It’s Saturday y’all! Day 2 of the festival is there and the weekend is officially in full swing! It’s probably gonna rain today but Shaky Knees just gave you 24 reasons to get out and have a good time and see some live music. Bring a poncho and let’s go!
Songs for Kids
Once again, kicking the festival off was Songs for Kids on the big stage and showcased some fantastic original music!
Born and raised in rural Missouri, relocating to Nashville in 2005, Bones’ sound blurs genre boundaries as the product of years on the road and in the studio with a variety of bands. Performing as a 2 piece today, Owens and his drummer cultivated a heavy groove that never let up the entire set. Taking advantage of the tight setup, the pockets were tight and the crowd was loving it.
Jacklin played an early set on the big stage today and the crowd was there for every note. Julia and the band performed a breathtaking set of indie-country with lyrics full of self-exaimanation, self-doubt, and heartbreak wrapped around fading affections. Jacklin’s soaring country vocals were just what we needed early on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Once of the best sets we saw today.
Next up on the Piedmont stage were the Ruen Brothers, a duo from a dangerous little town (there words, not mine) in Northern England that traffic in some fantastic throwback 50’s and 60’s country and rockabilly via Elvis. Featuring some racy below-the-hip dance moves and a ton of great tunes they were a fantastic diversion for the festival. Their latest Rich Rubin produced record is fantastic.
Well, we were promised some rain and we finally got a little, just a little mind you but enough for the coats and ponchos to make a brief appearance and Natalie Prass and the band were on board and ready to make it a party of it. Prass played a ton of tunes from her latest record, The Future And The Past, a powerful feminist statement in its own right constructed after the 2016 election cycle. But you’d be hard pressed not to come away with a smile after such a fantastic set.
With her debut release, “Something America,” Jade Bird is making a name for herself. Hailing from Britain, she’s gifted with a powerful voice, a captivating stage presence and positive energy. Bonus points for playing “Walk Like an Egyptian” tonight better than I’ve ever heard the Bangles play it.
What do you get when you mix a couple of guys from Manchester Orchestra with singer/songwriter Kevin Devine? An absolutely killer modern rock band with a foot in both worlds with dynamic pulsing songs, dramatic arrangements and great lyrics. Bad Books absolutely killed it on the main stage today with a set full of swagger and quite a few questions about what people though of their backdrop.
If you get a chance to see FiDLAR in a live situation do not pass up the opportunity to get beer thrown at you while you crowd surf beneath a late afternoon sun. Sure, you’re gonna get burnt and wet but that’s what its all about my friend. The band kicked off their set with “Alcohol” and proceeded to tear it down for a solid hour as a non-stop stream of crowd surfers got passed over the barrier.
With the rain getting closer, really close in fact, the festival decided to move a few bands up in time so that everyone got to play before the storms hit. Thankfully, Soccer Mommy’s set wasn’t cut short despite the fact that the rain really hit about 5 songs into the set. They started with a brief instrumental before launching into songs off the fantastic record, Clean with a few diversions into some older stuff and a great version of Bruce Springsteen’s, “I’m On Fire.”
The Dandy Warhols
With the rain falling hard at this point, the Dandy Warhols had the good fortune of playing the only stage completely sheltered from the weather and they took full advantage of a dry crowd to get them moving by throwing down a heavy set full of drone and vibe, as you would expect for the experts.
Cage the Elephant
It almost seemed like Cage the Elephant planned the rain to enhance tonight’s experience. Tricky fellas. Cage busted on stage and seemed to launch into another stratosphere completely. They kicked it off with “Broken Boy,” “Crybaby,” and “Spiderhead” and keep it coming for 90 minutes. They debuted a new song, “House of Glass” and closed out the night with a solo version of “Love’s the Only Way.” Pouring rain, pounding songs and a band that refuses to give an inch with killer songs and an over the top performance that culminated with singer Matt Shultz crowdsurfing in the rain.
Get home. Dry off. See you Sunday!
Words by John McNicholas
Photos by Hillery Terenzi / John McNicholas