Movers and Shaky Knees: Day 1 Recap
Review By: Charles Worthy
Photos By: Jamie Platus
The 2015 edition of Shaky Knees Music Festival is officially in the books, and what a glorious weekend it was. The weather was beautiful (a welcome surprise for Shaky Knees veterans), Central Park proved to be the perfect venue, and, of course, the music. My goodness, the music! I knew the lineup was good. You knew the lineup was good. The national festival circuit knew the lineup was good. All we needed was for these bands to deliver. And deliver they did. Here is what Friday had to offer:
Best Set: Pixies
Black Francis and crew ripped through a 24-song set packed with classics and fan-favorites, with the kind of intensity you would expect out of a band that spawned a thousand other bands. No surprises here. The Pixies are one of the best to ever do it.
Other Notable Best Sets: TV On The Radio
Seeing TV On The Radio live is always a treat, and their Friday afternoon set was no exception. The band barreled through an hour-long set that spanned their entire discography, opening with a soulful rendition of Young Liars before capping it all off with Trouble, the latest single off the new album Seeds. This band is at the top of their game.
Other Notable Best Sets: Mastodon
Local metal-heads Mastodon brought the brutal to the Peachtree Stage during what had to be the heaviest set of the day. A massive crowd welcomed the boys back to their hometown, and Mastodon returned the favor by tearing the place apart. The finale, an epic version of Blood and Thunder featuring Neil Fallon (Clutch) may be a dark horse candidate for song of the weekend.
Other Notable Best Sets: Manchester Orchestra
Another hometown favorite, Manchester Orchestra, did what they always do, which is put on a killer set, consisting of their very own special brand of rock n’ roll. They closed out their set with the sprawling beauty of Where Have You Been?, which is exactly what I asked my friends when I realized they had missed out on this one.
Biggest Surprise: The Strokes
Maybe the headliner is an odd choice for the surprise set of the day, but hear me out. The Strokes have a reputation as being notoriously…. let’s just say apathetic… and having seen them in festivals settings previously, I was ready for somewhat of a lackluster performance. Well, sometimes it pays to have low expectations. Playing their first bigtime gig in a little under a year, the Strokes were all business, with Julian Casablancas losing himself in the music, and Albert Hammond Jr. showing off the technical proficiency on lead guitar that makes The Strokes The Strokes. We even got a You Talk Way Too Much, the first time the band had played that particular cut since 2004. I’ve always been a big fan of these guys, but sets like the one they gave us on Friday reaffirms why The Strokes are the real deal.
Biggest Disappointment: Mac DeMarco
This isn’t so much Mac’s fault as it was the sound quality at the Ponce De Leon stage. The band’s frustration was palpable, especially prior to a very obvious volume adjustment halfway through the set. Fortunately, this proved to be a non-issue for the rest of the weekend.
More From Day 1 of Shaky Knees Festival 2015:
(Check back in with openearsmusic.net all week as we continue to recap the weekend that was)