The lights were dim and the crowd was silent. Alejandro Rose-Garcia of Shakey Graves made his way to the microphone from the side stage, wielding a road-worn acoustic guitar and the crowd cheered him on in anticipation of broken silence. It was then the thump of Gacia’s kick drum pedal on a suit-case echoing through the speakers of the Cannery Ballroom. A sold out crowd of 300 bodies were all captivated by Garcia’s delicate strumming. Songs like “Only Son” on mandolin and “Roll the Bones” preformed acoustically seduced the crowd as everyone sang quietly back to him.
After four songs played acoustically, Garcia enlists help from back-stage band members, signaling a louder, and more rock-driven second half of the show. One of my favorite songs of this section of the set was “If Not For You.” He started the song wailing upon his guitar with his drummer intensely smacking the cymbals, creating an intense wall of noise that transitioned into the intro of the song. I got chills when Garcia and the crowd sang together quietly “well if all the lights said stop and the oceans they did drop and I’d always feel on top if not for you,”.
During most of the set Garcia and his band would randomly trade licks and jam freely between songs. The light hearted’ness between the band and Garcia seemed unrehearsed and raw. Towards the end of the set Garcia and his band broke out into “Dearly Departed.” Just like the album version, the percussion began with the whole crowd clapping along. The first lyrics were sung and from that point the entire venue was chanting every word with Garcia. Garcia then started “The Perfect Parts.” As soon as the familiar guitar riff kicked in, Garcia and the crowd chanted the melody loudly along with the band “ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh” The sea of vocals in the end of the song with Garcia was incredibly loud and epic. The amps continued to ring out as the members left the stage. Garcia shouted in the microphone “thank you so much Nashville…Goodnight!” and exited the stage. The crowd chanted for an encore over the powerful sounds of the screaming amps. Garcia and his band then re entered the stage and preformed “Proper Fence.”
When Garcia and the bands energy reached a peak, he whipped his guitar around his shoulder and swung it towards the ground multiple times till it was shattered to pieces. The crowd in an uproar cheered loudly as Garcia threw pieces of his guitar into the crowd. The distortion rang and the band bowed on stage saluting the crowd for another memorable show.
Written by Amber Browning
Photos by Sami Wideberg
OurVinyl | Contributor