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Mic Drop’s Must Sees at Shaky Knees

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Shaky Knees will return to Atlanta’s Central Park this May for another year stacked with great bands, food, drinks and surprises. Last year we saw some heavyweights like Beck, Cage the Elephant, Tash Sultana, Tame Impala, Incubus, and Gary Clark Jr tear through Atlanta’s mix of warm weather and rain. Cage the Elephant performing through the rain was a fantastic experience as no one was phased by the weather but almost incited by the rain. This year we are blessed to have The Black Keys, Smashing Pumpkins and The Strokes headline Friday, Saturday and Sunday night of this year’s Shaky Knees. Tickets can be purchased on the Shaky Knees official website and you can access that here.

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One of the most unique performers this year at Shaky Knees is a three piece band from Leuven, Belgium. Brutus has a spellbinding sound that stems from melodic-post-rock, math rock, and punk. The group is lead by Stefanie Mannaert, who takes the hot seat behind the drums while simultaneously providing dark yet soothing vocals as the lead singer. Guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden and bassist Peter Mulders brighten the scene with atmospheric riffs and punchy basslines. They released their sophomore album, Nest, last year and you can watch them perform the opening track “Fire”, below. Brutus is set to play on Friday at Shaky Knees and their sound is ideal for a festival stage which will take Atlanta’s Central Park by the horns.

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(photo by Ray Molinari)

All Them Witches is an American rock band that formed in Nashville, Tennessee. The combination of blues, psychedelic and progressive rock has gained attention from a cult like following. The band consists of singer & bassist Charles Michael Parks Jr, guitarist Ben McLeod, drummer Robby Staebler and keyboard/organ/rhodes player Allan Van Cleave. All Them Witches’ sound resembles the early works of Black Sabbath with even more of a hypnotic feel. The band has released five studio albums, two live albums, and four EPs. The most recent album, ATW, was released back in 2018. Only a few short months ago they pushed out a new single, “1×1”, followed by the release of the song’s music video. The band will also perform on day one of the festival. 

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(photo by Joshua Pelta-Heller)

The west coast natives, Plague Vendor, bring traditional punk energy levels with a minimalist yet reckless approach similar to a hardcore house show. The four piece is lead by vocalist Brandon Blaine, guitarist Jay Rogers, bassist Michael Perez, and drummer Luke Perine. Signing to one of the most distinguished record labels, Epitaph, for their initial release was a kick start to their career and a deserved one at that. Free to Eat is a ten track LP with all blows, no blanks for a brief but lethal seventeen minutes and can be streamed here. Since that groundbreaking LP they have gone to release two more full length records and several singles. They will also.. be performing on, what is turning out to be a stacked, Friday night.

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(photo by Violet Teegardin)

The Atlanta natives, Lunar Vacation, will be playing a special hometown set on the final day of Shaky Knees. The dream-pop x surf rock x “Atlanta pool rock” four piece band has a graceful yet funky sound which releases an aura that consumes you into a dreamy dance hall. The band runs a full set up with singer and guitarist Grace Repasky, Maggie Geeslin plays guitar, Andrew Harris on the keys, and drummer Connor Dowd. The Georgia natives have released two EPs, a single and a two-part live EP. I would highly suggest coming to the welcome home party on day three of Shaky Knees for Lunar Vacation, for a sneak peek check out their performance at Paste Studio in Austin.

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(photo by Andre Jofre)

Last but certainly not least is the Swedish post-punk sextet, Viagra Boys. The name might be something you squint at but don’t be fooled, bassist Henrik Höckert has claimed that the band name is a shot at the failed role of men in society, with a dig at toxic masculinity. The lead singer, Sebastian Murphy, is a tattoo artist by day and the frontman of Viagra Boys by night. Benjamin Vallé plays the guitar, Tor Sjödén plays drums, Oskar Carls on the sax and Martin Ehrencrona on the synth/keys. The band brings basement punk meets skatepark punk scene together into a floor shaking post-punk treat. This band knows how to throw down in 20ft wide venues as well as festival stages. With four EPs and one full length album in their arsenal, I highly suggest joining the chaos that will arise on day two. 

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