Shaky Knees 2018
Shaky Knees celebrated its 6th year running this year on May 4th, 2018. I had the opportunity to head over to Central Park in Atlanta, GA to experience the festival for the first time. After suffering through an eternity of Atlanta traffic, I arrived at the venue. Central Park is a great location, with playgrounds for children and adults to play on, while also having a large amount of space to walk around and enjoy the grounds.
The first Friday show I saw was David Byrne on the Peachtree Stage. David Byrne, the Scottish-American musician who was the founding member, principal songwriter, and lead singer and guitarist of the Talking Heads, did an amazing job with his set at the festival. His band members all had their instruments harnessed to them in order to allow all members to freely move around the stage, resulting in one of the best choreographed performances I’ve ever seen. From playing old Talking Heads favorites like “Slippery People,” and “Once in a Lifetime,” to his solo songs “Every Day is a Miracle,” and “Everybody’s Coming to My House,” his entire show was energetic, lively, and fantastic. Up next on the schedule was Fleet Foxes on the Piedmont Stage. Fleet Foxes is an indie-folk band formed in Seattle Washington, and has a sound that feels like you’re running through a snowy forest. My favorites from the set list were “Grown Ocean,” “White Winter Hymnal,” and “Blue Ridge Mountains.” The headliner for Friday was Jack White, and he closed out the first day of the festival. He played many songs from projects he’s been a part of, including solo songs such as “Blunderbus,” The Raconteurs’ song “Steady as she Goes,” and The White Stripes hit “Seven Nation Army.”
Saturday, May 5th would bring another great day of music. The first act I got to see was Greta Van Fleet, a band which started up in 2012 from Michigan. I had never heard of them until the festival, and they blew my mind. With a sound reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, the rock band is one that I highly recommend seeing. I next saw The War on Drugs, a band I had recently seen in Mobile, Alabama. After a short rain delay, they came out in full force ready to play. They played songs including “An Ocean Between the Waves,” “Pain,” and my personal favorite “Red Eyes.” After their set I happened to run into Matt and Kim of Matt and Kim. This was an awesome experience as they were extremely nice and even offered to take a selfie with me. I told them I’d be sure to go to their set, and I am glad that I did. A band known for their energetic and theatrical shows, Matt and Kim were seen Jumping around the stage, throwing many things into the crowd, and even using some very interesting drum sticks. They recently released their newest album Almost Everyday, and I suggest checking it out! The headliner of the night was Queens of the Stone Age, and they closed out the night playing to the full crowd.
Sunday, May 6th began with Alvvays. The Canadian indie pop band almost didn’t make it to the festival, telling the crowd their vehicle broke down that morning and they had to catch a plane the same day to make it. Their punk-like pop was a great way to start out the last day of the festival. I next got to see Lord Huron, and I must say it was one of the highlights of the entire festival. Lord Huron released their first album, Lonesome Dreams, in 2012, followed by Strange Trails in 2015, and just recently released their newest album Vide Noir this year. Their albums are intricately written, with themes of love and loss woven throughout each song. It seems as if a story of life is told throughout all of their albums. Their set at the festival included songs from all three albums, including “Ends of the Earth,” their extremely popular “The Night We Met,” and “Wait by the River.” Radically changing gears, the next band I saw was Tenacious D. With famous Jack Black and Kyle Gass as the front men, the comedy metal rock band blends hard metal with hilarious lyrics to create an unforgettable experience. The band is best known for their album The Pick of Destiny, which is actually the soundtrack for a movie that the band created. Jack Black announced for the first time that they will be releasing Part 2 of the movie this upcoming October! Their set consisted of songs including “Kickapoo,” “The Metal,” and closed out with the sensual “F*ck Her Gently.” The final act of the weekend and headliner of the day was The National. The American rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio captivated the crowd with the bands tantalizing sound and captivating voice of Matt Berninger. They played songs including “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” “Slow Show,” and “Fake Empire.”
All in all, Shaky Knees is a festival done right. From a great location to an even better lineup, the festival as a whole was one of the best I have ever attended. I would highly recommend to anyone who likes music and is near the are to attend the festival.