Austin – “I love you, but please stop yelling my name.”
The bashful words of one-man act Shakey Graves were uttered with the unmistakable tint of a blush and an awkward grasp on the microphone stand, as a young (and slightly intoxicated) female fan cried “Shakeyyyyyy!” over and over.
It was nice to know that in the face of an obviously adoring crowd, the singer/guitarist still had the capacity to be a little embarrassed. Because up until this point, Shakey himself had showed no signs of dishevelment. With quick wit and winsome brown eyes, the young musician won the hearts of every boy and girl of his Austinite audience.
Though each folksy, heart-melting anthem consisted of only him, his guitar, and his small kick-drum, it was enough to fill the room with an arena’s worth of buzz. As the stringy twenty-something entered the stage and began playing the very animated “Word of Mouth”, the room was hypnotized. It’s funny how dynamic a song can be with the simple use of varying time signatures and a transparently genuine voice. Rose-Garcia’s experience in the entertainment industry was clear as he managed to keep his listeners locked in with strategically placed time changes and climaxes.
Letting his Hollywood history shine through, Shakey’s performance of “Built to Roam” packed in all the ups and downs of a free-spirited life in pursuit of creative freedom, or just freedom in general. Projecting a carefree attitude towards the rigid atmospheres of New York and L.A., the song moves and bends the same way the mind does. Slow, then fast, then unpredictable, this proved to be one of the most memorable songs of the evening.
As the night slid along, men and women staggered and swooned to the delicate singer’s scraggly voice. The banjo driven “Unlucky Sin” blanketed the crowd in a folksy haze more akin to spiritual Sunday morning than a wintery Monday night.
The opening plucks of the guitar that opens “Georgia Moon” saw the crowd at the peak of their excitement. Many fans had been yelling for Shakey to play this one and the anticipation was finally rewarded by this nostalgic ode to a time when moonshine was a lifestyle and not a piece of history.
By the close of the show, Alejandro Rose-Garcia had won my heart. He proves that a history in Hollywood or as an actor doesn’t necessarily preclude a future in the indie music scene. On the contrary, his experience with audiences puts him in a unique position. Not only does Shakey Graves have experience in the habits of viewers, but he finely tunes this knowledge to create a high-powered and breathtaking live performance. Both alluring and exciting, these shows are what Shakey Graves has become known for, and his bright future has many of us waiting on the edge of our seats to find out what is next.
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