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Photo recap: Shaky Knees 2019 brings eclectic musical mix to Old Fourth Ward

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Seventh incarnation of indie fest skirts rain threat, closes with mesmerizing Tame Impala set

Bluesy Austin rocker Gary Clark Jr. performs Saturday evening.
Bluesy Austin rocker Gary Clark Jr. performs Saturday evening.
Photos by Josh Green

After seven years, Shaky Knees has cemented itself among the pantheon of large-scale local music festivals—joining Music Midtown, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, SweetWater 420 Fest, and others—and grown into a showcase of dazzling, global talent in an urban setting.

Returning for the third time to Old Fourth Ward’s Central Park, where Music Midtown was held in the early aughts, Shaky Knees 7 skirted the threat of Saturday downpours and some hiccups with wristband payment systems to prove itself a relatively fan-friendly experience again.

Highlights included a mesmerizing, psychedelic set by Australian group Tame Impala, which crowd size indicated was clearly the weekend’s main draw. Another highpoint was the overall diversity of music, ranging from blues, 1980s nostalgia, to twangy, soulful country and whatever genre San Francisco’s hard-charging Oh Sees inhabits. Urbanophiles of Atlanta were likely tickled by a surprise onstage diss of Cobb County by homegrown band Deerhunter.

Below are some photographic highlights from across three full days of music in the heart of Atlanta.

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Friday

Veterans of stages across the city, Atlanta’s own Black Lips perform Friday at the Ponce de Leon pavilion, the Shaky Knees stage nearest what used to be the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.
Australian virtuoso Tash Sultana, a one-woman band, performs on the Peachtree stage Friday.
Incubus, as the sun sets Friday.
Beck closes Friday night on the main stage.

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Saturday

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James performs solo Saturday on the Piedmont stage, returning sans-MMJ for the first time since the soggy, inaugural Shaky Knees in 2013. The festival is named for one of his lyrics in the MMJ song Steam Engine.
Cheeky crowd-pleasers The Struts on the largest stage Saturday.
Raucous Los Angeles punk band FIDLAR attracted fans in droves—and a crowdsurfing panda bear that was allowed to dance onstage.
FIDLAR faithful.
Makeshift shade on a steamy Saturday afternoon.
Interpol.
Gary Clark Jr. fanatics brave threats of approaching storms, which never really materialized Saturday evening.
Gary Clark Jr. squeezed in an abbreviated but powerful set as rains moved in.
No shortage of bravado on Saturday night, as Cage the Elephant (and singer Matt Shultz, still clothed at this point) closed the festivities.

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Sunday

Foals’s singer and guitarist Yannis Philippakis.
Atlanta-based Deerhunter, whose frontman, Bradford Cox (center), told Sunday evening’s Criminal Records stage audience that two band members hail from Cobb County, “but we’re not proud of it.”
Kentucky-bred folk/country/bluegrass artist Tyler Childers performs at the Ponce de Leon stage/pavilion.
Childers’s faithful.
Australia’s Tame Impala closed the festival with a rollicking psychedelic set.
Multiinstrumentalist Kevin Parker.
The weekend’s confetti-filled finale.
Music continued near the North Avenue entrance, where Cool Hand Hayes scored tips late into the night.