This past weekend, tens of thousands of revelers took to midtown Atlanta for the sweaty and rain-soaked Shaky Knees Festival. Weeping Elvis was there to show you what you missed. It was a long weekend, but the 2014 lineup was so good, you couldn’t complain. Who did we love the most?
The Whigs are one of the most powerful of the power trios. Returning to home turf for them only turned their performance more up past 11.
Who can resist a group that mixes church hymns like “Amazing Grace” to super fast punk guitar sounds? That’s why The Dropkick Murphys made our day. We even got a great candid shot of two friends, Murphys’ guitarist James Lynch with Gaslight Anthem bassist Adam Levine, catching up in the artist tent.
The rain threatened us all day, but it arrived in a big way just after Airborne Toxic Event took the stage. The crowd paid no mind, though, and just packed in to each other a little tighter.
The rain had passed by the time Gaslight Anthem took the stage, and though the band hadn’t toured in a bit, they played like a band who’d been on the road for a year: tight, loud, and on top of their game.
Let’s be honest, when a festival has a night with The Replacements playing, their moments are the ones the crowd is looking to share. Unfortunately, the sky opened up about 15 minutes before their set was to start, rain pouring down like heaven’s faucet had been opened full blast. The crowd was undeterred, though, and after a 10 minute delay, the band took the stage, complete with Billie Jo Armstrong from Green Day helping out on guitar (he also stood in with the band during Coachella’s second weekend).
Day 3 kicked off with a white hot sun. After two days of overcast skies and rainy conditions, the only downside to the heat was the fact that the festival site is paved with blacktop. Thankfully, the beer tents never ran out of the nectar of the gods.
We started things off with Deer Tick. Fresh from fronting Nirvana after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at the Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus, lead singer John McCauley‘s talking voice was shredded, but his singing voice was still sweet. And who doesn’t love a man wearing boxers, a weight belt, and a shirt with LSD emblazoned across the front.
While we were waiting for Deer Tick, Langhorne Slim finished up on the opposite stage with a tremendous surf across the crowd.
But much like The Replacements the day before, the last day of the Shaky Knees Festival was about The Hold Steady. We’ve seen this band a lot and seen them destroy many a barroom. But, even by their standards, Sunday’s set was off the charts.
Overall, we left sweaty and sunburned (and bruised thanks to a trip over wires in the photo pit during Dropkick Murphys). Atlanta always throws a great music festival (see: Music Midtown); it was sweaty and rainy and hot and totally worth it!
All Photos | Erica Bruce
Shaky Knees Festival | Atlanta, GA
Additional photos from these sets: