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It’s been a little over a week since Shaky Knees has come to an end so it’s time to look back at all the great bands that played in the humble city of Hotlanta. I flew across country to check out what I thought was the best festival lineup I’ve seen thus far. With headliners, The Strokes, The Avett Brothers, and finishing off the weekend with Tame Imapala, this weekend was filled with great music and great people everywhere you turned. Southern hospitality is not a joke around here, this is the friendliest festival around.

Surfer Blood kicked off this three-day long festival, missing guitarist Thomas Fekete, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and has been unable to join the band for their tour. The band set up a Go Fund Me to raise money for the alternative treatment plan that is needed to treat this cancer. The South Floridian band just released their new album 1000 Palms this past Tuesday and played a few of their new songs during their set. It was a perfect start to this hot weekend with their sunny, surf rock, poppy tunes
that are reminiscent of a nice, cool day at the beach.

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Tennis, which consists of husband and wife Alaina Moore and James Barone, wooed the crowd with Moore’s charming voice and the band’s airy rhythms as everyone got to cool off under the shade. The band recently came out with a deluxe edition of their album Ritual in Repeat on May 12. We had a chance to talk to Alaina a few days before the festival so listen in on what she had to say.

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Mac Demarco always knows how to entertain a crowd. He began by singing happy birthday to one of his bandmates and later on fixed his guitar strings as his other bandmate belched Yellow by Coldplay along with the crowd and finished off by crowd surfing at the end of his set.

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The crowd waited as The Strokes were 15 minutes late, but it’s THE Strokes, they can do whatever the hell they want. Julian Casablancas seemed to be in his drunken state as usual, but everything was still so beautiful; from the stage lights where all you could see is their silhouettes with slight glimpses of the band from time to time to the off-beat singing, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.  As Rolling Stones put it, “if he weren’t a rock star, he’d be the neighborhood drunk with a heart of gold (Vadukul).” Mac Demarco did make an appearance on stage but did not perform with the band as others have reported. All in all, seeing The Strokes was a life changing experience and it was an amazing end to the first day of the festival.

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Real Estate were the dreamy selves they were. Their hazy sound complimented the dusty haze in the air, except it was actually bright and sunny during their set and not so hazy at all, but it did feel like it as the sweat dripped down everyone’s faces into their eyes… but it was a nice way to start off day 2 of the festival as the rest of the day would be hot and muggy with a lot of dancing for the rest of it, especially with FIDLAR following.

FIDLAR WAS REALLY FUN. The band played a few of their new songs from the new album they’re working on, and ended with Cocaine as they normally do. But it’s always a sad time when they don’t play Cheap Cocaine, but definitely a fun set nonetheless. Neutral Milk Hotel performed live as the sun set and the rays shined through the clouds as the crowd swayed back and forth. It was a spiritual experience. That’s all I have to say. I took sneaky pictures of the band, I’m sorry… I just really had to capture the moment.

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The Avett Brothers created a beautiful crowd. Everyone sang along and danced together. There was just so much love in the air.

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Tame Impala was the perfect end to this three day weekend and is always a crowd pleaser with their trippy visuals and atmospheric sounds that surely epitomized the atmosphere of the festival that night.  It was definitely a great way to mellow out from the hustle and bustle of the weekend.

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