If you're up for a road trip this weekend, Atlanta might be the place to go. The Shaky Knees Festival is running April 29-May 1 and looks to be a great one. In recent years, Atlanta's Shaky Knees Festival has created a festival with music covering 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 and looking for a cool, 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!
FRIDAY 2:45 PONCE DE LEON STAGE
In the last few years, the punk rock of Philadelphia's Mannequin Pussy, led by singer/ guitarist Missy has been generating buzz around their raucous live shows, as well as their concise, well-crafted tunes. Having seen them before in a small club, it'll be interesting to see how the energy translates to an outdoor stage during the daylight hours, but if you enjoy hard punk rock, mixed with raw emotional lyrics, be sure to make it to see this fabulous trio.
SATURDAY 8:30 PONCE DE LEON STAGE
Fresh off her best year under the JB moniker, Michelle Zauner looks to build on the massive success of last year's "Jubilee," with another round of shows and festival dates. Listening to Jubilee live, you feel the tenderness that went into its creation, with the added energy by Zauner's backing band. The set is nestled near the end of a very packed second day, but for fans of less aggressive rock, Japanese Breakfast will serve as a gray contrast to the rest of the evening's schedule.
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
FRIDAY 8:15 PONCE DE LEON STAGE
For the uninitiated, Godspeed live is less of a concert and more of an experience. With songs ranging from 10 to 20 minutes, you never really know what you'll get song-wise, yet it doesn't really matter for hardcore fans of the band. In the past, Godspeed hasn't appeared too frequently in the festival circuit, so this is likely going to be a great chance for unlearned fans to see what the fuss and mystery surrounding the band is all about.
SUNDAY 7:00 PIEDMONT
Having enjoyed the pleasant, easy-going vibes of their last few records, Khruangbins set on Sunday is expected to be one of the most attended sets, with good reason. On record, you can get lost in the grooves laid down by the indie desert, and to picture that same energy and the elements of the festival make this a performance worth dealing with the potentially huge crowd.
SATURDAY 7:30 PEACHTREE
As part of a stellar top three on Saturday, Glasgow's top electronic indie act, CHVRCHES, will look to dazzle the waiting crowd in the fest's second night, with high energy beats and more lights than most of the other bands on the bill. The band is often friendly and fond of stage banter, which is always a treat as lead singer Lauren Mayberry has been known to have fun with the audience. Besides that, CHVRCHES has four great albums that will surely energize the crowd as the night falls on Central Park.
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
SATURDAY 8:30 PIEDMONT STAGE
With a band like the King Giz, you literally have no idea what you're walking into. Typically the band plays for well over two hours during their own shows, but with only an hour for their set on Day 2, the set could go a multitude of ways. KG loves mixing it up with everything from thrash metal, art house rock, to chill relaxing indie rock. My point is, whether you love the band or not, you're likely to be very entertained as you wait for the day's main attraction, Nine Inch Nails.
MY MORNING JACKET
SUNDAY, 8:00 PEACHTREE STAGE
As an individual who isn't obsessed with MMJ, I am clearly in the minority when it comes to the band's festival closing set on Sunday night. Known for epic, long in duration concerts, the quasi-jam legends will likely end the festival (which is named after a MMJ song) in marvelous fashion. In truth, I'm excited to see how the band differs live from the recorded albums, but I've never met anyone who thought MMJ was bad live, which is always nice to know going in.
SUNDAY 7:00 PONCE DE LEON STAGE
Hailing from Toronto, Pup, led by guitarist/ singer Stefan Babcock, has gradually risen on festival posters in the last several years and for good reason. Pup live is chaotic, funny, heartwarming and sincere, all rolled into one. The energy of the four piece group on stage urges the crowd to dance and sing along, which is easy if you're in the mood for a modern reimagining of the classic pop punk aesthetic. If you still aren't convinced, I'll say this-three years ago, I saw Pup for the first time and now they're one of my favorite all time bands. Pup live is that good.
NINE INCH NAILS
SATURDAY 9:30 PEACHTREE STAGE
Long known as one of the best live rock bands of the 90's and beyond, NIN live is a different beast entirely from all the other bands on the bill. Hardcore fans with their respective NIN shirts will flood the grounds on Saturday, and as the band bombards the main stage, expect plenty of well known hits, and a stage show that's likely to exceed expectations. Regardless, expect a huge show with more strobe lights than you could ever need.
FRIDAY, 9:20, PEACHTREE
More so than many other band I grew up on, Green Day has emerged as the act that has most successfully engaged with fans young and old. It's a difficult thing to master, but with the boys from the Bay Area currently filling stadiums, it's fair to say older fans like myself are enjoying the fun of seeing little kids rocking out to classics like "American Idiot," "Welcome to Paradise," and the countless other moments that are certainly going to elicit excitement with what I expect to be a capacity crowd.
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