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Athens was taken over this past weekend with artists from near and far. Here are WUOG’s top picks from AthFest 2015.

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Warehouse performs at the 40 Watt Saturday, June 27. Photo by Jonny Williams

Cult of Riggonia was pretty far out; all of the band members wearing robes and other sorts of costume. One of the vocalists had some sort of puppet around the microphone that he was speaking into. The instruments and electronics were used in a pretty experimental way, but the songs still had definite structure. I can’t say exactly what was happening because I’m not in the Cult of Riggonia myself, but it was pretty wild.

-Turner McCreight

Mothers continued to delight and evolve with their Friday night show at the Caledonia Lounge. With their new four-piece setup and Leschper’s ever-charming vocals, the bustling Friday night crowd was captivated both by an entertaining contrast of soft emotional moments and a Devo cover. It seems as the band grows, so does the depth of their performance.

-Trevor Adams

Muuy Biien performs at the Caledonia Lounge Friday, June 26. Photo by Andy Tabeling

Muuy Biien performs at the Caledonia Lounge Friday, June 26. Photo by Andy Tabeling.

Muuy Biien began their late Friday night set with a new song that was surprisingly slow and swampy compared to the group’s normal, lightning-fast post-punk, but they didn’t sound any less menacing. What followed was a roaring set that demonstrated the band’s power and command of an audience. Vocalist Joshua Evans remains one of the most powerful and energetic frontmen in the Athens scene, rarely standing still for more than a moment as the band flew through their set with minimal stops and maximum volume. The large crowd at the Caledonia on Friday night saw one the most impressive displays of musicianship of the weekend, as Muuy Biien now how to get energy and volume out of their instruments with a force that’s unrivaled in the Classic City.

-Andy Tabeling

Grand Vapids are a group I’m embarrassed to say I had never seen before Saturday. They got put on the backburner of my concert selection, and now that I’m kicking myself after seeing them perform at Dirty Athens, the Caledonia Lounge’s yearly day party, I can’t think of what that reason is. I had listened to a number of cuts from their album, Guarantees, and enjoyed what I heard, but the multi-dimensionality of Grand Vapids’ sound live was more enticing than their record could have suggested. On one hand, there’s the grittier, 90’s-esque rock sound that permeated the majority of the set, but it’s when the group decides to delve into it’s dreamier instrumentation that they really caught my ear. The latter isn’t quite shoegaze, but it flirts with the genre’s border in a way that makes the frequent transition between it and the more rugged tones work impressively. If you are unintentionally ignorant to this group’s live show like I once was, stop wasting your time and make sure you see these guys when you can.

-Jonny Williams

It has been a long time since anyone has seen a live show from Brothers, so Flicker was buzzing while waiting for the Of Montreal show right outside to end. It has been almost exactly a year since I last saw the group play, so I was curious to see what they had to offer. The sound was rocky at the beginning of the show, with a loose snare in particular killing the mood for the softer vibes of the newer tunes. There was also a confusing keyboard transition, which while backed by interesting cymbal work, made the whole segment seem disorganized. Switching back to a three-piece outfit to close out the show seemed to be more of a crowd-pleaser.

-Trevor Adams

I’m not going to pretend that I intended on seeing Savagist, a sentiment that seemed to be exclusive to me considering the nearly packed Caledonia Lounge was full of undoubtedly eager fans. It just so happened that there wasn’t another show happening at the time of their set. I liked many other bands on the venue’s ticket that evening, so I figured I would give these guys a shot. If you’re unfamiliar with them (as I was), you probably have an inclination of what Savagist sounds like based on their name — and you’re probably right. Savagist is intense, relentless and, most importantly, LOUD. (Seriously, earplugs are a must at their shows.) Don’t let the name fool you, however — this trio is musically solid in all of its members. When I wasn’t focused on surviving the kick drum’s attack on my heart rate, I was focused on trying to comprehend the technicality simultaneously displayed in the guitar, bass and drums. I blindly went into this show and almost left it deaf. It was awesome.

-Jonny Williams

Each member of LAZER/WULF (guitar, bass, drums) is amazingly skilled in their respective instrument. Just watching them actually play was hypnotic, and even though the sound structures are very complex (the group labels themselves as an experimental metal act), they were able to play with a stylish flashiness that really engaged the crowd. At one point the guitarist asked everyone to hold up their phone flashlights to light the stage while the lights in the Caledonia lounge were turned off. Everyone did it too- it was brighter than the stage lights were.

-Turner McCreight

The Powder Room isn’t a group I haven’t seen before, but it seems like every time I have seen them was at 1 in the morning and with a sparse crowd. This isn’t a diss, but I’m not usually the type to stay out too late for shows and the few Powder Room crowds I have been in weren’t representative of their local reach. So when I was able to them at 10pm with a healthy audience size, I took the opportunity. The performance was what you’ve come to expect from The Powder Room’s dark sound — sinister instrumentation with coarse vocals that you thought only a demon could produce. (This mental visual more than likely came about when the vocalist specifically requested the Caledonia Lounge’s red lights.) The songs’ tension had me scared for my life and my pulse aligned with the music. With music alone, The Powder Room had me terrified.

-Jonny Williams

Mind Brains seems to do a good job of combining a classic sort-of folk sound with synthesizers, electronic drum triggers, and some experimentation in song structure to create an enjoyable listen. The crowd wasn’t exactly high energy for this show, but everyone seemed pretty interested in watching the performance. My personal favorite part of these shows is watching the drummer playing the kit and the drummer playing the electronic trigger ads play together to get a pretty full percussive sound.

-Turner McCreight

When the 40 Watt’s on-stage sound man took away the microphone stand from Warehouse frontwoman Elaine Edenfield, I was confused. For every one of the group’s many performances that I’ve seen, Edenfield has planted herself behind the stand with hands locked behind her back and plainly delivered her dynamic vocals. It was a juxtaposition that was confusing, but not necessarily detracting from the show. At least, that’s what I thought at the time. While Edenfield was initially awkward and clunkily moved about the stage, her gradual progression into comfort significantly added life to the music produced by the group’s impressive instrumentalists. Edenfield wasn’t exactly parading around, but even just having her casually walk to and fro with mic in hand was a welcomed change in presentation. Musically, Warehouse delivered an invigorating set composed almost exclusively of new material. While I didn’t recognize a majority of the songs, they were a natural progression further into the bright post-punk sound that put Warehouse on the map in the first place. When combined with the Edenfield’s budding confidence in performing, it was probably the best Warehouse show I’ve ever seen. I realize I say that nearly every time I see them, but that’s just a testament to the trajectory of a group I still consider to be Georgia’s most promising up-and-coming band.

-Jonny Williams

Seeing DIP as the headliner on the 40 Watt marquee was a funny sight. Going into the late performance (they didn’t actually start until around 1:50am), I expected to be one of five or six people too exhausted to dance to the duo’s fervent boom diddy. Fortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong. While it wasn’t exactly a full 40 Watt, a sizeable audience giddily jumped around together to DIP’s signature sound. They played a well received collection of hits, including “Computer Chip Dip,” “Knock Knock Joke” and, of course, “Skinny Dip” to a collection of dipsters and enthusiastic first-time dippers. While it lacked the exuberant props normally a part of DIP’s live show, the group’s contagious energy and inclusion of Reptar member William Kennedy on vocal sound effects made this the perfect way to close out AthFest’s Saturday night.

-Jonny Williams

The Baseball Project performs on the Pulaski Street stage Sunday, June 28. Photo by Andy Tabeling

The Baseball Project performs on the Pulaski Street stage Sunday, June 28. Photo by Andy Tabeling

The Baseball Project is admittedly a pretty niche idea, but the rare opportunity to see R.E.M. members perform in Athens brought out even those who don’t enjoy America’s pastime to the Pulaski Stage on Sunday night. R.E.M. junkies were treated to a Bill Berry appearance and a performance of the classic “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville”, but baseball fans also enjoyed a lovely night of tunes about heroes like Jackie Robinson and villains like Alex Rodriguez. Even if you don’t know what sabermetrics is or can’t list the pitchers who’ve thrown perfect games, you could find fun in The Baseball Project’s great pop sound

-Andy Tabeling

AthFest

Athens’ largest music and arts festival (and probably largest outdoor event besides football gamedays), AthFest, occurs this weekend. The beginning of this month saw the release of the first AthFest compilation album, containing a slew of new singles by favorite local artists. Much like the compilation, AthFest lays host to an assortment of musical acts with varying styles, popularity, degrees of commercial success and experience playing live. Outdoor shows from longtime local favorites such as Of Montreal, The Whigs, New Madrid and others are sure to draw in large crowds, along with a variety of shows from touring artists and up-and-coming big names such as Wrenn.

At the heart of AthFest, however, is the “club crawl.” About a dozen local venues play host to over 100+ bands. Personal highlights include Mind Brains, an electronic group that released their debut album earlier this year and have already made large strides in staking out a place in local music. Lazer/Wulf is another group that has its origins in Athens with a fairly large following all around the state. Additionally, I’m excited to check out other “experimental” acts such as Cult of Riggonia, Half-Acid, and Richard Gumby. The great part about AthFest however, is that there are so many different bands playing. You never know what might grab your attention. – Turner McCreight

Here are some of the artists we’re excited to see:

Muuy Biien

After a tour that took them as far away from home as Toronto, Muuy Biien are returning to the Classic City to play yet another AthFest at the Caledonia Lounge on Friday night. The band has sounded even more tight and intense since last spring’s D.Y.I., and considering the band is getting more and more exposure outside of Athens, it would be wise to take the opportunity to see Muuy Biien as chances are going to become rarer and rarer. – Andy Tabeling

Mothers

With an upcoming east coast tour with psych-pop powerhouses Of Montreal and a new three-piece setup, it seems that Mothers may be on the verge of being a big deal. I remember first hearing Kristine Leschper’s minimal, sad-folk solo set during a WUOG Live in the Lobby back in 2013, and have been delighted to see it develop into a fuller sound with songs such as the demo for “Get Around”. I can’t think of a better place to be on Friday at 10pm than the Caledonia Lounge. There’s also going to be some cool coffee mugs on sale if you want to get your merch on. – Trevor Adams

Warehouse

If you don’t know who Warehouse is, it’s only a matter of time before you and all of your friends do. It seems like overnight they went from being another one of Atlanta’s many artsy musical projects to a band known by listeners even outside of Georgia. The factors in this include Bradford Cox’s blessing in a Pitchfork “Best of 2013” guest list, a recent signing to Bayonet Records, an imprint started by Beach Fossils frontman Dustin Payseur, and most importantly the music. The name dropping gets people to the show, but it’s the music that has crowds leaving in disbelief that Warehouse isn’t already as big as they inevitably will be. Their art-punk sound is most often compared to local darlings Pylon – an organized cataclysm of bright, restless instrumentation and Elaine Edenfield’s signature vocals, which shift between a deep bellow and a gravelly screech. If you can only go to one performance this weekend, this would easily be my pick. – Jonny Williams

We Love Tractor

Love Tractor isn’t touring and recording anymore, but the classic Athens group will be reborn on Sunday as We Love Tractor featuring original members (such as R.E.M.’s Bill Berry) along with current local favorites like Elf Power’s Bryan Poole and Drive-By Truckers multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez. This is a chance for younger Athenians to experience a classic Athens band in a very rare and unique way. – Andy Tabeling

Brothers

The last time I saw Brothers (and it was too long ago) was during a show at a yard sale during last year’s AthFest. It was a beautiful day on a quiet block, and the setup was modest, which made for a charming experience. The band has always reminded me of Yellow House­-era Grizzly Bear with the slightly fuzzy vocals and delightfully clangy percussion that makes it almost melodic. – Trevor Adams

Dip

If you’ve never seen them before, I’m afraid that my word count is not nearly large enough to fully encapsulate what exactly Dip is. In fact, even if I did have enough space to attempt an explanation, it wouldn’t do any good. Dip is just the kind of act you have to see live (a couple of times, really) to fully grasp what’s happening on the stage. The only advice I can give to the newbies is to get as engaged as possible in what will more than likely be one of the most active crowds of AthFest. As for my fellow Dipsters, you already know what’s coming. Scotty Dippin’ and Johnny Dip are going to bring the boom-diddy, the stage props and most importantly the hype. We’re all going to be exhausted by the 40 Watt’s stacked lineup by the time Dip hits the stage at roughly 1:30am, but nothing is going to stop this act from bringing the positive energy of boom-diddy to the people. – Jonny Williams

The Baseball Project

The Baseball Project is admittedly a pretty niche idea. The group, which includes members of The Dream Syndicate and R.E.M. among them, performs songs entirely about America’s pastime. However, the band’s power-pop energy is addictive even if you can’t tell the difference between Tim Lincecum and Ted Williams (even though you absolute should). R.E.M. fans should pay particular attention to this show, as both Peter Buck and Mike Mills have spent time with the Baseball Project, so odds are the closest thing to an R.E.M. reunion you’ll get at AthFest will probably be this show. – Andy Tabeling

 

Photo courtesy of Mason Jar Media.

Photo courtesy of Mason Jar Media.

WUOG sent two writers to Bonnaroo this past weekend. After braving the heat, driving to Athens for summer classes and coming back onto the grid, they have given us a wrap-up of the weekend. 

Thursday

 

I am ashamed to say that before Bonnaroo, I have never heard of Jungle. Thankfully, I was able to stumble upon these stars, and I would highly recommend that you do too. This band of modern soul captivated a crowd of about 10,000 people. With upbeat, natural flowing vocals and subtle rhythmic choreography to accompany the singers, it became impossible to look away from the stage. It was difficult for me to tell who was the lead, because each and every one of the singers and musicians delivered constant intensity into the music. If you are looking into their work now, I would suggest starting with their song “Busy Earnin,”and according to the roar of the crowd at Bonnaroo during this  piece, I believe they would agree with me on this one as well.

-Faisal Gedi @faisalgedi

 

Dej Loaf was able to move the crowd at That Tent, continuing the positive vibes that radiated through the festival. With hits such as “Try Me” and Kid Ink’s “Be Real,” she caused an eruption from the crowd. With her additions of ad lib over her tracks and her DJ exuberating restless energy, her performance was hype to say the least.

-Kim An Ta

Friday

gabrielGabriel Garzon Montano was able to show us his versatile roots and inspirations as he performed songs from his album Binshoune: Alma del Huila. His voice was beyond capable of resonating an intimate feeling through the audience. His diverse talents were seen as he played his own music on the keyboard, accompanied by his drummer David. During the show, he performed “Sour Mango,” which cannot be found anywhere else unless one sees him live. And of course, Gabriel sang his soothing song “68,” which was featured on the famous rapper Drake’s song “Jungle.” With such a celestial voice that can reach seemingly impossible notes, and authentic music that created rhythmic pulses through the audience, I would say seeing him live was without a doubt an experience I could not forget.

After his show, Gabriel showed his audience his pure love for his listeners by coming off of the stage and talking to each and every one of us. When talking to him, he answered my questions on what his vision for music is and if he had any advice for up and coming artist. Gabriel replied saying that his goal is to create feel-good music for his listeners, and his advice to the up and coming artist would be to imitate all of the great artists who causes a yearning fire to start inside of you whenever you listen to their music and to work on your craft as much as possible. It is clear that he is well onto reaching his goal.

-Kim An Ta

bonnaroo2

Photo courtesy by Jasmine Zaman

On Friday night, it seemed that everyone at Bonnaroo was at the DeadMau5 show. And without delay, DeadMau5 did not disappoint the thousands of Bonnaroovians in the crowd. The producer was able to cause simultaneous dancing with his wide selection of progressive-house music.

-Kim An Ta

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi

As one of the most anticipated performances of the night, the audience spanned from the What Stage all the way to the entrance of Bonnaroo for Kendrick Lamar. He performed songs from his previous album Good kid m.A.A.d city and his newly released album, To Pimp a Butterfly. Kendrick settled any uncertainties of his talent as he tirelessly rapped some of his hit singles with the help of hisdie-hard fans who shouted the lyrics to “King Kunta” even louder than him. The enormous stage featured clips of scenes from a city that seemed to be Compton, the hometown of the rapper and the theme of many of his songs. His albums, particularly To Pimp a Butterfly, is a progression of stories and lessons from his life, and so the effects added on greatly to the narration seen in his raps. After performing “m.A.A.d city” and causing a wave of excitement through the audience, Kendrick vowed to come back to Bonnaroo next year.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi

 

Earth Wind and Fire created a feel-good environment Friday night, playing their countless hits such as “September” and “Let’s Groove,” causing any lingering souls of the festival to flock to the Which Stage where the music was vibrating from. Not only were they performing their old-school hits, but they then brought the new school artists, Kendrick Lamar, who was performing not too long before Earth Wind and Fire, and Chance the Rapper, onto the stage as they shared the night with these icons of funk.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi

 

The Do, an indie pop band from France and Finland, created a feeling of dancing on clouds. The singer’s, Olivia Merilahti, voice carried over the instruments ever so softly, yet with enough punch to where it was still as electrifying as the music.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi

 

Saturday

We heard a compilation of amazing artists at Super Jam such as SZA, Chance the Rapper, Metallica’s Rob Trujillo, DMC, Jack Antonoff, Reggie Watts, Eric Krasno, and Pretty Lights perform 80’s hits, allowing the audience to groove and sing along to each and every performer’s cover after being introduced by the hilarious Zach Galifianakis, whose first concern when entering the stage was what the Wi-Fi password was. With so many artist performing back to back on one stage, it soon became difficult to focus on the talents, especially when many of the songs being performed were not their own. Nevertheless, it was clear that SZA and Jack Antonoff definitely stole the show with their duet of Queen’s classic “Under Pressure.”

-Kim An Ta

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi

 

Childish Gambino whose music cannot be pinned to just one genre, graces the Which Stage Satuday night with his singing, rapping, and dancing that emulated what I would describe as a modern day, ruffled up, Michael Jackson. As the crowd waits for Gambino minutes before the show, they began chanting “worldstar, worldstar” from his popular song ‘Worldstar’ from his album Because of the Internet, which he soon performed. The persona of Childish Gambino was like no other. There seemed to be moments when he was possessed by the music and his body was simply the vessel for the beat. Even though Childish Gambino said he would not perform another song from his previous album Camp after his 2014 concert in Atlanta, the artist couldn’t help but perform ‘Bonfire’ from that album, which he did with just as much energy as his newer songs.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi

 

mispers

Photo by Faisal Gedi

 

I was amazed by Jack Balfour Scott’s quivering and yearning voice. As he leads the Mispers as they performed songs that had a rushing tempo, back to ones that were slow and melodic. The impressive Hannah van den Brul beautifully accompanied the band with her violin, and played an important role in their song “Brother.”

-Faisal Gedi @Faisal Gedi

gary clarke

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Gary Clark Jr., as a veteran of Bonnaroo, knew exactly what he was doing when he performed countless, riveting guitar solos on the Which Stage. His soulful music captivated a large audience, as he has done in the year of 2011 and 2012 at Bonnaroo. My favorite song from the Texan was “Bright Lights,” with its unforgettable chorus.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi

 

Photo by Jasmine Saman

Photo by Jasmine Zaman

 

Not surprisingly, Mumford & Sons were seen at the largest stage of Bonnaroo, the What Stage. The band captivated the audience with songs both old and new. Songs such as “Believe” from their album Wilder Mind and ‘” Will Wait,” created a ginormous sing-along through the audience as everyone banded together as one big Bonnaroo family that night.

-Kim An Ta

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi

 

Bonnaroo had its fair share of international music, seen in the performance from Songhoy Blue, the band that originated from Mali. Their upbeat songs, catchy hooks, and use of Western sounding guitar riffs, creates a great combination for one to groove to. Though their songs are not in English, they give more than enough reason with their drumming and guitar solos for listeners to drop by.

-Faisal Gedi @faisalgedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi

Photo by Faisal Gedi

 

Along with Songhoy Blue, another international band would be Kaleo from Iceland. This indie band has a good bit of pop, rock, and folk to their sound. The lead singer’s lightweight voice can sing you to sleep. But of course, with over a 100 degrees of heat, it was impossible to be sung to sleep with “All the Pretty Girls.”

-Kim An Ta

 

Sunday

florence

Photo courtesy of Zachary Chatham

 

Florence & The Machine continues to surpass all expectations. Her voice is clearly one of the most unique voices of our time, with a band that can keep up with her fluidity. Her resonating notes had Bonnaroo captivated, as she took us out of this world.

-Kim An Ta

Photo by Zachary Chatam

Photo by Zachary Chatham

 

Twenty One Pilots  the entire audience bumping to songs such as “Stressed Out.” With catchy rhythms, one can easily pick up the beat and sing along too. This group’s ability to not be categorized into just one genre has given this generation a fresh new sound.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi

 

 

Photo courtesy of Shawn Mariani of shawnmariani.com

Photo courtesy of Shawn Mariani of shawnmariani.com

WUOG is sending two writers out to Bonnaroo tomorrow to bring you the best college radio acts at the music festival. Here’s who they are most excited about seeing, and what other aspects they’re looking forward to as first time attendees. 

On June 11th, 2015, for the first time in my life, I will be a Bonnaroovian. And according to the official website, a Bonnaroovian is “A person that has had their mind blown by the full Bonnaroo whammy and has a great passion for finding and celebrating good stuff.”

And as I prepare for my trip to The Farm, I have spent a generous amount of time narrowing down exactly what good stuff I wanted to celebrate for those four days. This year’s lineup has been impressive to say the least. With big names ranging from Billy Joel, Kendrick Lamar, DeadMau5, and Hozier, whose concert tickets would normally already be costly, one would definitely get their money’s worth. Not only am I excited to see these well known artists take us away with their pristine work, I am also excited about the little guys who are gracing the stages — or the tents — with just as much passion for music.

This list includes Raury, the young man who has been causing a wave with his Indo Child movement from East Atlanta. After seeing him perform before, I can only expect him to deliver with more punch and soul than ever.

American Hotel is also on my list. Seeing as they are a band from Tennessee, I was shocked to see that not many have listed these guys, especially when their music creates such a genuinely nostalgic vibe that can take you back into the 1970s and back again. If you’re going, give them a listen!

I also want to see Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. Yes, one of the reasons why I am excited for them is because the lead singer was the lead for Led Zeppelin. But after listening to their album “Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar,” I thought their sound was interesting, and had even more reason to go see them.

I was more than ecstatic when I found out that Fruition, Kevin Garrett, and Manatee Commune would be there. These talented artists have blown me away, and I can only hope that seeing them live would do the same, if not more. And of course, I can’t wait to see who is going to perform at the Super Jam.

Is there any ‘good stuff’ that you would suggest for me to watch?

- Kim An Ta

 

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a Valhalla for music lovers. Bonnaroo encompasses everything a music connesuir could imagine with live music from a variety of genres and a good time. I cannot imagine anything more awesome than thousands of people on a farm in the middle of nowhere enjoying the vibrations of quality music.

Choosing which acts to see during Bonnaroo seems to be tougher than deciding how to pack for living on a farm for four days. I am most excited to see artists such as Raury, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Flying Lotus, Run The Jewels, Earth Wind & Fire. Most importantly, I’m eager to stumble on artists I don’t know.

What I am looking forward to at Bonnaroo besides the music are all of the extra festivities being held such as the Silent Disco. DJs will play live in a tent, but the music will be broadcast directly into attendees’ ears through wireless headphones Another aspect I cannot wait to experience is the social interactions and bonds I will surely create with other attendees.

-Faisal Gedi, @faisalgedi

Matthew E. White played on the Piedmont Stage Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

Matthew E. White played on the Piedmont Stage Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

Matthew E. White, The founder of Spacebomb Records was a pleasant opener for the last day of Shaky Knees. While his studio albums tend to layer many strings, backup vocals, and piano parts, this performance was more stripped-down as he opted for a more traditional four-piece setup. While the instrumentation was wonderful, I have to say that I wasn’t overly thrilled with White’s vocals themselves. On his studio albums, they always seemed overly soft, and I was dismayed that this problem was only exacerbated in his live performance. All in all, though, it was a solid performance, and makes me excited for collaborations with other artists, like his work with Natalie Prass.
Trevor Adams

Old 97’s used their early start time to effective set the early crowd into overdrive as they moved through their expansive discography. The alt-country legends were all grins and seemed very excited to be playing Shaky Knees, bringing 45 minutes of absolute joy and energy. 2014’s Most Messed Up got lots of love from the band who played single “Let’s Get Drunk and Get It On”, but what sent the older crowd into a frenzy were the older tunes Old 97’s broke out especially from 1997’s Too Far to Care. That album’s classic “Timebomb” is the perennial closer of an Old 97’s set and it’s clear to see why: the crowd was overjoyed to hear the country rock classic.

– Andy Tabeling

Best Coast played the Piedmont Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel

Best Coast played the Piedmont Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel

Best Coast performed at 3:45 at the Piedmont stage. The Californian duo, comprised of Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno, started their set off with “The Only Place” off of their second album of the same name. They played a few tracks from each of their albums. Their most recent album, California Nights, came out on May 5th, so the band played several songs from it, including “So Unaware” and “Fine Without You.” Cosentino announced that it was Bruno’s birthday. Throughout the performance, Cosentino advised the crowd to drink plenty of water, noting the heat. They finished their set off with the song “Boyfriend” from their first album, Crazy For You.

– Valerie Voswinkel

 

The rock band Dr. Dog performed on the Peachtree Stage for a large crowd. Throughout their set, the band was enthusiastic and entertaining. Many fans sand along and bobbed to the tunes. A few songs heard during their show were “Heavy Light,” Be the Void,” and “Lonesome.” The group ended their performance with their popular cover of the Architecture in Helsinki song “Heart It Races.”

– Valerie Voswinkel

Panda Bear played on the Buford Highway Stage Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

Panda Bear played on the Buford Highway Stage Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Panda Bear, the member of the popular experimental pop group Animal Collective. What I got was truly a solo act with a killer light/projection show. While we couldn’t exactly see what was going on with all of the knobs and buttons, the seamless transitions between songs made it apparent that there was more going on than just hitting play. Many tracks were off of his new record Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper, although there were some others from previous work. There were also a truly absurd amount of beach balls; usually there are one or two at a show, but as soon as the first song started, no less than 15 beach balls began flying about the crowd. I personally thought that it crossed the line from being annoying to being humorous, but I don’t think many others thought the same.
Trevor Adams

Backed by a band that included two backup gospel-inspired singers, Jason Pierce and Spiritualized dazzled the sweaty late-afternoon crowd. Mostly refusing to play well-known songs, the band spent their hour-long set in a fairly introspective mood. Pierce is a quiet vocalist and his guitar work was mostly delicate to compliment the softer vibe of most of the set. However, Pierce broke out old Spacemen 3 classic “Walking With Jesus” for the occasion, which heavily featured the two backing vocalists. Ending with Ladies and Gentlen We Are Floating in Space’s “Come Together”, Spiritualized proved they could make their gospel-space-rock sound work in a scorching summer festival daytime slot. It made me eager to see the band in a more intimate setting, as well as want to hear some new material from the band.

– Andy Tabeling

 

Ryan Adams kicked off his triumphant early-evening set with his single “Gimmie Somehting Good” off his recently-released self-titled record, but it was of course his classic Heartbreaker that won the most sing-alongs and cheers among the hardcore fans. Heartbreaker opener “To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is to BeHigh)” was the first moment were the crowd displayed their sheer elation to see the North Carolina singer-songwriter perform. Several other tracks from that album were featured, with Adams ending the set with signature ballad “Come Pick Me Up”, but even the Tame Impala fans that had been waiting for that band to start long before Adams even took the stage enjoyed Adams’ clever banter and his Mothers’ Day tribute in the form of covering Glen Danzig’s “Mother”.

– Andy Tabeling

Ride played on the Piedmont Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

Ride played on the Piedmont Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Trevor Adams.

The recently reunited shoegazers Ride may not be young anymore, but they can still put on a great show. The timing was perfect as the sun set over the penultimate act of Shaky Knees. The first two songs (“Polar Bear” and “Seagull”) were off of the legendary album Nowhere, but a wide range of tracks followed that gave a good representation of the English band’s catalog. “Seagull” in particular stood out to me, with the unforgettable bassline blaring out from the Piedmont stage. “Drive Blind” was another highlight, with a noisy breakdown that reminded me a little of the Swans show I saw at Terminal West a few months ago. It would be very difficult to point out any issues during the show (besides Mark Gardener’s fashion), and it was personally my favorite act of the day. If you have a chance to see this storied band before they disappear again, do it. You’ll be in for one crazy ride.
Trevor Adams
Tame Impala played the Peachtree Stage on Sunday  May 10. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.

Tame Impala played the Peachtree Stage on Sunday May 10. Photo by Valerie Voswinkel.

Tame Impala just might become one of the biggest bands in the world very soon. Similar to last year’s Albama Shakes, Shaky Knees once again gave a young artist with a smaller discography a chance to prove they could own a headlining slot. With their elaborate lights and awe-inspiring jamming, Tame Impala proved they were up to the task. Opening with brand new single “Let It Happen” off the forthcoming Currents, Tame Impala used the hour-and-a-half set to play a great deal from their 2nd record, 2012’s Lonerism as well as showcase some of their new material. Voalist Kevin Parker was in high spirits, praising the beautiful Atlanta evening and rattling off some of his favorite Georgia musicians (OutKast, Deerhunter and Migos) in between the band’s jam-packed (in more ways than one) set. Returning to the stage to play Lonerism’s “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control”, it felt like it wouldn’t be the last time I see Tame Impala own a high-profile festival time slot.

– Andy Tabeling

 

After three long days of concerts, Shaky Knees came to a close with headliner Tame Impala. The Australian psychedelic band made for a great ending to a great festival. The group played their new single “Let it Happen.” They also played some popular songs like “Elephant” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.” Behind the band, colorful images and shapes lit up the stage and provided a good visual element to the music. After the band played their final song, the fans begged for an encore and the group reemerged. They revealed that they hadn’t planned an encore when planning the set, but decided to because of the willingness of the crowd. The group played a song they normally reserve for their own concerts: “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control.” The show was scheduled to end 30 minutes earlier than the prior two days, finishing at 10:30.

– Valerie Voswinkel