This was a band I was looking forward to seeing even though I wasn’t overly familiar with their music. I knew they were popular in the college radio scene, but I had no idea how great they would be live. Just listening to their stuff, you would not expect the crowd to be nearly as crazy as it was, but Hunny managed to get everybody off their feet and jumping around pretty effortlessly, which made for such a fun and memorable experience.
9. Faye Webster
As one of my favorite artists going into the festival, she did everything but disappoint. She had a pretty short set at just 45 minutes, but she managed to play pretty much all of her best music and sound just as good live as she does in her studio recordings. Hearing some of these songs live was so moving I actually teared up. I do wish there were some horns incorporated into the band, but the performance was great nonetheless.
8. Shannon and the Clams
The circumstances leading up to this performance alone were enough to place them on this list, but the fact that they managed to do such a fantastic job with a replacement guitarist who had just learned the music is something not many bands can say. Most people would have given up after being removed from the lineup because their guitarist couldn’t be there, but not Shannon and the Clams. Their style translated beautifully onto the stage and made for such a lively performance, and I’m very happy they ended up playing in spite of everything that happened.
7. Nine Inch Nails
This was one of the most shocking setlists of the weekend, with the band playing almost exclusively older material, and I think we were all better off because of it. Hearing so many fan-favorites in one night was a once in a lifetime experience, and the strobing white lights and raging mosh pit added to it greatly.
6. My Morning Jacket
It’s almost poetic that My Morning Jacket would have the longest set of the weekend, since the whole music festival was named after one of their lyrics. Their music fit the festival’s aesthetic better than anything, and it was the perfect way to end the weekend.
I’ve been a fan of PUP for a while now, but I never realized just how great their live shows were. The setlist was made up of a perfect mix from all of their albums, and there was not a single lull for the entire hour. Everybody in the crowd appeared to be having the time of their lives, and the band matched this energy with everything they had. I still can’t get over hearing “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will” straight into “DVP;” genuinely a highlight of my life.
4. Gang of Youths
I had only heard one song from this band going into the festival, and it did not prepare me for just how brilliant their live show would be. That frontman was born to be on the stage; I don’t think he stood still for a single second of his performance, and he would not rest until he got the rest of the crowd dancing too. This was by far one of the most fun and entertaining performances to watch at Shaky, and it made me want to check out so much more of their music.
3. Green Day
I think my low expectations for this set made me enjoy it even more than I would have if I’d been a big Green Day fan. Billie Joe knows how to control a crowd better than just about anyone I’ve ever seen, and it made my jaw drop so many times that I couldn’t get it back up. This man invited people on stage, gave away a guitar, and played so much great music all in one show. You really can’t ask for more than that.
2. Amyl and The Sniffers
I acknowledge that I am a bit biased towards pit shows, and Amyl and The Sniffers’ music simply goes way too hard to not mosh as hard as you possibly can. There were bodies going up to crowd surf every thirty seconds, people were constantly running into each other at full speed, and there was more headbanging than I saw at any other show. It was the perfect storm for anyone who loves moshing, and I am most definitely one of those people.
1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
King Gizz is indisputably one of the best touring acts of this generation. Their vocal range is impeccable, the instrumentation is unreal, and the crowd goes absolutely insane for anything they play. Sure, there was dust flying everywhere and a lot of people got their phones stolen, but that doesn’t change the fact that King Gizz put on the show of a lifetime, and witnessing it live and in person is unlike anything else you can ever experience.
This show is all over the place. Punk, pop, electronic, rap, various duck noises; you never know what you're gonna get, so there's bound to be a little something for everyone! (except for my grandfather, who hates all of it)