Review: Shakey Graves Excites the 9:30 Club, Encouraging the Audience to Throw Their Hearts and Genitals

A mix of cynicism, recklessness and humor united Shakey Graves, also known as Alejandro Rose-Garcia, and the audience on Sunday night at the 9:30 Club. The sold out show was packed with people swaying in plaid shirts and jeans.

Garcia characterized the audience as “sweet and quiet,” demanding them to put their hands in the air, shout and wave. He engaged the crowd often, sometimes in the middle of a song, attempting to induce the recklessness that seemed to be missing.

Garcia interjected comments in the middle of his songs. Sometimes he would let go of his guitar to wave his hands, beckoning the audience to follow him into an emotional uproar.

Garcia alternated between humorous and profound comments.

“You can fuck up anything, especially if you never trust tomorrow,” he explained to the audience in the midst of performing the song he wrote about sex and amphetamines called Tomorrow, which he wrote when he was 16 and returned to when he was 26.

Garcia said that he had no idea what he was writing about when he first wrote it, as he even spelled amphetamines wrong. But most of what he wrote about has come true. So he revised it, wrote the second half ten years later, and performs it now with a passion.

His shadow was plastered on the wall behind him, illuminating him in purple and pulsing red lights. He blended blues, country and rock ’n’ roll.

He showed a fondness for the grotesque and creating consequence from the inconsequential. As he started off the show blasting AH ZABENYA from the Lion King. He sprinted onto the stage, raising his arms as though holding up baby Simba. The crowd let out a collective scream — and probably a few tears.

Garcia dedicated his good energy to those in the audience “throwing around their hearts and their genitals.”

The audience left with Garcia’s own life advice, though he delivered it with caution and a clear warning that listening to him is a bad idea.

Get a tattoo on Friday the 13th.

If she turns around and says “kiss me,” kiss her.

And most importantly, always go to a bar with an idea of where to hide a body in case you get into a knife fight.

Featured Photo Credit: Shakey Graves plays guitar and sings for a sold-out venue. This was one of the last two nights of the tour, both of which were spent at the 9:30 club in D.C. (Josh Loock/Bloc Reporter)

WritersBloc_Headshots_22Raye Weigel is a sophomore multiplatform journalism and English major and may be reached at

Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: