Shaky Knees Music Festival 2019 – Recap

Photo by: Matthew Alexander

It may have rained some at the festival but Shaky Knees brought the thunder and lightning! This Rock festival did not disappoint in the slightest. We hit the ground running when we got there, seeing as many artists, going from stage to stage, grabbing swag and drinks along the way, all to sing songs with some of the most talented rockers right now! Who doesn’t love that?

Trying to get my stuff together in the Uber on my way to Shaky Knees and mentally preparing myself for the next 3 days! Running late as usual, and I caught the end of Sharon Van Etten’s show and it was awesome! She ended her set with, “Every Time the Sun Comes Up,” which is my favorite Sharon song. She just blew me away!

Sharon Van Etten Performing at Shaky Knees Music Festival 2019
Photo by: Charles Reagan Hackleman

After her show, I went exploring around the festival. They had a ton of sponsor tents to check out; I won Tito’s fanny pack playing Plinko, Malibu Rum had a glitter station along with coconut drinks, Mike’s Hard Lemonade had some comfy hammocks, and Ford was there with some sweet rides. Tears For Fears was later on that night, and they referred to themselves as the “vintage” rock band of the festival. Either way, they still knew how to put on a rock show, even did their version of, “Creep” by Radiohead. BECK, BECK, BECK!!!! He is super talented all around, whether it be engaging with the crowd during his set, playing guitar, singing, producing, or even breathing. Just kidding about the breathing but man, Beck put on one of the best shows I have seen in my 27 years of life! A few of the songs he performed were, “Up All Night,” “Loser,” “Dreams,” and even performed the song, “Raspberry Beret” in memory of Prince’s death, which was April 21st, 2016. All in all, Beck ended Day 1 with high expectations for the rest of the festival.

Beck Performing at Shaky Knees Music Festival 2019
Photo by: Roger Ho

I was especially excited for day two because one of my favorite artists at the moment, Jade Bird, was playing at 3pm on the Ponce De Leon stage. I listened to her whole album on the way to Atlanta from Nashville, and by the way, if you haven’t listened to it yet, please do! Anyways, got there early and got a great spot up front and she came out in these green coveralls with some chucks on, honestly, don’t know how she made it through her set without passing out because it was so hot out; true rockstar! She played her heart out, and I sang mine out too, playing songs such as, “Uh Huh” and “I Get No Joy.” I even got a set list from Luke, the lead guitarist.

Jade Bird performing at Shaky Knees Music Festival 2019
Photo by: Roger Ho

Cage The Elephant ended day two at the Shaky Knees Music Festival and it was a performance that was unforgettable! Due to the weather, Cage The Elephant had started early and with Interpol and Gary Clark Jr.’s sets getting cut short; no one was sure how long there set would be. Matt Shultz (lead singer for Cage The Elephant) came out looking like a rockstar performing “Ready To Let Go,” getting the crowd ready for what they were about to hit us with. The whole vibe of their set made you feel on top of the world, just enjoying life and feeling like a rockstar. Everyone thought Beck was going to come out on stage because Cage The Elephant and Beck just released a song, “Night Running,” but that was not the case. However, they are going on tour together this year so I would go ahead and grab tickets for that! Cage The Elephant ended their set by smashing a guitar on stage; it was honestly the only guitar smashing I saw, surprisingly. Day 2 was a hell of a day!

Cage The Elephant performing Shaky Knees Music Festival 2019
Photo by: Roger Ho

Day 3:

After two days of rocking out, the sun starts to wear you down, but the only thing keeping me going was food and music! I grabbed a box of Island Noodles, filled my water bottle and headed to see Grouplove. Walk up, and the first thing I see is the bass player taking a “Shoey,” which is when you drink a beer out of a shoe. It wasn’t even the bass player’s shoe; it was the lead guitarists shoe so you know it wasn’t tasty or refreshing at all! If that’s not Rock N’ Roll, I don’t know what is. They ended up masking up “Tongue Tied” mashed it with David Bowie’s, “Space Oddity,” it was killer. Later on, I stopped by Maggie Rogers‘s show, and you don’t just see her show, you feel this girl’s performance. If you don’t dance during her set, then you’re crazy! Her music moves you in a way that makes you feel lighter and freer! Keep your eye on this girl because she is going to be headlining these festivals soon enough!

Maggie Rogers performing Shaky Knees Music Festival 2019
Photo by: Sydney Gawlik

Tame Impala closed out the last day of Shaky Knees. First of all, what an amazing light show; it went perfect with his music! It was my first time seeing him perform live and trust me it won’t be the last. This psychedelic rock music that this man sang at me was so groovy, next thing I knew I had my hands in the air, swaying to it. I wasn’t like that for just a couple songs either; it was almost the entire set! Tame Impala is another artist whose music you feel when you see them perform.  Ending their set with, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” confetti was flying everywhere, tons of smoke around lightning up the lasers, everyone just feeling the vibe, it was a great way to end the Shaky Knees Music Festival. 

Tame Impala performing Shaky Knees Music Festival 2019
Photo by: Roger Ho

If you love rock music and want a tattoo but not sure what to get? I suggest Shaky Knees Music festival 100%! Just get that Shaky Knees tattoo and get in free next year.  Also, the fact that it was in Atlanta, Georgia made the festival that much better. I don’t how Atlanta does it but when that city has an event, whether it is a festival or a sporting event, or even a local show, the entire city pretty much gets behind it. I understand now why Atlanta’s soccer team is called Atlanta United. Not sure how they are going to top 2019’s lineup, but I can’t wait for next year! Thank you Shaky Knees! Until then Happy Festival Season! 

Shaky Knees Music Festival 2019
Photo by: Roger Ho
Brian "the web guy" is a Nashville native that grew up on radio and Grimey's New and Preloved Music. Seasoned communications professional that has immersed himself in the Nashville community while connecting local musicians, businesses, non-profits, unicorns, and transplants. Starting in 2008, Brian has worked with programming, marketing, sales, and promotion. Roles have included but not limited to copywriting, digital sales, content creation, sponsorship, video production, graphic design, booking, event creation, social media posting, and targeted ad purchasing.