Shakey Graves shakes ground at Tipitina’s

Holly Haney, Associate Arcade Editor

Shaky Graves (Holly Haney)

OK, that was incredible.  

On Dec. 1, Austin, Texas native Shakey Graves, the stage name of artist Alejandro Rose-Garcia, performed at Tipitina’s. This performance was rescheduled from Nov. 19 due to there being a case of COVID-19 on his crew. 

My friend and I arrived at Tipitina’s about half an hour before the opening act, meaning we got an incredible spot in the already intimate venue. It was relatively uncrowded at this point, and those who had arrived reminded me of a kombucha: trying really hard to be indie and without a doubt Millennials.

The opening act, Sun June, another Austin-based group, performed an incredible set, tapping into a beautifully dreamy indie pop sound — or regret pop, as they call it. Composed of lead vocalist Laura Colwell, guitarist Santiago Dietche, guitarist Michael Bain, drummer Sarah Schultz and bassist Justin Harris, they brought a fun yet introspective energy to the stage and an incredible setlist that got me to immediately follow them on Spotify after their first couple of songs. 

Sun June

I distinctly remember during their set during their song “Bad girl,” when Colwell sang the line ‘driving down to New Orleans’ the crowd erupted into cheers, the loudest of those being the group of drunk graduate students right next to my ears. Their next New Orleans performance is at Gasa Gasa on Feb. 9, and I cannot emphasize how badly you need to go, I know I’ll be there. 

Then came Shakey Graves. I’ve gone to a fair amount of concerts in my time, but this one was special. Rose-Garcia had such an electric, almost theatrical presence on stage, emoting along with his songs. The lights were absolutely stunning, fitting perfectly with the sound of his music. He played not only with a band, but solo, and on multiple occasions played multiple instruments simultaneously. 

He was incredibly interactive with the crowd, calling on us several times to act as the backbeat and background vocalists and telling us the stories behind some of his songs, taking full advantage of the small venue and making it feel like we were all friends. 

Another aspect of the show I loved was how he translated his music to the stage. The way he altered some of his songs and made for a more engaging performance, as well as went from high energy to low energy songs at the drop of a hat, made it difficult to take your eyes off of his performance. Even though I won’t claim that I knew every song on his amazing setlist, his performing ability was so captivating I didn’t feel out of place or unentertained. 

It’s hard to choose a favorite moment from the show. His epic guitar solo during “The Perfect Parts” blew the house down, building on the momentum of the song and feeling like a natural release of the high, tense energy without feeling ostentatious or obnoxious. 

Shakey Graves’ next performance is as part of the line up for New Orleans’ Hogs for the Cause 2022. The music festival is accompanied by 75 competing barbecue teams from April 1-2 to raise money for Children’s Hospital of New Orleans to help families struggling with pediatric brain cancer. 

Overall, this performance was absolutely phenomenal. From the energy of the performers to the iconic ambience of Tipitina’s, I had an absolute blast at this concert and cannot recommend that you see both Shakey Graves and Sun June when they come back to New Orleans.