Hot Fun: ATL’s Shaky Knees Festival in pictures
The second you enter the Shaky Knees Festival grounds, you realize that is not going to be like most festivals. The whole event was very relaxed, there was plenty of space to get around, lines weren’t excessively long (with the exception of the pedestrian bridge – we’ll get to that), no one was too out of control. Everyone seemed to be there because they loved music and wanted to explore new artists.
Upon entering the grounds of Atlanta’s Centennial park last month, I quickly made my way over to see Foxing. The St. Louis band is easily one of the dynamic live performers in the post hardcore world, and gave one of the most passionate performances I’ve seen laid down at 1:00 in the afternoon. Another artist that gave a great morning performance was Julien Baker. The 20-year-old singer songwriter played a string of beautiful, heartbreaking songs. Then there was The Vaccines. I feel like every time I go to a festival I find a band that makes me “I am gong to go download all of their music the second I get home.” At Shaky Knees, they were that band. The band played one insanely fun song after another as everyone in the crowd danced. Another standout was Frightened Rabbit, who spent a lot of time on stage apologizing for being so tired since they had played a late night show the night before and had a pretty early set time that day. The time warp didn’t seem to faze them any, as they played a solid set of both old and new songs.
Out of everyone who played the three days of Shaky Knees by far the most memorable performance was Jane’s Addiction. As I approached the stage after checking out The 1975, I noticed it was decorated in some sort of Hell-on-earth theme. There was no lack of showmanship on stage. Frontman Perry Farrell was mostly non-sensical as the band teared through track after track. One of the things that made their performance so memorable was the circus sideshow aspect: towards the end, two women were lowered from the top of the stage, suspended by surface piercings through skin of backs. The women flailed above the stage for the remainder of the set. It was hard to determine weather you were watching a rock concert or a horror show. The whole set was nothing short of memorable.
Shaky Knees also featured tons of local talent. One artist that really won over the southern crowd was Strand of Oaks, who opened the main stage on the second day of the festival. They had one of the largest early morning crowds I saw all festival. No doubt that Atlanta loves Strand of Oaks. Another band Atlanta seems to love is Alex G, who played one of their first sets with new their new drummer Tom Kelly to a group of adoring fans singing along. Hop Along gave a killer performance as well, breaking out some old hits from Get Disowned which was a huge plus. Shoegaze heavyweights Nothing were also impressive. The band was very tight and, in an odd style choice, gave a really well composed cover of “Creep” by Radiohead. Son Little opened the second day of the festival and his laid back bluesy vibes were exactly what everyone was looking for to start their day. Overall all the Philly acts preformed exceptional sets at Shaky Knees.
Overall the second-year festival offered its crowd an exceptional place to enjoy and discover new music. It was conformable and accommodating, if you ever get a chance, Shaky Knee’s is a great place to spend a couple of days. Check out photos of the festival and its performances below.
Festival-goers waiting for Son Little to get on stage.
Definitely not winning any awards for this festival design; attendees wait in line to cross the narrow bridge that took you from one side of the grounds to the other.
Lemmy watching the show.
View of Atlanta from atop the Chamber of Commerce
Ought keyboadist Matt May reps Philly power duo PINKWASH.
Strand of Oaks
Crowd watching The Dear Hunter
The Buford Stage
The Front Bottoms
Ferris Wheel in the Continental Olympic Park.
Hop Along. <3
Right before Shakey Graves’ set, the stage lost power. Instead of canceling, Shakey Graves grabed his acoustic guitar and performed songs at the end of the stage as fans sang along.
Human zoo or fans taking a break in the shade?
Festival-goers capturing Slowdive
Fans watching Florence and the Machine