What gets a person out of bed for a third long day of hot weather and walking and standing and festival foodie-truck prices? The promise of great bands you know, and a selection of well-curated bands you don’t. And, really good foodie food trucks, of course. Shaky Knees knows what they’re doing after five years straight, and 2018’s return to Central Park after Centennial Park was very welcome.
This last day was to prove the hottest, with the fewest clouds, but with many trees available to take a break from the sun under, it was more than bearable — it was delightful.
Because we’d gone to one of the Shaky Knees Late Night Shows Saturday, it was kind of a miracle we’d gotten to the site on time. But take in more Songs For Kids, we did, (see Day Two’s article) and because of being at Piedmont Stage for Kids, we got exposed to the wonderful The Wild Reeds. #MusicFestivalMagic
Pro Tip VI
(I can’t believe this is even a pro tip, but we saw LOTS of sunburns on the third day) Actually USE sunscreen. And bring it with you. And ACTUALLY re-apply it. I’d also recommend an awesome UPF 50+ wide-brimmed hat. Maybe that makes me an un-cool mom type. Whatever. I’m fair-skinned. I want to stay known for looking younger than my age for as long as possible, yet still wanna go to multi-day outdoor music festivals. Yes, I want my CAKE, and I’m going to eat it too.
Shaky Knees’ Day THREE Delicious-but-Impossible 4-Stage 2-at-a-time Overlapping Lineup
Songs For Kids or Mt. Joy * The Wild Reeds or Frankie Rose * Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real or Tedo Stone * Sir Sly or Alice Merton * Alvvays or Post Animal * Parcels or All Time Low * Lord Huron or Basement * Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club * Vance Joy or The Menzingers * Tenacious D or The Voidz * The National
The Wild Reeds
When a few of the Songs For Kids pieces were joined on vocals and tambourine so beautifully by one of The Wild Reeds’ vocalists, we knew we’d have to stay right where we are for her band coming up next on the same stage.
The Wild Reeds is Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva and Mackenzie Howe, all three on lead vocals and all three playing a variety of acoustic and electric instruments, plus Nick Jones on drums, and Nick Phakpiseth on bass.
Their set was so enjoyable, being there was a happy accident. For me, it was the combination of gorgeous harmonies and the full on rock-out of the two gals on guitars. This indie rock band is without a doubt, despite the initial sweetness of this video I’m sharing with you, a rock band. #DiscoverRediscover #ListenLive
Right? Their harmonies, their pocket-weaving voices, their anthemic crescendos… sigh…
Bummed I Missed: Frankie Rose
Frankie Rose — 80’s-inspired dreamy synth-pop, updated, evolved. Still dreamy.
Did you love Florence & the Machine, and Siouxie & the Banshees? Alice Merton is going in your playlists. It was perhaps simply that this was a female-fronted band that led me to put myself in front of the Ponce de Leon Stage for her show, sometimes you grasp at a straw to decide what to do next at a festival. But, we stayed, and danced, and made friends who were staying and dancing too.
This alt-rock singer-songwriter is German-Canadian-English, and resides straddling Berlin and London, so I’m grateful American audiences are proving we want more of her over here.
You can see Alice Merton in concert all over the U.S. and Europe for this tour. I’d try anything twice, but Merton, more. #ListenLive
An Alice Merton Extra: That Siouxie Sioux ache is breathtakingly apparent in “Lie to Me.” Kill me now.
Bummed I Missed: Sir Sly
Sir Sly is what my generation is craving — raw emotion, heartfelt and artistic. They blew Shaky Knees away! — Amber E. Taylor
Lord Huron Just released their third album, Vide Noir, last month, and are coasting through this tour all over the U.S. and Europe, with a few in Australia, and one in Canada too. Dates selling out, so get a ticket! And get me one too.
So beautiful. Such a wonderful concert. I wanted it to be longer, even though I was right out there under the unwavering sun. No pictures, I was in a just-take-it-in-and-enjoy state. It’s dreamy rockabilly-tinged folk-rock. Have a listen.
If you’re reading this, you’ll know this one, “The Night We Met” is dedicated to you (off their Strange Tails album)…
Live, Lord Huron is:
- Ben Schneider – guitar, vocals, harmonica
- Mark Barry – drums, percussion, vocals
- Miguel Briseño – bass, keys, percussion, theremin
- Tom Renaud – guitar, vocals
- Brandon Walters – guitar, vocals
- Anne Williamson – keys, vocals
Bummed I Missed: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
I could hear Nathaniel Rateliff and his band from the nearby Peachtree Stage area where I was waiting for Vance Joy, and the music was calling me. Then I wasn’t surprised when Shaky Knees new friend Amber called it out as a great show. And she’s not the only one.
The Night Sweats are touring all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and even have a couple of dates in Japan.
Word is getting out. Contemporary roots-music folk-rock is the lane for Nathaniel and he inhabits it un-self-consciously, unabashedly, passionately, captivatingly.
Australian indie-rock singer, songwriter, musician, showman. We like him, a lot.
Vance Joy and his band are performing across the U.S. and Canada right now. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know of this artist prior to the festival. His name is what called me to be there at this point in the Shaky Knees schedule. I mean, who doesn’t want more Joy in their life? I am in fact very glad I came.
Omgosh (I recognized one of his songs)! He’s the “Riptide” guy — I love you when you’re singing that song, and I got a lump in my throat, cuz, you’re gonna sing the words wrong. Sweet. #DiscoverRediscover
Pro Tip VII
Forget the two bands before each of your favorites, because you’ll be taking a much needed rest as close to your favorite’s stage as possible for DIY VIP viewing. This is not just an opportunity to get off your feet for a while, it’s a chance to make new friends, hear about bands you’ve missed but should check out online, or hear about rumors…
*…like, Dave Grohl might be drumming for Tenacious D on Sunday, ’cause he’s done it before and the Foo Fighters tour just ended last night in Chattanooga, less than three hours away.
(*note: this particular rumor proved disappointingly unsubstantiated)
Tenacious D. What can I say? They’re raucous, rude, a bit messy, and they crack my poop up! Yes, this is a comedy act, but make no mistake, it is a music act too. One of my festival buddies side-eye side-stepped this one as just “entertainment” (ummm), but these guys are real musicians who actually do play with outrageous skill. It’s all tongue-in-cheek, and yet still, it’s all a killer heavy-metal show.
Their Shaky Knees set list… (WARNING: These songs and videos are NSFW)
- Low Hangin’ Fruit
- Dude (I Totally Miss You)
- The Metal
- Throw Down
- The Road
- Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)
- Double Team (mashed with a bit of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band)
- Fuck Her Gently
My favorite moment was when Jack Black and fellow lead vocalist / lead guitarist, Kyle Gass got into a bickering match and Kyle quit and left the stage, only to have Black go into full-on regret mode. He sang “Dude, I Totally Miss You,” and Kyle was convinced to returned to the party. Silly, but somehow still effectively way sweet. So I’m including that here. It’s a damn good song.
And dude, I totally miss you.
Apparently we were treated here at Shaky Knees to a special first announcement of the upcoming release of the sequel to the film “Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny“, like later this year? Cool.
Yeah, these two have been at this for a long, lonnnnnng time, writing their first song together in 1994. Fun fact: Just read they were getting to know each other while performing together with the Actors’ Gang in the 1989 Fringe Festival in Scotland — the year before I performed there in a musical as Miss America, with L.A. Youth Ensemble Theatre (shout out!). Damn.
Bummed I Missed: Mt. Joy
Like I’d said about Vance Joy, who doesn’t want more Joy in their life? I didn’t catch this band at Shaky Knees, but what I’ve heard from researching them, their music is yet more of this lovely contemporary indie folk rock. There was so much of that here this weekend, and to be honest, a lot of them with male voices have sounds that blend in my head indistinguishably from one another at this point.
That either means I need to spend more time specifically exploring each one (of course), or that they’d simply make a great single playlist all mashed up together (absolutely), or that I’m just music-exhausted right now (definitely). A festival is a blessing, and a curse of sorts. Poor me.
Like The National, Mt. Joy has great harmonies, with wonderful music backing them, and their songs are a little dreamy and build toward many-instrument crescendos. I’m not complaining. It’s a solid genre, and it takes skill and years of experience to get invited to a festival, and to attract audiences, like me, whether we made it to their stage or not.
Their influences are cited to include Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, The Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, and Vampire Weekend. It shows nicely, and now I have even more Joy in my life. #DiscoverRediscover
Bummed I Missed: The National
I should have watched the The National, and not just listened them as I took a long people-watching walk around Central Park. But, that was the mood I was in (did it have anything to do with Tenacious D’s close-out song, I wonder?), and I had the luxury to do what made me feel good.
I always have people to see and things to do in L.A., so who knows. Phoebe Bridgers opens for them and is yet another band I’m super-pleased to learn about. #DiscoverRediscover
I wandered. I people watched. I breathed the night air (away from the porta-potty village). I contemplated my weekend as the sounds of The National wafted through the trees.
I contemplated the f’g EPIC playlist I was going to create to honor this weekend. On it’s way. With love.
For more Shaky Knees Music Festival reading and listening joy brought to you by Libro Musica…