It’s that time of year again. Summer music festival season is upon us! That time of year where you spend way too much money, but it’s ok because Tom Petty sat in with My Morning Jacket and it was awesome! Seriously though, if you’re looking to get the most out of your money, festivals may be expensive, but you will see more artists that you could possibly have imagined. As April turns into May, festivals like Coachella and Jazz Fest are in full swing while Hangout and Memphis in May are getting cranked up. By June, the full slate of Wakarusa, Mountain Jam, Bonnaroo and more take shape. And in our neck of the woods (kind of), Shaky Knees cranks up in Atlanta on May 8th, 9th and 10th.
Shaky Knees was introduced to the world last year as yet another installment of a rapidly growing concert scene in Atlanta. The home of the Braves and Ted Turner is home to impressive venues such as The Masquerade, Variety Playhouse and The Tabernacle, as well as major outdoor venues in nearby Alpharetta and Lakewood. The city has long been associated with Dirty South hip hop, but alternative rock, punk, metal and electronic all have scenes in the ATL. While Nashville, New Orleans and Memphis are all known for their unique music scenes, Atlanta provides modern variety to a region steeped in tradition. Nowhere is this more evident than at Shaky Knees.
The lineup for Shaky Knees relies heavily on alternative music. This is not a hard line that is drawn. In fact the nature of alternative music is very inclusive in and of itself and draws from a multitude of genres. Generally, the artists of Shaky Knees tend to be more rock oriented, though genres such as folk, psychedelic and metal are represented. It’s this trait that separates Shaky Knees from fellow Atlanta festival Counterpoint, which has a heavy emphasis on electronic dance music.
The top headliner of the festival sets the tone for the rest of the lineup. The Strokes have been a constant in the alternative scene of the last fifteen years. With a sound rooted in 1970’s garage rock, The Strokes wowed critics and audiences with their debut album This Is It in 2001. Frontman Julian Casablancas also had a successful solo career while the band went on hiatus in 2009. While the strokes represent urban rock, rural music is represented by headliners Wilco and the Avett Brothers. The Avett Brothers, along with Mumford and Sons, have helped revitalize the popularity of folk music in the United States. Wilco has a heavy country influence in their special brand of rock. The headliners are round out by pioneering group The Pixies, who have influenced everyone from Nirvana to Lady Gaga.
Many more names fill out a lineup that is sure to please the live concert die hards. Pioneering band Social Distortion helped define the California punk scene of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Ryan Adams, former frontman for the band The Cardinals, has earned a following as a singer-songwriter. Former Oasis member Noel Gallagher will be there with his band High Flying Birds. Old Crow Medicine Show paved the way for groups like the Avett Brothers, and their song “Wagon Wheel” has been covered into a country hit. In local fare, heavy metal group Mastodon blend progressive elements into their Black Sabbath sound. And as for psychedelic music, Australia’s Tame Impala brings that to the table.
Some other artists to look out for include Neutral Milk Hotel, TV On the Radio, Interpol, Manchester Orchestra, Flogging Molly, Dr. Dog, Kaiser Chiefs, Trombone Shorty, Minus the Bear and The Black Lips.
3-day passes are still available for the festival, as are single-day tickets. Shaky Knees hopefully continues to add to the emergence of Atlanta as a major player in southern music.

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