Concert Review: Shakey Graves at the Newport Music Hall

There are countless stadium-filling performers who play the same songs night after night, and even from tour to tour. No one misses out from one city to the next as they get the exact same performance, but there is little need to check them out again. Shakey Graves keeps it real and fresh for each performance. The last time Alejandro Rose-Garcia and his team were in Columbus they wore matching suits and got the entire crowd wired to support the Head and the Heart. This was a great pairing and almost duel-headline show for the amount of people in the audience that knew and appreciated Shakey graves music.

This time, they went at their own pace and kept the Texas gentleman look alive. Duel of the Fates came on moments before Alejandro walked onto the dark stage alone. He excitedly greeted the audience in a cowboy hat that was discarded by the middle of their performance. Over the course of the night, he also enjoyed a can or more of a Texas favorite — Modelo. He sang several new and solo songs, even a Pixies cover. Three days prior, in Cincinnati, more than a third of the songs were swapped out for this 21-song setlist. We can’t assume why they would change up their performance. Maybe as artists, they need to refrain from monotony. Maybe it is in appreciation of the concertgoers. The outcome is a new show worth seeing again and again.

Another important difference between this and last year’s Shakey Graves Performance, was the presence of a wedding ring! On April 8th, (yes not even 3 weeks prior) he and Stephanie Hunt tied the knot. You can see a terrific photo of the newlyweds on their Knot wedding page. While you’re there, feel free to pick them up something from their registry. Now of course, that is none of our business, but it is something that often times will have an impact on an artist’s performance. It was obvious that Shakey Graves, either as a band, or soloist was having a terrific time on stage.

This tour is in support of their new 2023 release Deadstock – A Shakey Graves Day Anthology. Buffalo Hunt AKA Mrs Shakey Graves does appear on two songs from this newest album. For the live performance, they offered us a mix of favorites, new songs, and songs so new, even those reporting on could not recognize. It was a terrific mix of lo-fi, energetic, and often times quirky banter between tunes.

To truly review a performance that changes so often, one would have to travel from city to city with the band. So for prosperity, I would like to offer my services as a touring photographer to Shakey Graves.

Harry Acosta

Harry Acosta is a professional photographer who started out shooting concerts. Harry is an avid concertgoer and loves to capture his favorite musicians and unseen moments we take for granted in everyday life.