By Brent Hill
January 13, 2016
There’s something to be said about a music festival in an urban setting. It means you get to sleep in a clean hotel room, eat breakfast at a trendy downtown eatery, and enjoy an after-show beer at a local bar.
This year’s Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta has upped the ante for urban music fests by bringing (great) music to the center of the city: Centennial Olympic Park. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s convenient.
Three days, five stages, 75 bands – it’s a rock music fan’s dream. North Carolinians — listen up! This is your best bet for festivals this summer. It’s a short drive for a ton of music (at a reasonable price). Plus, you don’t have to pack a tent or a sleeping bag. Airbnb, anyone?
Shaky Knees’ carefully curated line-up offers a range of must-see, saw-them-when, and didn’t-know-I-wanted-to-see-them-but-really-glad-I did acts. More importantly, the lineup is, thankfully, devoid of all the corporate “new-rock” that you’ll find at other festivals.
Tim Sweetwood, founder and organizer, knows how to craft a lineup that seamlessly mixes fringe rock newbies with indie rock royalty. And good music means good people having a good time.
Now, let’s talk about this line-up (and there is a lot going on with it). Do your homework and check out our Spotify playlist, too (Bottom). In the meantime, here’s who we’re looking forward to:
Florence and the Machine and My Morning Jacket are leading the charge. Here’s hoping for a collaboration between the two at some point during the weekend.
Jane’s Addiction performing Ritual de la Habitual in its entirety. Huey Lewis and the News (huh?) will play their 1983 debut album, Sports. Weird, right? But totally worth seeing.
The Decemberists, Houndmouth, Shakey Graves, The Head and the Heart, Strand of Oaks, and David Ramirez will each dish out their own brand of folk-influenced rock.
Delta Spirit founder/lead singer Matthew Logan Vasquez, now living in Austin (his childhood home), will plug in his singer-songwriter soul for a raucous performance. Not to be outdone, Brian Fallon of the now defunct Gaslight Anthem will unleash his solo Jersey roar.
The unofficial ambassadors of southern soul, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, will be on hand to deliver their infamously fiery stage show. While newcomer Son Little, whose soul-splashed sound simmers in a melting pot of different genres, will make plenty of big noise.
Eagles of Death Metal, in the shadow of the Paris attacks, will be performing one of their few US dates this spring.
If words aren’t your thing, instrumental post-rockers Explosions in the Sky may be exactly what you need. The Texas quartet will have just released their first non-soundtrack album in five years when they take the Shaky Knees stage.
All those big names are fine and dandy but the true joy of Shaky Knees is the discovery of new music. Some under-the-radar acts that we’re looking forward to include Barns Courtney (sweeping British rock), July Talk (Canadian swagger rock), Diet Cig (slacker post-modern punk), Baskery (Swedish alternative folk pop), Kaleo (Icelandic folksy blues), and Foxing (atmospheric indie rock).
Listen to our 2016 Shaky Knees playlist: http://spoti.fi/1VuyXtJ
Check out the full lineup:
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