Review: Shakey Graves at The Danforth Music Hall

On a damp November weekend, Shakey Graves, born Alejandro Rose-Garcia, returned to Toronto to play to a crowd of fans both young and old at The Danforth Music Hall.

The line up to get in grew as the 7:00 p.m. door time drew near, sweltering up with people cramming in a last smoke before getting their permanent spot close to the stage.

The audience packed in tight, with many young women edging to get closer to the musician from Austin, Texas, ready to give Shakey Graves their undivided attention. As his friend, Chico, appeared on stage to sound check the instruments, Graves gave his audience a hint of what was to come. With a quick warm up of his vocals from backstage, Rose-Garcia had evoked hysteria from the audience before even stepping out. These were his people tonight, and he wasn’t going to let them down.

Shake Graves, born Alejandro Rose-Garcia.

Shakey Graves, born Alejandro Rose-Garcia.

Coming out strong, Rose-Garcia played a mix of ballads from all throughout his discography. He serenaded the crowd and attacked his acoustic guitar while his right foot thumped the beat upon a bass drum, a true one-man band.

The crowd moved along to his rhythm, filling the Hall with a vibrant energy that remained focused and in tune with Rose-Garcia. With the help of The Danforth’s close quarters, Shakey was able to create an intimate evening that never turned stale.

He invited some change in energy half way into the set by bringing a drummer out to play on a proper kit in help of performing Graves’ more intricate tracks. This got the crowd thumping as Rose-Garcia belted out a plethora of fan favourite from both recent albums and his back catalogue.

The audience was pleased by the fact Rose-Garcia had dipped far into his musical catalogue, not only playing his most well known pieces, but performing plenty of b-sides and deep album cuts.

The artist from Austin moved his way through the evening with absolute grace, no false moves to accompany a tight, well assembled set.

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