ShakY Knees Music Festival


If festival bills were supposed to be read from the bottom to the top, then then this one had me at Surfer Blood and Asgeir. If you have never heard of this festival, that’s no surprise, it was established back in 2013. The annual 3-day music fest is held in Atlanta’s Central Park located in the Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood.

2013’s debut lineup was satisfactory. It featured The Lumineers, Band Of Horses, Gary Clark Jr., Jim James, Drive by Truckers, and Dr. Dog. 2014’s lineup was even more impressive. That one included The National, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Modest Mouse, Violent Femmes, Spoon, Local Natives, Cage The Elephant, Portugal. The Man, plus many more great acts. There is no camping at this festival, but children 8 years old and younger get free admission. So if you look 8 or if you have a friend who looks 8, you’re in for a good time! Just don’t get abducted by ATLiens.

The entirety of this festival lineup blew me away. You can see my top ten acts that I would have to see below. In addition to this, Built To Spill just announced a new album titled Untethered Moon, so hopefully they preview some of those tracks. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is listed high up there, if you don’t know Noel Gallagher by name, you probably do know “Wonderwall”. Remember Oasis? Neutral Milk Hotel keeps on saying that they will be breaking up, they’re clearly not bluffing every time, but after Summer 2015 that could be it. Atlanta folk, this could be your last chance to see NMH ever again.


The Strokes, The Avett Brothers, Wilco, Pixies, Social Distortion, Ryan Adams, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Tame Impala, Mastodon, Brand New, Old Crow Medicine Show, Neutral Milk Hotel, Interpol, TV On The Radio, James Blake, Manchester Orchestra, Flogging Molly, Milky Chance, Death From Above 1979, Dr. Dog, Spiritualized, Kaiser Chiefs, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave, ZZ Ward, Panda Bear, American Football, Clutch, The Black Lips, Xavier Rudd & The United Nations, The Devil Makes Three, The Mountain Goats, Best Coast, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, The Kooks, Real Estate, Wavves, Built To Spill, The Both (Aimee Mann / Ted Leo), Diamond Rugs, Mac DeMarco, Minus The Bear, Old 97s, The Heartless Bastards, Mariachi El Bronx, The Mowglis, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, FIDLAR, Metz, The Bronx, Two Gallants, Tennis, Speed Ortiz, The Whiskey Gentry, Fences, Zella Day, Palma Violets, The Sheepdogs, Asgeir, Surfer Blood, Jukebox The Ghost, The Damnwells, Haerts, Viet Cong, Halsey, Steve Gunn, Field Report, Nikki Lane, Black Pistol Fire, Matthew E. White, Blank Range.

Top 10 Acts That I Would Have To See:

1.  Tame Impala – Saw the psychedelic rock group live at Optimus Alive ’13 in Lisbon, blew me away. Get ready to dance so hard.

2.  The Strokes – A too turnt Julian Casablancas could lead to a rough performance. If feeling healthy, this show will be legendary. I have never seen The Strokes live, but it is high up on my list.

3.  The Devil Makes Three – Super energetic and entertaining Americana bluegrass group. They incorporate old time, ragtime, blues, folk, and jazz. Their crowd will probably dramatically range in age, and they will engage their audience to the fullest.

4.  Zella Day – Incredibly talented and incredibly sexy. Next Lana? Probably not, but will be blowing up anytime now. On Spotify’s Emerging Artists list of 2015.

5.  FIDLAR – It just wouldn’t be right if there were lowercase letters in their name. FIDLAR is an acronym for “Fuck It Dog, Life’s a Risk”. The hardest rock live concert I’ve ever been to was Parquet Courts at The Vera Project this past summer. That was nuts and I’m sure this one will be as well. Totally recommend going.

6.  Asgeir – Saw a special acoustic performance by him earlier this year, Americans need to give him more recognition. The young Icelander has numerous songs with a million plus plays on Spotify, and is opening for Hozier on his national tour this Spring.  

7.  The Kooks – Why are they so low on the bill!? Seeing “Naïve” and “Ooh La” live would be life changing.

8.  Milky Chance  - Their 2014 album titled Sadnecessary hits the spot. “Stolen Dance” is the single off the album, but each song deserves that much recognition. A group that I would be excited yet curious to see live.

9.  Real Estate – Very reminiscent of Kurt Vile, their bassist (Alex Bleeker) rocks too.

10. Fences – Indie rock project out of the 206 (Seattle), I’ve been a fan since the beginning in 2008 with The Ultimate Puke EP. Numerous stand out songs were on their 2010 self-titled debut full-length album. The quartets’ 2nd full-length will be released next month and includes a single titled “Arrows” featuring Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Honorable Mention: The Black Lips – Atlanta Based flower punk rock band, so you know their homies will be in attendance. The crowd would be rowdy, and I would love to see this song live.

You can buy tickets here!

By Ben Schechter