On a Friday in May in Atlanta, Georgia, there happened a music festival called Shaky Knees. The third annual music festival offered a variety of artists from Flogging Molly to The Pixies to The Strokes to Whiskey Gentry to Wilco to Clutch to Nikki Lane to Ryan Adams to Old Crow Medicine Show to Dr. Dog to The Both to ZZ Ward, and so many more, that rocked the stages.
Nikki Lane – photo by Tiffini Taylor
The Shaky Knees Festival was held May 8 – 10, 2015 at Central Park in the Old Fourth Ward district of Atlanta. It had a great set-up containing five stages strategically located throughout the park and cleverly named Peachtree Stage, Piedmont Stage, Ponce de Leon Stage, Boulevard Stage, and the Buford Highway Stage. Local clubs, like the Masquerade, hosted late night bands as well so one could rock into the wee hours of the morning if they wished … and they did!
ZZ Ward – photo by Tiffini Taylor
May 9th, a Friday morning, began like any other morning, except it was the first day of Shaky Knees! At 12:15 pm, the sun was shining, and it was a beautiful day for the festivities to begin at Shaky Knees. Songs for Kids officially kicked off not only Friday, but every day of the festival. Surfer Blood and Blank Range were the first bands to play on Friday. During this time the crowd started to grow and began to feel the beat of the city. Just a few hours later, it began to take full effect where Clutch and Zella Day were commanding their individual stages as people began to wind down from their work week and begin to party. As the sun set over the Atlanta Skyline, the evening brought the hard hitting sounds of Mastodon, only to be smoothed out by The Pixies, and closed by the Strokes. Each supporting local venue; The Masquerade, The Loft, The Vinyl, Terminal West, Center Stage, and The EARL, hosted an after festival concert. These events featured acts such as Graveyard, Snowden the Shadowboxers and … And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead.
The next day, a HOTlanta (in every sense of the nickname) day brought more people out to listen to sounds such as Hey Rosetta! and Mariachi El Bronx for the early afternoon. The Whiskey Gentry took their stage and caused the crowd members to grab a dance partner to their Blue Grass smooth sounds. Later in the day, the Guinness started to flow once Flogging Molly hit the stage and let loose with their unique Irish Folk sound with a Punk twist. The variety of music continued with Social Distortion, Wilco and ZZ Ward. The hot balmy night was closed by the truly unique Avett Brothers. Yet again the local venues kept the music and spirits flowing late into the night with acts such as Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, Diamond Rugs, Steve Gun, Built to Spill and Spiritualized, along with a handful of others.
Aimee Mann and Ted Leo – The Both – photo by Tiffini Taylor
Yet another hot, humid day greeted the festivals goers as the third and final day of Shaky Knees kicked off. The day was started by the Highway Queen herself Nikki Lane and got the crowd fired up rather quickly. The day continued with The Both, featuring Aimee Mann, which proved to be a fan favorite performance. Heartless Bastards and Dr. Dog rocked it in the early evening giving way to the talented singer/songwriter Ryan Adams who garnered the full attention of the of the crowd. Ryan Adams’ performance captivated the audience with his unique sense of humor and his impressive cover of Danzig’s classic “Mother.” As the evening started to wind down, Old Crowe Medicine Show started the “Wagon Wheel” turning. Closing of the festival weekend was Tame Impala who sent the crowd home happy after a truly impressive weekend of music.
Shaky Knees is quickly becoming one of Atlanta’s festivals to attend as this is only its third year. What started out as a single-day event at the Masquerade with a crowd of around 7,000 has turned into a massive three-day festival covering an entire city park with an sold out audience of roughly 40,000+ attendees for its 2015. With this success, I’m looking forward to 2016’s location and lineup.
So start planning now for the fourth annual Shaky Knees Festival on May 13 – 15, 2016. Stay tuned at Shaky Knees Festival’s website HERE.