You can’t fully experience the Shaky Knees music festival without checking out your favorite bands at their late night shows at various venues around Atlanta. It’s a great way to double-down on the acts you can’t get enough of, or making sure to see the band that you missed because you couldn’t decide which stage to run to during the day. For me it was the latter, I just had to see The War On Drugs and knew that I would be catching Chicano Batman later that evening.
Photo by Hillery Terenzi
Part of me wishes I could have seen them during the day as their sound vibes so well in an outdoor environment, but catching them at The Loft after midnight was an incredible experience in its own right. This was the first time that I got to see them and based on their performance it most certainly won’t be the last. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Chicano Batman immediately captures the audience with their coordinated lounge room attire, mixture of funk, psych, jazz and indie styles, and impeccable musicianship.
Modest but engaging crowd interactions by lead vocalist Bardo Martinez and bass player Eduardo Arenas keep the crowd pushing towards the front, but never overshadows the performance by the band as a whole. Each member contributes their talents in a cohesive and complimentary way that many bands in similar genres should be aiming for. Songs that stood out for me were the album-titled “Freedom is Free” with its incredibly groovy bass line, “Pass You By” and all of its beautiful lush guitar parts that seem to reference an Americana sound, and “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm) for its great funky synth and vocal harmonies. I found myself getting lost in the sound in the best way possible, though being so physically exhausted from walking 10+ miles during the day may have contributed (yes Jack Black, I counted my steps). Saturday was my favorite day of Shaky Knees 2018, and Chicano Batman was the perfect band end it with.
Featured Image taken from the Chicano Batman Instagram
Words and Photos (unless otherwise noted) By Jason Murray