Just like yesterday and the day before, we’re back at you again today with a rundown of our favorite acts performing at the upcoming Shaky Knees Music Festival down in Atlanta. We’ll be focusing on the last day of the festival in this post (Sunday, May 11th), which features a number of pretty fantastic acts. If our coverage has convinced you, you can buy a ticket here, with a choice of either a $169 weekend pass or an $84 single day pass. Regardless of whether you’re going or not, we’ve got the rundown on our top 7 “Absolutely Must See” acts below, so why not familiarize yourself with some of the most talented bands on the circuit?
THE ALABAMA SHAKES
@ Peachtree Stage | 9:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Since their debut album, Boys & Girls, dropped back in 2012, Sunday night headliners The Alabama Shakes have experienced a level of success most bands can only dream of. Between touring across the world, working extensively with Jack White and Third Man Records here in Nashville, nabbing three Grammy nominations, and playing festival after festival after festival, it’s safe to say the group have truly “made it.” Along with acts like St. Paul and the Broken Bones, The Alabama Shakes have spearheaded the Southern soul revival movement, and, to be frank, we’re pretty happy about the whole ordeal. This sound is characterized by impressively dynamic vocal melodies, crunchy guitar riffs, and a general bluesy feel. All in all, it’s simply great music, and this nearly-Nashville-based four-piece deserve all the success they’ve had and more. Their most popular track is probably “Hold On,” which we’ve got embedded below for your viewing pleasure. Hope to see you at the show!
@ Peachtree Stage | 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM
We hope you got a chance to catch Local Natives last night at The Ryman or last year at Live on the Green, as both were, without a doubt, some of the best Nashville performances we’ve witnessed. Coming out of LA, this quintet have been playing together since 2005, and have released two critically-acclaimed studio albums. Their debut, Gorilla Manor, garnered a massive positive reception from both the public and music critics. The album was called Gorilla Manor because the house the entire group lived in had earned that nickname, which really highlights the deep connection amongst these guys. Absolutely everything the band does is determined ahead of time by all of the members, and all five of them really make an effort to have the band be the focus, rather than any individual member. If you’ve seen them live, this dedication towards equality explains why they always set up with everybody except the drummer in a straight line across the stage: no one is the lead singer, they’re all equally important. This admirable trait definitely makes its way into the group’s music, which is always well balanced and pleasant. To get a sense for what we mean, check out the video for “Breakers” below, which was the lead single from Local Natives’ second release, Hummingbird.
IRON & WINE
@ Peachtree Stage | 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM
When we first found out that folk powerhouse Iron & Wine would be playing at Shaky Knees, we may or may not have jumped up and down in ecstasy. Every single time we’ve gotten a chance to catch this South Carolina native play some tunes, we’ve been utterly blown away by the sheer musicianship and emotion he manages to work into every track. Whether or not you know it, you’ve probably heard a number of Iron & Wine songs, since this guy gets more TV and movie promotional slots than anyone else. It makes sense, however, as the raw emotion behind each pluck of his acoustic guitar or syllable sung in his whispery voice is stunning. Iron & Wine is already one of the most successful folk acts of this generation, and there’s little doubt that he’ll continue to enjoy success for years to come.
KOPECKY FAMILY BAND
@ Boulevard Stage | 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM
The Kopecky Family Band is a Nashville-based act that play a very sunny, upbeat pop-rock blend. The group are fronted by Gabe Simon and Kelsey Kopecky, and actually are not composed of direct relatives. Instead, the band really focus on fostering positive connections and charming chemistry amongst themselves, much like a family might. The group started playing together back in 2007, and, since then, have released two official full-lengths and an EP, along with extensively touring the country in support. You can really hear the Southern sensibilities in their music, which feels very at home and open. The Kopecky Family Band are the perfect late afternoon festival act, and we’re pretty excited to see them again.
@ Boulevard Stage | 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
Also coming to us from our hometown here in Tennessee are long-haired indie rockers The Weeks. This group have been all over the map recently, including enough time in the studio to put together their excellent 2013 release, Dear Bo Jackson. The band play a very bluesy, gritty sounding take on traditional indie and garage rock, and aren’t afraid to inject their Southern roots into their sound. All of these influences come together to create a totally rocking product that practically begs to be danced to. These guys are definitely on their way up, and it’s been a pleasure seeing what they’ve done so far. We wish them all the best at this year’s Shaky Knees.
@ Peachtree Stage | 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
Deer Tick are an alt rock outfit originally from Providence, RI, though, based on their sound, you would never guess it. The group’s strong vocal drawl, bluesy tones, and down-to-earth attitude would fit in perfectly here in (their occasional home of) Music City, and we suspect that it’ll go over quite nicely at Shaky Knees. The band often draw comparisons to acts like Two Gallants, as they tend to pull from country, folk, and traditional blues influences when crafting their alt rock sound. Deer Tick have released five studio albums and a few EPs since their inception back in 2004, but our favorite is probably their 2011 release, Divine Providence. Check out the lead single from that album, “Main Street,” via the video embed below.
@ Piedmont Stage | 12:45 PM – 1:30 PM
Kicking off Sunday will be New Orleans-based rocker Benjamin Booker (with drummer Max Norton). The pair play a very high energy rock sound that is surprisingly full for being only a duo. By far the most appealing aspect of Booker’s tunes is the groove injected into each and every song, which is perfect for a festival type setting. Booker’s self-titled debut album is set to hit shelves this August, but, until then, why not enjoy the lead single from that album, “Violent Shiver,” below? We’ve already embedded it for your convenience; you just need to click play and turn those speakers up a bit. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
Shaky Knees Music Festival takes place in Atlanta’s Atlantic Station May 9th – 11th, and tickets are still available here.