next year! Happy CounterPoint!

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