It didn't rain yesterday at Shaky Knees - you're welcome Atlanta. I say "you're welcome" because by my logic, it didn't rain yesterday, despite a forecast 70% probability, because I had brought a raincoat to the festival with me, all rolled up nice and tight and stowed in a pocket of my cargo pants. Today, the probability of rain was down to 20%, so I took my chances and didn't pack the raincoat, and sure enough, it rained for about 20 minutes, albeit lightly. But obviously, the determination as to whether or not it actually rains is contingent upon whether or not I brought a raincoat, so "you're welcome" for yesterday and "sorry about that" for today. Meanwhile, though, before the rain fell, the day started off with L.A's oddly named
Mariachi El Bronx.
The name is odd as it contains the words "El Bronx" but they're from L.A., but they do indeed live up to their name and play mariachi-style rock and soul. Although the set was enjoyable, the audience at the Piedmont Stage was out in the middle of a field beneath shadeless sun, and due to the combination of heat and humidity, I ducked out from their stage area and headed to the shadier confines of the Ponce Stage for
Foreign Air were a complete mystery to me - I had absolutely no idea what to expect - and as it turned out, I liked the indie-pop set that they played.
An impromptu set by a drum corps in front of the Ponce Stage between the scheduled acts. After the halftime entertainment, I stayed at the Ponce Stage for the set by L.A.'s
Run River North,
who rocked harder than I had expected (somehow, I had imagined them as a folk-rock band, but they're a six-member rock band). Their set was great but after that, the rain started to fall, although I had already found shelter in an unused food vendor tent and was recharging my iPhone at a live electric outlet that I had found there. The recharging took longer than the rain and when it was over, I headed back to the VIP viewing area at the Peachtree Stage for
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Catfish and the Bottlemen play, in my humble opinion, standard, three-chord, beer-commercial guitar rock, but they were successful in whipping the audience up into a frenzy and seemed to be very popular, so I just bided my time until the next band came on, who happened to be
Now the day was picking up. Sylvan Esso played their own brand of off-center, electronic-based soul-funk-rock and were fun to watch. Bonus points: it was also dinner time, so I got to eat barbeque while I watched the band. The next band after Sylvan Esso was another discovery,
the artist formerly known as Chet Fakir. As Mr. Murphy, Nick/Chet led a set of electronic r 'n' b, funk and blue-eyed soul, and was quite an enjoyable and energetic discovery. After Murphy, the evening's headliners,
took the stage. This was my third or fourth time seeing The xx, and they continue to grow as artists and expand their sound, while still managing to maintain their trademark minimalism and use of silence. The huge festival audience at the main Peachtree Stage were clearly big fans of the band, and it's nice to see such an "arty" band attract such a large and loyal audience.
And that, my friends, was Day Two of the 2017 Shaky Knees Music Festival. The third and final day is tomorrow, and the lineup looks to be even better than today's (but not as good as yesterday's).