A Guide To Upcoming Shaky Knees Festival in ATL

16:51 May 02, 2018

For the last five years, Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival has dove in to create a festival of various types of music that cover all forms of the rock genre. It’s typically a solid lineup from top to bottom, and this year’s edition is yet another list of amazing acts. If you’re heading to the city of an amazing mid-level festival, great food( not to mention failed super bowl appearances) this weekend, here’s your guide for some of the best sets to check out. Some of these are obvious, while others are gaining momentum and are worth checking out before they break out in a big way. Enjoy the weekend and rock on!


10. EZRA FURMAN, 3:15 P.M. Peachtree Stage, Friday

It’s only been in the last month or so that I’ve come to know Furman, but his spot on this list is warranted. His style of artsy indie rock has a way of lulling you into what you think will be easy going, but it adds an unhinged element that makes it fun to Shake your body too. His recent “Transangelic Exodus” is a rip-roaring album that’s likely to be an awakening for the midday attendees still settling in for a fun-filled weekend. 

A Guide To Upcoming Shaky Knees Festival in ATL

9. ALVVAYS, 2:45 P.M., Peachtree Stage, Sunday

One of the more relaxing, lighter types of band on the bill, Alvvays has, with two stellar and evocative albums risen steadily in the atmospheric music world. With an album as great as last year's “Anti Socialites,” the band has slide a little bit more in noteable fanbase. Molly Rankin on vocals, Kerri MacLellan, Alec O'Hanley on lead guitar, Brian Murphy and Sheridan Riley on drumshave found an interesting grove in the ever evolving landscapes of what is considered alternative rock. If you love their song “Dreams Tonite” you’re likely to enjoy what they bring to the festival grounds on Friday. 

8. JAPANDROIDS, 8:00 P.M. Ponce De Leon Stage, Friday

Easily one of the best heavy hitting bands on the bill, Japandroids have so far released three incredibly free spirited records full of the type of youthful regeneration that we all need from time to time. It’s a music suited for fans of howling lyrics, fist pumping and general roughhousing. I’ve loved all three of the records, and having seen them twice before, I’m aware of the energy this duo brings. A lot of people will likely be waiting at the main stage for the man called White, but if you’re inclined for something a little more straight forward and punky, don’t miss Japandroids. They very well might steal the day from the bigger known acts. 

7. THE NATIONAL, 8:30 P.M., Peachtree Stage, Sunday 

Sure, the National are a gloomy, often time depressing sounding band, but nestled at the very end of the festival, their dark, downtrodden and brutally honest music is right where it needs to be. Their newest album has quite a few genuine rockers that will surely push the crowd to a beautiful ending, but there’s also a ton of nuanced, balanced music bleeding from the speakers. It might not be a triumphant, gleeful closing set, but it is likely that is will be amazing for everyone who sticks around. 

A Guide To Upcoming Shaky Knees Festival in ATL

6. JACK WHITE, 9:00 P.M. Peachtree Stage, Friday

This will likely be the most crowded set of the weekend, and for good reason. Over the course of twenty years, White has had countless successes with three bands(White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather), as well as his solo act. The great thing about White live is that we’ll get selections from all of those iterations. The new album might have rubbed some people the wrong way, but his arsenal is unprecedented in comparison to most of the other lineup, and with two hours to use however he wants, expect it to be a set full of sluggers, maybe some special guests, and of course a seven nation army at his disposal. 

A Guide To Upcoming Shaky Knees Festival in ATL

5. THE BLACK ANGELS, 6:00 P.M. Ponce De Leon Stage, Friday

Having recently seen these guys just two short weeks ago, I can say that the energy and the stage show are enough to get me to go again. A few weeks ago the show was in a dark theater, and being in the sunlight might mean the stage show might be different,  but the energy and darkness in tone of music will still be hard to pass up. It’s ominous for sure, but they’re touring still in support of last year’s excellent “Death Song” which is another great testament to the staying power of the Austin based psyche rockers. 

A Guide To Upcoming Shaky Knees Festival in ATL

4. DAVID BYRNE, 7:00 P.M., Peachtree Stage Friday

One of the true legends on the bill, Byrne will be bringing his utterly authentic beats and balance to a crowd that are more likely fans of his former band than the at times odd ventures of his solo career. If that’s the case, you’re in luck, as Byrne has been playing a steady stream of Talking Heads hits during his visually impressive recent shows. In short, expect high-class artistry with many band members playing completely unplugged and able to effortlessly move about the stage in choreographed movements. It shall be a sight, and it will be the place to get down to beautiful melodies. 

A Guide To Upcoming Shaky Knees Festival in ATL

3. THE WAR ON DRUGS, 7:30 P.M., Peachtree Stage, Saturday

Over the last few years, the Philadelphia alternative indie band, led by Adam Granduciel has consistently made thoughtful, and at times mournful but meaningful albums that hue closely to a vulnerable, eye-opening experience. I wasn’t a fan at first, but with increasingly complex beautiful albums like “Lost in a Dream,” and last years “A Deeper Understanding,” they’ve risen slowly but surely in the rock-tinged world of the last five years. The set, poised right as the day turns to night, is sure to illuminate the Saturday night sky, and will segue in an interesting way to the evenings' final bands. 

2. COURTNEY BARNETT, 5:00 P.M. Peachtree Stage, Friday

There’s been no artist of the past three years that has excited this festival goer as much as 
Australia's Barnett. Her style is singular and often off the beaten path, but she’s a rocker through and through. Her wordplay is exceptional. so far, her only solo album, “Sometimes I 
Sit and Think and Sometimes I just Sit,” is an exercise in immediate rock punctuated in parts by slow winding, contemplative lyrics. With her newest album, however, scheduled to drop a few weeks after the fest ends, this is sure to bring fans in who love the first record, but also to see what she has up her sleeve this time around. Don’t be a “Pedestrian at Best.” Go and enjoy her utterly unique styling’s on the opening day of the fest. 

A Guide To Upcoming Shaky Knees Festival in ATL

1. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, 9:30 P.M., Peachtree Stage, Saturday 

I’m majorly enamored with this legendary desert rock heavyweight, like many others, for good reason. They’re one of the only bands that have consistently made amazing, yet heavy albums who spit their own personal blend that makes it hard to resist. With Joshua Homme at the helm, the five-piece is savage at times with their lyrics, sullen at others with the music, and mind bendingly heavy at multiple times throughout their catalog. I just saw them last week and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, and I’m sure they will be just as incredible when they hit the stage Saturday night for their headlining set. The other two headliners are great in their own right, but if you want to head home after having been rocked hard thoroughly for 90 minutes, do not miss this energizing set. Have fun and get Shaky!! 

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