Shaky Knees Sunday
The third and final day of the 2019 Shaky Knees festival is in the books. It’s was a beautiful day with hardly a cloud in the sky, a little rain in the morning but quick enough it was beautiful and folks headed out early to catch a ton of great bands. Check out some of the highlight below and stick around for the pictures below the words.
Songs for Kids
It’s always a blast to see the folks from Songs for Kids at the festival, doing their part to help kids overcome various disabilities by bringing joy into their lives through the power of song and performance. Today’s star, Avery took center stage and sang a great version of Tom Petty’s, “Won’t Back Down” and the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s, “Under the Bridge.”
Illiterate Light from Nashville put on a fun and energetic set of indie rock with some great textures, which is saying something since they’re a 2-piece. Bonus points to the drummer for the matching crop-top and drum set floral print.
The Inspector Cluzo
From their bio: “1000 gigs, 52 countries within 10 years, more than 90000 album sold.” I’m not really sure how to properly explain what we saw here today. …Cluzo was a two-piece guitar and drum band like Illiterate Light but so much heaver… and the drummer danced and touched himself for a while. They had killer songs about “you people” and how terrible basements are. So much wasted space. They were fantastic.
The Blue Stones
We’re starting to see a strong theme emerging here today in the form of 2-piece bands. The first 3 bands we caught today were all drums and guitar but they all had a different take on the format. The Blue Stones threw down some heavy riffs with soulful vocals. Great stuff.
When we think of the last day of the festival we’re typically drawn to the more laidback bands but the day so far had been everything but, so it great to hear Rayland Baxter on the main stage to put us in that Sunday frame of mine. Baxter and his band weren’t mellow at all per se, at times they reminded me of the War on Drugs, but they delivered a solid set with some fantastic dynamics and heartfelt lyrics and charm. Also, the theme of twos seems to be expanding and Baxter’s band featured 2 drummers and 2 keyboardists.
Lucy Dacus has adoring fans and today she had a mob of them out to hear her music at the Criminal Records stage at the bottom of the hill under the trees. Dacus kicked off her set with “Addictions” and the crowd was instantly singing along. Dacus performed quite a few tunes from her latest record, Historians and dedicated songs to her Mother and her Father who was in the crowd.
The last time Matthew Houck and his band know as Phosphorescent played Shaky Knees was back in 2016 so it was great to see them again back on the big stage with such a large turnout. With the words “C’est la Vie” lit up in light bulbs across the entire front of the stage they ripped though a ton or new and old songs. Word is that their late night show at Terminal West was one of the best in ages.
We consider Deerhunter hometown heroes, I hope they wouldn’t mind hearing that, but when a band as creative, original and unique as they are come along you have to get on board and take the trip. The crowd to see them today reached all the back to the top of the hill and spilled out into the street. They slew through a fantastic set of older and newer tunes off of their pair of fantastic releases, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? and Fading Frontier, including their second song of the set, “Death in Midsummer.” One of the best sets all weekend.
The buzz around Maggie Rogers right now is loud. Her new record, Heard It In A Past Life is a highly produced collection of super-pop tunes that on the surface could easily be lumped in with other faceless artist, but where Rogers really elevates it to another level is the relatability of the lyrics her delivery. With a heartfelt and power vocal presence she takes a song like “Light On” (insert Motel 6 joke here) which could easily fall flat with another singer and shoots it over the moon into a classic. Tonight, Maggie hit the stage and didn’t stop moving for an hour. She had the entire crowd dancing and singing along the entire time.
Headliners from back in 2015, Tame Impala return once again to headline the final night of the festival and did not disappoint. Out supporting their latest single, “Patience” the band put on a fantastic performance to close out the final night.
Words – John McNicholas
Photos – Hillery Terenzi/John McNicholas