By Max Stewart
Shaky Knees has quickly become one of the most sought after festivals to attend in the U.S., thanks to its curated lineup focused predominantly on artists with indie-rock leanings. 2021 is no less and there are almost too many great musicians to list. That being said, we tried to narrow down a few of the artists we are most look forward to seeing this year at Shaky Knees below. Tickets still available at the Box Office!
Neal Francis: Chicago’s Neal Francis has emerged as one of the highest rising musicians on the scene thanks to his retro and authentic style. With comparisons to The Meters and Allen Touissant, his smooth and soulful approach to keys arrangements will no doubt be the best Saturday afternoon experience. He is also playing a late night set at The Masquerade on Friday.
Ty Segall & Freedom Band: Ty Segall is always a welcomed fuzz-driven, rock ‘n’ roll performance and he is a perfect fit for Shaky Knees 2021. We are excited to see the band perform his latest relase Harmoinzer, which has equal parts psych and garage rock sludge.
Parker Gispert: Local Georgia frontman of Athens’ The Whigs will be performing with a full band on Friday afternoon. As fans of his solo release Sunlight Tonight, we cannot wait to see how the album will translate with the full band in town in front of a homestate crowd.
Mac Demarco: The eclectic ‘jizz jazz’ (his term, not ours) artist is another quintessential Shaky Knees musician. We loved his latest release, This Old Dog, and cannot wait to see how he incorporates his six studio records into his Friday afternoon performance.
Foo Fighters: Sure, the massive arena rockers may not be the typical headliner for this festival, but I expect Dave Grohl & Co. to lean into their earlier heavy roots and hopefully grace us with tunes such as “Weenie Beenie”, “I’ll Stick Around”, and more recent “White Limo” for this festival audience. Also, there is a reason why the world loves Dave Grohl. He is an excitable front man that captivates an audience for 2.5 hours.
IDLES: We have heard so many great things about the earnest and passion-filled rock ‘n’ roll performances of England’s IDLES. We also heard glowing reviews about this band from Atlanta local legend ‘English Nick’ who has been a rock radio DJ in Atlanta for years (now on 97.1) and emcee of the unbelievable live band karaoke at the Virginia Highland bar, 10 High (credit “No Worries If Not” podcast). They are also band playing a late night set at The Masquerade. Check em out!
Alice Cooper: Alice Cooper the week before Halloween on a crisp fall evening in Atlanta? Yeah, we’ll be there.
Larkin Poe: Sister duo Larkin Poe leans into blues-influences and their shows always are a blast. Expect their latest release Self Made Man to be in high rotation on Saturday evening. Truly amazing to see such raw talent and emotive songwriting from sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, originally from North Georgia.
Run the Jewels: It will be a true treat to see local ATL legend Killer Mike alongside his co-contributor El-P to headline Saturday evening. Perfect ATL Saturday night.
Phoebe Bridgers: Bridgers seems to have been continuing her rise in popularity over the last couple of years, with a recent SNL performance and guitar smashing (we loved it, of course) further putting her in the limelight. We cannot wait to see her wind down the festival on Sunday, skeleton jumpsuit and all.
The Strokes: Another quintessential Shaky Knees addition, and the perfect band to close things out on Sunday. Very interested to see how they interwine their 2000s staples with tunes off of their latest release, The New Abnormal.