For University of Georgia students, and probably others, finals ended yesterday. Luckily, Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta is only a few days away. The festival this year has an impressive lineup of up-and-coming artists and well-established bands. Here are a few of the performances I am excited to see.

First up is Mitski. I really enjoyed her most recent album, Bury Me at Makeout Creek. I would love to hear a live rendition of the angsty “Townie,” my personal favorite from her album. After her performance on Friday, I hope to catch Tennis, a sweet husband-and-wife duo from Colorado. Their 2014 album Ritual In Repeat is fun indie-pop and showcases the couple’s musical talent. Alaina Moore, the female vocalist, has a beautiful voice that sounds amazing live. I can definitely see this being one of the most enjoyable performances of the afternoon.

Many people will probably debate whether to see The Kooks or Wavves on Friday, but it’s The Kooks all the way for me. As a fan since high school, the chance to see them live is too good to pass up. Their music has always made me feel edgy and soulful at the same time. Their energy is fun and the music is carefree, making for a great concert experience. A variety of genres are incorporated into each song, making their music so enjoyable. You can hear rock, pop, ska, funk, and much more mixed each track.

Neutral Milk Hotel performs Saturday and is a highly anticipated show for many. The band plays obscure, but very popular music among the indie music scene, particularly in Athens. Most exciting about this performance is that the band disbanded in 1999 and reunited for live touring in 2013. They’ve announced that this Spring/Summer tour will be their last, which means this show will be sentimental for many of their Georgia fans. If that’s not reason enough to see them, I don’t know what is.

Best Coast performs on Sunday and is the only group attending Shaky Knees that I have already seen live. When I saw them in 2013, the California duo was playing their newest album, The Only Place. Their music is heavily influenced by a variety of groups and artists, such as The Beach Boys, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Drake, and Weezer. These musical influences combine with their love of California to create their fun, carefree music style. Their third album, California Nights, is set to release on May 5th, just days before the festival, so we may be some of the first audiences to hear tracks from this new album live.

With Shaky Knees fast approaching, I recommend that you look up some of the artists’ live performances on YouTube and create a playlist to get familiar with their songs. The festival is May 8th to May 10th, so if you haven’t gotten tickets already, do so soon. See you all there!

-Valerie Voswinkel


Photo from The Dell New England on Flickr