Live Music Lou does Shaky Knees: 2015 edition

Last year’s Shaky Knees experience was so spectacular that we jumped on the super early bird tickets for this years fest. The 2014 lineup included some of our favorites (Houndmouth, Jason Isbell, The Lone Bellow) as well as a few that ended up becoming some of best finds of the year (San Fermin, Apache Relay, Benjamin Booker). This year there were some changes including a move  from the concrete mass of Atlantic Station to a little more earthy setting in Central Park – though still partially in a parking lot – but the caliber of artists on display did not. Instead of review each set we saw… which was an absurd amount… we’ve decided to break down our day by favorites and best finds of the weekend.

Day 1:

Favorite set:

Aub: TV on the Radio really got my weekend started off right. I’ve always loved their stuff and actually won a copy of their latest album, Seeds, from WFPK so I am up-to-date on their current work.

Britt: The sheer amount of people in the audience this year was made very apparent during The Strokes‘ Friday night headlining act. While we watched from afar on the side hill, they put on an amazing and energetic rock show.

Biggest surprise/best find:

Aub: American Football was the closing act of the Boulevard Stage on Friday and left me wanting more.  We then stopped by James Blake on the way to the Pixies – the tent was loving his electronic heavy falsetto driven stuff, as did I.

Britt: I’m going to have to go with American Football, too. The chill atmosphere was perfect for the mid-afternoon performance.

Who’s coming to Louisville soon?

Jukebox The Ghost (5/27), Death From Above 1979 (7/24)

Day 2:

Favorite set:

Aub: Built To Spill was something else. Talk about some dudes freaking jamming. I also really liked Real Estate‘s set. We sat on the grass and listened from the hill overseeing the Peachtree Stage with the Atlanta skyline in the background. It was a quintessential festival situation and I loved it.

Britt: It’s hard for me to pick anyone else but The Avett Brothers. They played a lot of their classics in addition to trying out some new numbers. As always, two thumbs up.

Biggest surprise/best find:

Aub: The Black Lips are an Atlanta band and their set was packed with local supporters and intrigued out-of-towners. Though our zip codes differed on the way in, we all ended up in the same place at the end of their set – out of breath and taken aback by the intensity of what just happened.

Britt: Mariachi El Bronx donned outfits that would have made me pass out in the sweltering heat, but they helped get the crowd in the mood for their instrumental, dance-inducing set.

Who’s coming to Louisville soon?

ZZ Ward, Mariachi El Bronx, Speedy Ortiz and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) with Tweedy will all be at The Forecastle Festival (7/17-19)

Day 3:

Aubrey: Let me preface; I’ve come to find that in general, Sundays are my favorite days at festivals. I’m not sure if it’s because there tends to be fewer people, the bands just fit my taste, or if three days in the sun [drinking tall boys] finally catches up to me, but Sundays are always my top days.

Favorite set:

Aub: Trombone Shorty/Old Crow Medicine Show – this one is a toss up because I danced equally hard (or obnoxiously) for both of them. I’ve seen them both a few times (OCMS more than a few) and nothing ever gets old, which is proof of how enjoyable I find their music.

Britt: Trombone Shorty pulled out all the stops on the Ponce de Leon stage. With many of his own songs, but then also some covers that proved to be pretty amazing with horns thrown in there.

Biggest surprise/best find:

Aub: The Both. I think Aimee Mann may be one of the coolest chicks I’ve ever seen. We’re talking, I want to grow up and be as fascinating as she is. Unfortunately I lack her stature, hair, bass talents and songwriting mastery. Her collected yet perfectionist nature matches perfectly with Ted Leo‘s mellow and quirky characteristics.

Britt: Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls brought an insane amount of energy to the Ponce de Leon stage. Unfortunately, we missed them when they returned to Louisville this past Friday but I’m sure their Mercury Ballroom set was just as engaging.

Who’s coming to Louisville soon?

You may have caught Trombone Shorty (5/13) and Frank Turner (5/15) at Mercury Ballroom. Hopefully more bands will be announcing their plans for visiting The Ville soon!

-Aubrey & Brittany

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