As many of you read in my last post, Coachella has raised the bar as far as festivals go for me. Atlanta’s fourth attempt at Shaky Knees was in no way, shape, or form close to that bar. Even in comparison to last years Shaky, this year’s fest fell flat.
The fest grounds were located next to the Georgia Dome and spread out down the road to another park next to Coca-Cola world. This was a big mistake. The walk was almost too far for most of us to be able to stage hop like we are used to. I personally chose to miss a few acts just because I didn’t want to deal with the walk, and the TERRIBLE decision to construct a makeshift bridge over a street out of a shipping container. The walking traffic was always backed up because of that and sometimes took 20 minutes to get to the other side of the park. Not worth it most of the time, and you would miss half the band’s set just travelling to get there. We all really missed the giant hill from last year that was a perfect viewing area of main stage.
Friday we got there early enough to see Beach Slang, but like Coachella, I didn’t feel like my weekend started until The Front Bottoms got on stage. After them I just stayed around the Piedmont, and Boulevard stages which were the two across the bridge by themselves because I didn’t feel like crossing back over to see either Wolf Alice and Cold War Kids again. (glad I saw them at Coachella) I stayed in the same spot and caught Baroness, The Sword (who were pretty boring honestly), Against Me!, and this decade’s “Jet” -The Struts (who fell kind of flat also). Making my way over to the other side to see Bloc Party, I caught Savages who were cool. Bloc Part were one of three bands that I really came for and, of course, the terrible sound engineers all but ruined their set by turning the bass up too high, and the guitar and vocals down too low. They played extremely well, and when there wasn’t any bass he sounded great, but their set had a huge damper on it from the fest. Rounding out the end of the night was Slowdive… eh, The Kills (awesome as usual), and Janes Addiction and The 1975 both holding headlining spots across the park. It was the third time I had seen Janes Addiction, and it was the absolute worst time. Perry sounded awful and could not keep up with the songs. They were playing “Ritual de lo Habitual” so I stayed long enough to hear “Been Caught Steeling” though, they should have taken advice from the first song on the album… “STOP!” The 1975 put on a hell of show on Friday night. The third time I’ve seen them, and the best.
Saturday was basically unremarkable with a couple of exceptions. I made sure to see Day Wave and it was their first ever festival appearance, so that was cool. Silversun Pickups were pretty great sounding. Foals put on another hell of a show, just like they did at Coachella proving they don’t disappoint anywhere. Walk The Moon were the headliners on Saturday and I was very happy to see them for the fourth time. Their new music sounded great live.
Sunday was the day we all were waiting for. I should have just bought a one day wrist band for that Sunday because it finally brought some excitement that I was waiting for the whole time. I had been waiting to see Atlas Genius again for a few years and they definitely lived up to the hype I made from the first time seeing them. I walked over to catch the incredibly impressive, and sadly short, set from Diet Cig and walked away a fan. Eagles of Death Metal put on a “hits” set of sorts, though it felt to me like most people were just there because of the Paris incident. Finally, it was time for Deftones and we actually decided to get close for them. I loved their set, and thought they brought a much needed energy that seemed a little too late to help the fest. Lastly, we finally got to Sunday’s headliner, who was the biggest reason I was there: AT THE DRIVE IN! This reunion was a long time coming and I was extremely hyped for their return. We piled in for one of the best set of the entire weekend. It was like they never missed a beat after being gone so long, especially without Jim Ward. But even with the incredible finale, the weekend was still a bust in my opinion making me question if I’ll be back next year.
Walk The Moon
Walk The Moon
Eagles Of Death Metal
Young The Giant
At The Drive In
At The Drive In