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Spinnaker does Shaky Knees: Friday, May 12th recap

Jesse Raymer and Jesse Raymer

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Photo by Rachel Cazares

In case you missed it, Spinnaker Radio began coverage Friday of the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta. Set up in the heart of Downtown Atlanta, the fest, even on a gloomy day, was vibrant and scenic with a perfect backdrop of the infamous downtown ferris wheel.

 

Pinegrove

If you’ve never heard of Pinegrove, and like delightful indie-rock-folk hybrids (though I know no others than this group), it’s definitely time for you to notice them. This group was our first stop at the festival, playing the small stage. But, this did not prevent people from showing up a little early to give some love to the “little guys.”

I’m delighted to report that this group had a fantastic turnout for such a small stage. I was near the front, and when I turned back, I was pleasantly surprised to see a listening audience. If you do know Pinegrove, but haven’t seen them, I can assure you they perform very true to their recordings, as in Evan Stephens Hall’s voice is just as remarkable in person. He has a genuinely talented singing voice.

As for performing instruments, Pinegrove’s were solid and communicative throughout the set. Hall and his bandmates were comfortable enough with each other to add different variations to the songs. Some standout tracks were “Old Friends,” “Angelina,” and “New Friends,” a nice mix of their old album “Everything So Far” (2015) and newest album “Cardinal” (2016). Overall, the New Jersey band gave an excellent performance, and we are happy to report the sound guy did a great job of live mixing the instruments.

FIDLAR. Photo by Rachel Cazares

FIDLAR

FIDLAR is notorious for their energetic, brash, and loud performances. Their performance at Shaky Knees was no different. However, their onstage energy as the only strong presence they had. The sound set up was muddy, and it made it difficult for the audience to hear what was being played. It also seemed like the state-punk outfit was extremely unrehearsed and frantic, the song “No Waves” which is their biggest hit, was cut short and lacked the original verses. They lacked a grasp on their own music that created a less than impressive performance for their fans.Hopefully FIDLAR continues to grow within their sound, and even mature with the coming years. But for now, their performance at Shaky Knees was forgettable and immature.

Pixies. Photo by Rachel Cazares

Pixies

Pixies are a classic. For almost thirty years, the Pixies have shaped indie-alternative music and influenced artists like Nirvana, Radiohead, The Strokes, and Weezer. Having the honor hear them perform live was an awesome opportunity, and they did not disappoint. Though at first, their sound setup was having some technical difficulties, the band pulled through and drew cards from their “classic tracks” hand. Iconic tracks like: ‘Hey’, ‘Where is My Mind?’ and ‘Here Comes Your Man’ were among the setlist. After being a band for so many years and having so many shows, it would be easy for the Pixies to lose interest in their live performances and just go through the motions. Luckily, the group still made their stage presence known. Each song was delivered with charisma and spunk, the very traits the band is adored for. All in all, the Pixies are still a force to be reckoned with. Their performance was memorable and energetic.

Cage the Elephant.
Photo by Rachel Cazares

Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant is just a solid band. They are perhaps the shining light for modern popular, radio-ruling rock bands that become sold out–as in these guys haven’t. Maybe that has something to do with their Nashville roots. This performance was no exception to their quality and solid musicianship. Obviously, the crowd was huge. The band did a great job keeping the energy going, and yes Matt Schultz did his “arm thing” he always does, where he lifts it straight in front of him with his hand limp and bobs around tossing it about. Odd movement, but it works for him as his trademark. What I wished for from the group, as this was my third time seeing them, was a little variation. They followed the same routine and setlist chronologically that they always do, right down to Schultz going shirtless at the end of the set and diving into the crowd at every angle he can access. This leads to a great performance every time, but for people seeing them for the second or third time, it got a little boring. I request more talk breaks!

Vincent McClure, winner of Spinnaker Radio’s Shaky Knees festival ticket giveaway, and a friend. Photo by Rachel Cazares

All in all, it was a fantastic day of music for Spinnaker Radio. The musical acts were diverse and interesting and we ran into a winner of Spinnaker Radio’s Shaky Knees ticket giveaway. UNF student Vincent McClure shared his tickets with a friend. He said this was the first festival he’s ever been to and he’s having a blast!

The bright city lights glowed across us as we finished our first day at the Shaky Knees Festival and it created an amazing place for us listeners to enjoy. Stay tuned for more coverage over the weekend.

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Spinnaker does Shaky Knees: Friday, May 12th recap