Day One and done at Shaky Knees. Immerse yourself in the images to relive the moments.
Reminiscing about my glorious weekend of music at Shaky Knees!
The Front Bottoms
Who can resist a quick shot of the pop up wiggles on The Front Bottom’s stage?
I wish I could have captured the fun glitter bombs that happened around a pocket of people up front. They would release handfuls of glitter at different intervals. It was so festive, and sparkly, and fun. It helped me to forget the bass was pounding out my ear drums.
Probably the most fun show of the day for me. Everyone was into the happy music, and smiles were all around. We participated in their show clapping joyously, dancing, and singing! But when they sent these out….the crowd went crazy!
Then there was this happening all around me…
Time for dinner and there were lots of delicious choices!
Say hi to Niah Bruce from Atlanta. She was standing in line with us and had the most beautiful smile. I loved her festival outfit.
This was not my choice, but he ate the WHOLE thing!
Here you can see the incredibly fierce lead singer and get a sense of their mesmerizing set.
The one and only downfall of the new venue at Centennial Olympic Park were the long lines to reach the Boulevard and Piedmont stages. In order to get to those stages we would have to cross a busy road, so they created a walking bridge over the road. Problem solved?
At one point it became so crowded that they made it one way.
As we came out, we saw how many people were waiting to go on the other side. People were pretty chill about it. I think the press were given another way to go, so they could get back and forth without any delay.
Funny, not so funny, we crossed over and then realized we were at the wrong stage! It took us awhile to remember which stage was where. Whoops!
But we met these gals, with their individual goth style, on point!
As the sun was setting, we were welcomed with the glow of the city around us. It proved to be the perfect backdrop for our next band, Slowdive.
It was cool to see a few more women led bands at this year’s Shaky Knees. Today, we saw Wolf Alice, Savages, and The Kills. The Kills totally blew us away with their powerful performance and rockin’ tunes.
My apologies for the hazy photos, people waited and waited to see them, so the chances of a close up photo was an impossibility! I honestly didn’t want to leave The Kills until the very last song, which put me at a total disadvantage.
What a beautiful day and a pretty cool variety of music. Day One and done!
and a couple cups of coffee, perked me right up, and helped me find the energy to get back to Shaky Knees for the last day.
Sunshine graced Atlanta for another day, and I was prepared with an extra coating of sunscreen and sunglasses. I also chose shoes with a little more soul….(sole) because my feet were raw and sore from all the walking in my flat sandals. Because of a presentation obligation earlier in the day, we had to miss a couple of the first bands. But we were in for the long haul, and ready to rock!
This go ’round I was smarter about Marta, because I went a little farther down the line and was rewarded with a shorter walk to the entrance. I also ended up closer to the stage where I planned to visit, first thing. Recently, I blogged about The Mowglis, and I couldn’t wait to see them live. Their happy upbeat music proved to be the perfect starting point to a perfect day at Shaky Knees!
Pure joy resonated from every song. This song, “Whatever, Forever” was a big crowd pleaser during their set, and it comes from their new album, Kids in Love. Happy, peppy, pop music was a mood fixer for sure. Don’t cha just love a band that asks you to participate in the chorus?
After seriously sweating from jumping, dancing, and singing with The Mowglis, it was time to eat a bite and refresh with an ice-cold smoothie. While in line waiting, I spotted these good friends and liked their all-out festival style. Their personality shines through the wares, and they were fun to talk to as well.
They are Jade and Haley from Tampa, Florida and Forsyth, Georgia. They were psyched about seeing Frank Turner later, but really enjoyed Palma Violets and The Black Lips the day before. Dang, it made me wish I had seen Palma Violets too. Their new album is out now and this song of theirs, reminds me of an English Pub sing-a-long song.
After grabbing our food, we were off to find a spot to eat and listen to The Sheepdogs. Because it was mid-afternoon, the sun was searing once again, and this was the stage area that had me seeing stars yesterday, so we chose a hillside spot to sit down. Even though there was no shade, the Canadian band Sheepdogs kept us happy with their retro-rock sound.
They proved to be talented guitarists and they commanded the large gathering of the curious and the true fans. We all stopped and took notice.
This song, “Feeling Good” reminds me of “Spirit in the Sky”, but they add a modern and fresh take on the beat of an old classic.
With a satisfied tummy and ears, it was once again time to hit the ground running. As quickly as I wanted to get to see Best Coast, I couldn’t help but stop to take a gander at this fun, crazy outfit!
His name is Chance and yes, he is in a perfect T-Rex pose. I am glad I caught him early on, because there is no way, in the heat, that the T-Rex tie would stay on for long. Chance usually provides food for festivals, but for once he could enjoy hanging out and catching the bands. He was with Nancy and Mason, and I’m not sure if the photo bombers in the next picture are part of their group or not! You have to admit that it’s a great shot of happy festival goers!
Best Coast was next!
It was soooo HOT! Even the poor camera guy looked as if he had enough with his rag over his head. Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno were trying to make the best of it. She took a lot of time between songs trying to stay hydrated. She even threw water to the fans and we sang a Happy Birthday to Bob for his birthday, while she drank more water.
The music was great despite the sluggishness of the set. “So Unaware” was my favorite song from their new album, California Nights.
When there is quiet space between songs, I can’t help noticing everything around me. That’s when I chuckled at this resourceful guy with a hat that shades his head and keeps his Tootsie Pop!
The heat proved to be too much for lots of people. Every place of shade was taken. First aid was chock full of heat related worries. I knew I had to take a short break, and sat in a nice spot with a little bit of room, behind this worn out couple. You gotta love it!
Okay no time for sitting around long.
I wanted to find a good spot to hear Panda Bear. Panda Bear is Noah Lennox from Animal Collective. He came to my attention when he appeared on Daft Punk’s song, “Doin’ It Right” that won them a Grammy for album of the year in 2014. I was so excited to finally experience his experimental electronic music in the flesh!
I was not alone. The tent area was already crowded and we had some waiting to do. That’s when I realized I had made a terrible choice to wear jeans, despite my skimpy top. I was burning up!
I had time to spare before the show and just had to chat with this serious Panda Bear fan, Jared Brady and his friend, Jessica Thomas.
These funny inflatable bears and beach balls were bounced around throughout the set, while wild images and flashing psychedelic lights covered the stage. Lennox bopped his head rhythmically to the beat, and seemed very small behind his electronic equipment and giant screen. I was lost in the music and really didn’t pay attention to him as much as I did to the people, activity around me , and the changing of images on the screen.
After relishing the ethereal after glow of the power packed set of Panda Bear, it was time to switch stages and move on to Xavier Rudd of Australia. I was so ready for his subtle love-filled island reggae beat. As I worked my way through the somewhat thin crowd, I stood behind this adorable group of friends laughing and having fun.
If I have read my notes correctly, this is Meagan McNeely, Carlie Fordham, and Andrew Dalahan. I wanted to chat with the festival fans that didn’t go to see Ryan Adams. Ryan Adams is a definite favorite of mine, but I needed to hear a band I have never heard live before and Xavier was it!
It was really cool that when I pointed my camera his way, he almost turned to me to greet me properly.
I’ll post his latest song again, because it is double post worthy!
I was really happy that I made it back to the Peachtree stage to hear the last song Ryan Adams played. It was a pretty powerful song to end his concert. Different concert, but this you tube captured what I remember perfectly.
Okay, now was the time to prepare and get set up for the amazing final act of the day, Tame Impala. It is so funny to me that when I asked many of the attendees of the festival, they had no idea who Tame Impala was, but they would hang out and watch them. It struck me that maybe they had never been a ‘closer’ for a festival before. I didn’t research it, but I am guessing this might be true and this was a first for the band in the USA. How cool would that be? I kinda want my little southern city of Atlanta to be a first in that way. Is Atlanta music forward enough to realize the impact of this incredible Aussie band and the power that their experimental, psychedelic alt-indie sound has half-way around the world?
The field was beginning to fill up…
In my hurry for a place up front, I met some incredibly cool people.
This is Mary Catherine and Caroline from Asheville. Okay….full disclosure, it was pure hat envy on my part that I wanted this picture. They were both chillin’ and having a good time. She totally rocked the hat, right? Well, then I also found out they were red wine drinkers. We are few and far between at music festivals. Totally cute gals that enjoyed listening to Ryan Adams and Dr Dog.
Moving my way closer to the stage, I bumped into this group of friends. Fun was their middle name. Jessie Moore, Andrew Kufta, Sean Shamlafor, Jen Lowey and Scott Bellinetti. I hope they reach out and say “hey”, cause they were cool, and I loved her jewelry. I think she designs and creates it.
But moving on, I bumped into these cute guys originally from Australia. They remembered Kevin Parker of Tame Impala way back when they were all growing up in Fremantle. I swoon at an authentic Aussie accent and these guys had that accent perfection, so I talked to them for a while.
This is Ryan Mickler and Anthony Tran. Anthony was in America for a few months exploring and taking in the sights and a few festivals. Atlanta loves the international traveler that hangs out and stays awhile. Thank you to Shaky Knees for making him hang around! They gave me great suggestions for bands that I should listen to from Australia, and I love that because I am always listening! Australia has an amazing music scene.
As I moved in closer to the stage, the crowds were tight, but there always seemed to be room for one more. People at this festival were kind and generous with space and always seemed to fit me in. Moving closer and closer, I met John Manfredi and Jenny Nesvetailova from Atlanta.
They were both deeply involved in music from being a DJ at GA State to interning for music magazines, they had seen Tame Impala multiple times and I loved finally chatting with locals that knew how talented they are, and expected big things for the Shaky Knees finale.
Squeezing in the mix of people, the sun began to set and the lights of the show were beginning to warm. The excitement was palpable and everyone began to push closer and closer to the stage. It was a tight squeeze, but I knew it would open up as the music began and dancing would inevitably happen. Tame Impala began their set leading off with “Let It Happen”. Which I have shared before. I thought it was cool they also played another new tune from their upcoming album, “Eventually”.
There is something so interesting and pure about Kevin Parker in his bare feet, sporting a full beard (new), and playing guitar and singing so soothingly.
This band is fantastic, but the light show was also an amazing sight for those that were skeptical of the music.
I can’t even begin to capture the scope of it in pictures. Check out their tour schedule and be sure not to miss a show when it comes near you. I promise a good time.
I knew instinctively they were reaching the end of their set when they played this song. A favorite of mine.
I decided to work my way out of the crowd before the last song to find my blanket and a nice chance to sit down and soak it all in. As I turned around and made my way out of the thick crowd, each person behind me held their hands up in the air, with a friend, as if it was a doorway. I am not exaggerating when I say this friend ‘hand doorway’ caught on and I walked out of the thirty or so rows thick, with a cleared pathway made by kind music friends. It was a phenomenal moment that I will not soon forget. Yep, for little ol’ me…..pure spontaneous kindness.
Okay, this picture is a little blurry, but after the umpteenth click and pose, you have to just go with it! This cute guy just graduated and this night was a happy celebration! Great friends and a great time, Alex Waxman, Regan Tiernan, Haley Tiernan and Daniel Thompson were dancing and not wanting the night to end. I completely understood.
People that celebrate music are the most fun people I know. Music is so subjective and “to each their own” when it comes to what sounds you love or wish for, but ultimately if you are at a festival and find others that love the songs you love, there is an emotional synergy that transcends any barriers of race, status, gender, or orientation.
Music pushes ideas and breeds acceptance. I believe in its power and know that the creative energy surges into me as a fan. I will forever appreciate the hard work of those who write, play, promote, perform and share songs.
My heart continues to be full, almost a week later. What a weekend, what an experience, and what great people.
Looking back, I have tried to figure out how this amazing three day festival came about and how they chose the incredible bands that played. To me, the connection seems to be the guitar. Every band had amazing guitar heavy songs that calmed, soothed and at more times than not…thrilled. Wow, just wow, is all I can say.
Be careful what you wish for. I was praying and watching for sunshine for about 10 days out, from Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Music Festival. I was one of the adventurous attendees at the very first Shaky Knees, knee deep in mud and soaked to the bone (revisit my experience HERE). Year two, it was more cloudy and humid with an occasional peaking of the sun, which provided an exclamation point of searing heat and humidity. Both weekends were actually bearable, because when the music is good, you can survive anything, right?
This year the heat was stifling at moments, but thank heaven for ice water, cold beer, King of Pops, and Nectar’s Smoothies (my food truck favorite). We were semi-prepared, with a small back pack full of necessities from the trial and error knowledge of festival going. A late start, due to a three and a half hour rush home, so we missed some really great starting acts. But I can’t change the facts, so I will just have to live and learn for next year.
Okay, here is where the fun began….
We knew, living in a car driving place like Atlanta, that it was very important to take Marta to and from the Festival. It was actually semi-convenient and with parking validation….totally money smart. But it is not a fast transit city and there seems to be a LOT of waiting between trains. This is especially at the Lindbergh station where it seems like every train is off limits because it is on its way to be serviced.
But just when you least expect it the train comes, and in addition to that, a kind rider offers you his seat. Who knows why….it wasn’t that crowded, is anyone familiar with the Peachtree Road race in July? But, kindness brings on more kindness and his gentlemanly ways paid off, and eventually another seat opened up for him so he didn’t have to stand too long.
Once we arrived to the new Central Park venue, we pulled out our maps and rushed to hear the band on my must listen list. On our dash to the appropriate stage, I saw this adorable girl in the most perfect outfit and had to stop her. She was dressed in alt/indie festival perfection, right?
This is Dawn from Birmingham and she actually works for Free People. She was capturing fashion as well. From her Birkenstocks, army green jeans, mid-drif ruffled top and fun camp style felt hat, she was festival wanna be for me. Perfect foot wear for dusty roads and cushion for the peds, but also cool wear for the hot temps, as well. Love, Love, Love her look. How ’bout you?
When we finally arrived at the Peachtree stage, Real Estate was into their second song. They commanded attention with their chill tunes, but I found midday to be a tough time zone for their them. Friends of mine left for food, claiming the set was too sleepy, but not me! I hung out with the mega fans and waved into the ginormous crowd camera! It was exhilarating to see me frantically waving and dancing to the Real Estate songs that I love on a giant festival screen. It was a selfie in motion times a million! What is not to love about that? Well, then, I saw this beautiful thing happening beside my crazy, happy, sweaty dancing.
She was actually sketching the band as they played. What creativity! I loved it, but I felt weird about actually sharing her amazing drawing. So I thought I would share what she was watching instead.
They even played the song that made me love them long ago!
After the perfect set of incredible, chill guitar, we headed to Fidlar (the exact opposite of chill), and in transit, bumped into many dear music friends. Atlanta is a huge city, but has a small town ‘bump into friends often’ feel. In my opinion, Shaky Knees was just on the verge of blowing up (in a great way). Over excited!
Well, yes the music did explode.
At the next stage, I cozied up as much as I could to the front and found myself in the mosh pit, wild danger zone. We were experiencing FIDLAR and their fans are insane and full of rocking, crazy fun. Ready to dash at any moment for fear of life and limb, there is an exhilaration that connects your mind with the rocking fear and it is an energy infused good time. As my posse hung back, I stayed in the mix to watch water and drinks fly and feet flip up in the air with crowd surfing that made my heart pump in overtime for the safety of each mega-fan. The music was pumping and powerful. The band was a talented batch of musicians that tempered the crowd and knew the exact moments to ask for sing-a-long (or better yet scream-a-long) lyrics.
That’s when I decided to rush to another stage and catch Devil Makes Three. They have a cool story of growing up in rural life and playing music. They are multi-talented and play a sort of alt-country Americana sound.
I hate that in all of my pictures, I wasn’t able to capture the striking Lucia Turino with her giant upright bass. They are talented musicians, but the huge stage and searing heat proved too much for me to stay too long. I really hope they come back to Atlanta, and I can take them in with no fear of overheating.
This picture tells it all, hot! I kept seeing this guy throughout the weekend and this was his most bothered and sweaty moment, but somehow he seems to rock it, right?
Then, I quickly rushed to another stage to get a good spot up close at Built To Spill. They were one of my ‘must hear’ bands for Shaky Knees. On the way, I got a little distracted and had to get a pic of my happy festival dancing self in the Shaky Knees Skull.
This was the only picture I got…. so you have to chuckle. It was sooo hot and I was in much need of sustenance at this point, so time was of the essence and Built To Spill was next!
En route, we were pleased to hear the end of our own Atlanta boys, The Black Lips.
So very late and really too far away, I still caught their signature jam of southern rock. Here is one of my favorites.
On my way to see Built To Spill, I bumped into this cutie and his Mama. This is kind of how I felt at this point, so I completely understood where little Tucker was coming from. Isn’t he cool for a toddler? Power to the nap!
Well, I lingered a little too long and couldn’t get very close to see Built To Spill. The funny thing is, it really didn’t matter because the music was THAT GOOD!
They are all crazy good guitarists and every song provided a moment to veer from the norm and stretch out the music with a nice lick or two. The guitar heaven combined with the distinctive vocals of Doug Martsch made for a perfect set of music for me. They played “When I’m Blind” and the guitar strumming was unbelievable to watch. Doug’s arm was rubber-like and so loose as he played. Crazy good.
I was in heaven, literally. I felt weak in the knees and saw some stars. Oh that’s when I realized that I might just pass out from dancing and the searing heat as it bubbled up from the asphalt. My friends were comfortably lounging elsewhere and I panicked that I would end up at the first aid tent, so I ran out of the crowd to sit down. I found a curb to sit on and put my head between my knees. I was recovering, but knew I need water badly. I waited long enough to hear the last of Built To Spill, and then I searched for my group, in a worried, hazy state. Finally connecting, I found their blanket and promptly plopped down for awhile. Even though I was really far from the stage, I listened intently to Neutral Milk Hotel. Somehow tons of cold water and their soothing twangy saws perked me back to life.
At this point, I knew food was a necessity, if I wanted to continue on. It was time to sort through the food trucks and find vegetarian fare. Slim pickings, but I found heaven with Nectar! It is barely in this picture (on the far right), but I learned later that they were voted one of the healthiest food trucks by Huffington Post. I had a heart of palm, cheesy, panini perfection and did I mention the pomegranate strawberry banana pineapple smoothie? The smoothie and sandwich brought me back to life! Hallelujah!
My recovery was perfectly timed with the eventual evening cooling and a few unexpected breezes, here and there. It was time to check out Milky Chance.
All I can say is what a fun surprise of a show! They were fantastic! I was pleasantly surprised at their energy and their upbeat interesting music. They had some tunes with an unexpected, fantastic harmonica and it made the crowd go crazy.
After this happy surprise, it was time to explore the Media tent, and any privileges that I might have. That is when, lo and behold, I found this beautiful discovery!!!
I was now a happy camper and grinning from ear to ear! TP and running water are a scarcity at music festivals and the happy privilege of a real, live restroom made my day….well tbh, the entire weekend!
This was the media tent where all of the interviews took place. Unfortunately, I missed the media happy hour due to my earlier fainting weakness, but I did see several professional photo shoots. And no, I didn’t interrupt, even though, inside my head, I wanted to ask all sorts of crazy questions.
This is the view from the media area. I listened to Wilco from here. As you can see, it was one packed house
Now, it was time for libations and The Avett Brothers under the stars of a perfect night. Yes, perfection in every way, as I look back on my Saturday at Shaky Knees. Their show was amazing and even though I have seen them multiple times, they always surprise me with their beautiful songs and stage energy.
Yes, I wish I could have visited every stage, and seen every band, but I made the best of the time I was able to be there.
Actually, the whole weekend was all about making hard decisions. TBH, the worst part of the festival was trying to choose which bands to listen to, when I really wanted to see them all. There were some really tough calls and then there was also a bit of frantic, fast paced walking to hurry and get to a stage farther away.
If a festival has that kind of amazing line-up, everyone wins. I will just have to catch the bands that I missed at a later date. Thank heaven I still had a day left to experience more! My feet were dog tired and it was time to head home.
Stay tuned for the final day of Shaky Knees……cause who knows, I might bump into Elvis and Jesus again!
Today I am feeling incredibly thankful. I am thankful to be alive, thankful for my family and friends, thankful for air-conditioning, and thankful for having the opportunity to participate in covering Shaky Knees Music Festival. Oh, yea, I admit that within that thankfulness, I am feeling a little sad. Sad, that is, that this weekend is over.
But, here on my blog, I can totally relive the entire weekend.
You see, it all started with my love of music, then my writing about it, and coincidentally about stretching myself way beyond my comfort zone. I truly believe pushing limits puts you in a place where your heart and soul begin to grow. I applied for a press pass for Shaky Knees. It wasn’t a long application, but one that I thought very intentionally about. I wanted it, I wanted it badly.
After weeks of not hearing, I decided to write an e-mail and inquire. That’s when I received this…
Hi Carrie –
We have had an overwhelming number of requests for passes,
and understandably, we only have a limited number of passes available.
Because I can tell you have a lot of heart when it comes to blogging,
I am going to approve you for one (1) media pass to Shaky Knees.
GOOD GOLLY, I was awarded a media pass!! Let’s just say I have been walking on cloud nine ever since that e-mail dropped in my inbox!
How quickly I forget how April and May become packed with events, travel, and must attend activities. I worried about how I would ever pull it all off, and get to the Festival. Let’s just say that I burned up the highway, and the midnight oil, all in the name of family, friends, and music. It was totally, totally worth it.
That’s when the Shaky Knees Festival bands started e-mailing me about interview times and scheduling photos, etc. Of course, I thought that they were truly reaching out to me specifically, but later found out that this is a reach to all press as a whole. As I returned e-mails requesting times, I quickly realized that their schedules booked up with television, radio, and music magazines.
I should have known that my little blog wouldn’t bring on the kind of attention the larger media would provide. It was quite humbling, but I have to start somewhere, right?
Then, I had a major conflict with the Friday shows. There was no way I could possibly go, so I had sweet friends keep me updated with their take on it. Here is their montage of cell phone photos they sent me! So for Friday of Shaky Knees, you’ll see it through their eyes.
Just released Mac Demarco tune, “The Way You’d Love Her”
As for the headliner, The Strokes, it was such a packed park, they weren’t able to get any good pictures to send. They sent this message instead, ” Julian Casablanca owned the stage and the crowd, as soon as they hit the first licks.”
So here’s the first song in their set….
And reportedly they made a live debut of “All The Time”.
It was awesome to get regular updates, a big thank you to my four, fun music friends.
Stay tuned for my Saturday concert recap. When I finally get to Central Park, Shaky Knees 2015 proves to be full of colorful, fun friends, sights, and incredible sounds that you don’t want to miss!