+1 (a sorta review of Shaky Knees Festival)

Last weekend, I hopped in a plane pointed towards Atlanta. I went alone, because my fiance started a new job recently, and couldn't make the trip with me. I missed him desperately while I was away, but he knew that I had to go.

I had to go to Shaky Knees Festival. Had to. I was on Facebook one day and saw that J. Roddy Walston and the Business were playing the kick off party, and Craig Finn was the opener. Sure, I had just seen J. Roddy play in Columbus a month prior. And well, as you'll learn, I've seen Craig Finn a LOT. I had just seen him three nights in a row in March. But it didn't matter. I had to go.

The lineup was packed with bands that I was dying to see; Strand of Oaks, Beach Slang, Deer Tick, The Front Bottoms, Explosions in the Sky. I was just going to go to the kick off party, and to whatever day of the festival Craig would be playing. I had done that when The Hold Steady played a Riot Fest party in Chicago, and it was really fun (even though i'd kill to be able to go to Riot Fest). Passes to the festival were expensive, at least when combined with air fare and a couple days in a hotel, and the fact that I'm planning a wedding for this fall, and shouldn't be spending any money. Luckily, when I mentioned the festival to my boss, she was able to work her magic, and I was able to go to all three days of the festival as well.

The heavens aligned on this trip. I had gone alone, but my friend Brendan had texted me to say that I needed to meet up with his friend Emily. She was the best +1 I could've possibly asked for. We enjoyed a lot of good music, did a lot of people watching, and soothed our sunburns over drinks in a revolving bar at the top of the Westin Peachtree (where apparently all of the rappers in ATL stay on the weekend).

On Friday night, we sat towards the back of the crowd to watch Jane's Addiction. I hadn't seen Jane's Addiction since 1991, when I went to the very first festival: Lollapalooza (back when it was more of a festival and less of a fashion show). As I watched, I thought about 14 year old me, navigating that festival. First off, I had lied to my dad, in order to get money to go to the show. He thought that I was going to summer school. Truth of the matter was, I was an honor student. I didn't need to to go summer classes.

I wore a backpack, because it was the nineties and we all had backpacks. By the end of the day, my backpack was full of pamphlets from the various causes who were set up there: Planned Parenthood, PETA, Amnesty International. Also, I had so many condoms, because it was the nineties and we were very afraid of sex, because AIDS was still kind of new and very real. I was a virgin, but I didn't want anyone to think I wasn't cool, so i took the condoms (even those junky gold coin ones that inevitably broke open in my bag).

I wish I remember more about the music I saw that day. But i've learned over the years that the mind sloughs away your memories, to make room for new ones. That's why we blog. So we can remember shit.


  1. I happened to be lucky that my friend couldn't find a date for an event so he generously took me with him, which happened to be one of the best experience for me in recent times. I was lucky enough to see this place. If you get a chance to check these event venues out please do so.


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