Summer festival poised to shake up Atlanta

If you’re a festival fiend who happened to miss Coachella, then clear your summer schedule: “Shaky Knees” is on its way to Atlanta this May.

The festival will be branching out again this year with a lineup of heavy hitters manning the stage. The event promises to host a variety of musicians spanning the genres of folk and indie rock, from ambitious tech-driven rock groups to grunge revival. Some of the best and brightest performers of the national scene on their way.

Some of the headliners include Ryan Adams, Pixies, The Bleachers and The Shins. These big names are sure to draw massive crowds, but you can find several hidden gems in this year’s lineup that both evoke the sound and style of the main attractions and defy conventional expectations.

Music lovers familiar with the work of Ryan Adams and The Shins will be pleased to see the bands bringing a similarly vibrant alt-rock style to the festival. Fans of Adams’s echoing guitars and impressive vocal talents will likely enjoy the dreamy lo-fi band Car Seat Head Rest. The four-man pop group sets a twangy, compressed guitar against cave-like drums, soft bass, and dreamy vocals. Catfish and the Bottlemen will be making a splash as well with their old school drum and guitar-driven sets. The British band calls back to the classic four-man rock band sound turned up to eleven with brief but blistering solos and tight choruses.

Concert-goers looking for the synth-driven sound of the northeast music scene will love the heavy touch of LCD Soundsystem. The veteran rock group combines disco inspired electronic instruments with thumping drum beats and snarky vocals. The band is infamous for their long and rigorous sets matched by intense fans and energetic crowds. The indie-pop grooves of Moon Taxi will be a nice contrast to the intensity of LCD Soundsystem with their use of bright synths, inviting melodies and soothing drum tempos. The experimental music of Sylvan Esso will also be on display as the solo artist explores manipulated synths, unconventional instruments and distorted vocals.

Of course, it wouldn’t be “Shaky Knees” without indie-folk rock making a prominent appearance. The subdued yet moving songs of folk duo Shovel and Rope will be present as the songwriters pluck bassy acoustic guitars, hit tin drum hats and sing classic folk-inspired tunes. Cage the Elephant will also bring their distinguished blend of garage punk and folk rock to the stage on Friday, using a pair of grating guitars to convey an aggressive and modern sound reminiscent of Led Zepplin and Lynyrd Skynrd. Pinegrove, an Americana rock band from New Jersey, will also perform, providing a more relaxed set than Cage the Elephant. The band leans heavily into the sharp and crunchy sounds of 90s garage rock paired with acoustic and steel guitars to create a bluesy sound that elevates the clever lyrics of frontman Evan Stephens.

Many of the headliners will also be playing local venues during the late-night lineup. The Masquerade, Terminal West and Variety Playhouse will be hosting pub crawls and indoor shows among the Atlanta night life. Food vendors will also be making rounds through Centennial Olympic Park through the festival, livening up the Atlanta experience with names such as the minimalist King of Pops team, Indian homestyle cooks Bhojanic and Atlanta’s local Mac the Cheese.

“Shaky Knees” will run May 12-14, with tickets starting at $99 per day or $185 for all three days. Those interested in attending under budget constraints can register to volunteer by submitting a $15 application on the festival’s work exchange website for a full event pass. Tickets for the festival can be purchased online at the “Shaky Knees” ticket page, where they are currently on sale.

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