New York-based rock quartet Water Knot managed the daunting task of playing an early slot at the opening day of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival by successfully winning over fans during their all-too-brief stint on the Miller Great Taste Lounge.
Defined by soaring vocals and complex instrumental arrangements, Water Knot’s efforts quickly wind their way into a listener’s consciousness and become hard to forget. In pieces like “Sometimes,” Louis’ tranquil vocals quickly transform into catchy hooks rounded out by Martin on bass, Taco on drums, and Ian on the keyboard. I saw over two dozen bands at Bonnaroo, and Water Knot delivered a performance that truly stood out.
Short sets at Bonnaroo are always tricky because artists have a relatively small span of time in which to not only capture a listener’s attention, but also prove that they’re worthy of keeping it. After all, at a festival like Bonnaroo, there are invariably at least 3-5 bands performing simultaneously on adjoining stages. Through their earnest delivery, magnetic stage presence and thoughtfully created material, Water Knot quickly demonstrated that they not only were worthy of their spot within the Bonnaroo lineup, but are on track for a bright future that could easily help them perform a longer set on a bigger stage during future versions of the festival.
In an effort that ended their set in an impressively bold way, the band picked “Losing Control,” a song that featured falsetto vocals deftly battling it out with an intricate keyboard accompaniment. This outcome was finished with confident guitar work rich with blues-inspired note bending and rapid-fire shifts along the fretboard that nearly made me want to forget about the other bands I’d planned to go see at Bonnaroo that afternoon in favor of finding the nearest guitar to practice those skills on my own.
The band recently finished a tour of New York and Tennessee, Â and you can keep tabs on newly scheduled dates by visiting the band’s website. Although they do not yet have an album available to purchase, Â you can head over to Water Knot’s electronic press kit to hear five engaging tracks that adequately represent much of the talent that I saw displayed during their live set.