Festival Preview: Shaky Knees Music Festival

Courtesy of nashvillescene.com

Courtesy of nashvillescene.com

Eden Frost

Shakin’ All Over for the Shaky Knees Lineup!

8 May 2014

Alabama Shakes, The National, Modest Mouse and many more make their way down south May 9th, 10th and 11th!

I’m always excited to hear about, and get to attend, a new music festival. Last year I hit up the first Bottle Rock Music Festival in Napa, CA for a great day of food and music. I got to see the Allah-Las, Alabama Shakes, The Shins and Flaming Lips up close and personal without any conflicting schedule times or unruly crowds. In June, I swapped my annual August Outside Lands adventure for a wild run in the south attending Bonnaroo for the first time and had such a blast seeing bands like Lord Huron, and Portugal. The Man.

This year, I was hoping to make it to another southern fest, Shaky Knees, but will sadly be studying for finals. Still, that doesn’t stop me from gushing over the line-up (including artists who performed at both Bottle Rock and Bonnaroo 2013 and even Coachella 2014) and sending my mom to tell me how it goes. This weekend Shaky Knees in Atlanta, Georgia transforms Atlantic Station for a three-day music fest.

Headliners include Alabama Shakes, The National, Modest Mouse, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Spoon, Portugal. The Man, Cold War Kids and Iron & Wine among others, but the line-up’s magic only starts there. As I was going through each day suggesting shows for my family to see I found myself praising nearly every artist!

Friday afternoon of the festival features one of my favorite brother-sister duos, Wild Belle. Their sound ties together parts of the electronic and elemental world with natural drums building rhythms on wood and metal as well as synthesized pop sounds. Band of Skulls plays soon after and two Coachella 2014 artists, Cage the Elephant and Graveyard will be playing at 7pm. Spoon and The National round out the night, and I’d say The National is the one band of my Friday picks that I haven’t seen and am dying to! The National is an American indie-rock band that has been going strong for 14 years. These guys pull out some serious emotion in their lyrics and soothing vocals as well as slow, deep and entrancing instrumentals. While their music isn’t necessarily the most uplifting, it’s definitely engaging and thoughtful and feel-good on a different level.

Saturday keeps the collection of amazing artists going with Lord Huron, Dawes, Portugal. The Man, Cold War Kids, and Modest Mouse. I love Lord Huron. Ever since I heard them on Pandora and saw them at Coachella 2013 and Bonnaroo 2013, I couldn’t get enough of this Los Angeles band that exudes joy and energy with their majestic rainforest sounds and beautifully harmonized vocals. Dawes is a super mellow group that are a little folksy, a little gritty and a lot of fun. Festivalgoers will have to choose between two American rock bands, Portugal. The Man and Cold War Kids at 7pm but there’s no contest when it gets to the night’s headliner, Modest Mouse. With such a dense discography and so many amazing song for the band to choose from, it’s hard to tell if you’ll get to hear your favorite obscure and clever lyrics or not, but one guarantee is an amazing show, regardless of the set.

Sunday wraps things up with Mason Jennings, Deer Tick, Iron & Wine, Kopecky Family Band, Edward Sharpe, Violent Femmes, and Alabama Shakes. Iron & Wine is definitely one of the most impressive acts I can think of. If you haven’t seen Samuel Beam before you probably thought there were several people putting together the wide range of instrumental sounds and the beautiful voice of Iron & Wine, but it’s just one guy! On the other hand, Kopecky Family Band really is a crew full of folksy music lovers putting out some of my favorite music right now. The depth that comes from layering both male and female vocals, as well as an array of instruments including tambourines, horns and guitars, is spot on with this southern rock band hailing from Nashville, TN. They have their more upbeat rock based songs such as “Heartbeat” and “Are You Listening?” but also have a more mellow and soft folk side. Another southern group, Alabama Shakes, thrives in a large festival setting bringing forth a lot of energy and resounding vocals to close the festival.

Shaky Knees will also be having “late night” shows where some of the same artists perform additional sets after hours, so if you can’t get enough of them the first time around, or have to choose between two of your favorites, check out the “late night” line-up to see who is taking the stage later on.