Live Review: Band of Skulls @ Shaky Knees Festival, Friday May 9, 2014

Band of Skulls

Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Music Festival is only in their second year but man, this year’s lineup is pretty dang amazing. If you’re somehow able to get your ass to Atlanta over the next few days, you’d be wise to do it.

Rather than providing an overall review of the festival, I’m going to specifically focus upon a select group of bands that enticed me to make the 2600 kilometre / 1615 mile drive from my home in Moncton, New Brunswick to Atlanta. I can do shit like that because this is my site. Them’s the breaks, sorry.

First on deck for review? England’s Band of Skulls.

I’ve followed these guys since I first saw the video for “I Know What I Am” in the summer of 2009. And rightly or wrongly, I’ve always assumed that they were a relatively well-kept secret, albeit a secret I’ve been happy to share with anyone who cares to hear about them.

But if their mid-afternoon Friday performance at Shaky Knees is any indication, the cat is going to be out of the bag in a big way soon.

The trio, comprised of guitarist-vocalist Russell Marsden, bassist-vocalist Emma Richardson and powerhouse drummer Matt Hayward, took to the stage and absolutely slayed the crowd with their opening song “Asleep At The Wheel,” setting the tone for the remainder of their set.

Boasting a wonderfully rich, full sound for a trio, the group pulled songs from each of their three records for their 50 minute set. Marsden encouraged the crowd to sing along to “I Know What I Am” if they were so inclined and as the opening chords of the song rang out, the audience roared their approval, as they did following the performance of Sweet Sour’s“Bruises” and “The Devil Takes Care Of Its Own.”

Himalayan tracks “I Feel Like Ten Men, Nine Dead And One Dying” and “Hoochie Coochie” were amped up in intensity while the trio of songs from their 2009 debut record that closed the show drew from the crowd’s energy.

And with that, Band of Skulls set was over before I knew it. The group is on tour throughout North America through mid-June. Catch them if they happen to be in your neck of the woods. You won’t regret it.

Band Of Skulls Set List – Atlanta, GA. – May 9, 2014

Asleep At The Wheel
You’re Not Pretty But You Got It Goin’ On
I Know What I Am
I Guess I Know You Fairly Well
The Devil Takes Care Of Its Own
I Feel Like Ten Men, Nine Dead And One Dying
Hoochie Coochie
Hollywood Bowl
Light Of The Morning
Death By Diamonds And Pearls