Shakey Graves at The Tabernacle

The Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park District looks like a galleon decorated by an art class on the inside with different compartments in which to hang out. Two or three bars covered in hand painted art in every room, at the top of every staircase. Hand-painted art all over the walls, even black stars painted on some of the ventilation shafts hanging above. There’s a large room in the middle of the venue with a couch area where people can mingle before and after perform, a photo booth, and a large merch area built like the merch tents you would find at a music festival complete with Tabernacle shirts, hats, and scarves. This room also leads to a smoking area overlooked by a brightly lit Ferris wheel.

There is plenty of standing space as well as a seated balcony in the stage room where The Wild Reeds play a set of indie folk rock ballads and anthems, complete with some surprisingly body-moving breakdowns.

The Wild Reeds released their sophomore full-length album, The World We Built, last year from Dualtone Records, as well as a new EP called New Ways to Die in September.

There are some cute decorations hanging around the stage including some colorful fuzzy balls on the keyboard and a sign made of twist balloons spelling out “PARTY” is propped up above the kick drum. Kinsey Lee and Mackenzie Howe occasionally switch instruments and lead vocal duty. Lee seems so excited to lead, but honestly, they’re all excited to rock with each other.

There’s an accordion the size of a small microwave set up next to the keyboard. I wasn’t sure what Kinsey Lee was doing when she was pushing the air door in and out but she was really into it.

Deep into their set, bassist Sharon Silva asks the audience, “Have you ever felt like nobody wants to listen to you?” as a lead into a song, and this is the type of full honesty they display on stage. This is a band that plays passionately as if every song is a point they want to make in a heated argument.

The Wild Reeds finish and, after a short time, out steps Alejandro Rose-Garcia, who goes by the stage name Shakey Graves, in front of four tall screens projecting images of a bonfire and a running river. He steps out alone, just him and his guitar washed in projection light, and he begins to play “Nobody’s Fool”. The lights begin to pulse along with a steady kick drum beat. He has the presence of a full band and the swagger of a blues troubadour, the way he grooves with his guitar. He’s playing the kick drum and tambourine with his feet, allowing him to sway and keep a whiskey bar beat. The projected fire dances on his body, his face, jacket, snapback, and hollow body guitar.

After three songs, the rest of the band step out and get behind their instruments and the projection switches to something glitchy and pixelated, later switching again to changing color stripes in a racing motion with tire track pattern. The lights brighten and roam and the band look like a ragtag group of fun, humorous, and casual music makers, which they are.

Shakey Graves engages the crowd with hand gestures, his lead guitarist loses himself in guitar solos, and in the middle of the set, they play a hard rock blues rendition of “Something in the Way” by Nirvana followed by the first song of his fifth studio album, Can’t Wake Up, released earlier this year via Dualtone Records. At one point Shakey Graves holds the mic and soon his hat is off so he can shake his hair. Girls cheered when he took off his jacket. There was a fun call and response moment when he recklessly grabbed the mic stand and moved it carried it around so he could sing in an alternating fashion with the crowd.

He finished the set alone, playing “Late July” in fire the same way he started his foot on the pedal of a kick drum and his guitar. A nice way to frame the set.


OCT 14, 2018
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Austin, TX

OCT 29, 2018
Utrecht, NL
w/ Petal

OCT 30, 2018
Cologne, DE
w/ Petal

OCT 31, 2018
Brussels, BE
w/ Petal

NOV 2, 2018
Hotel Cecil
Copenhagen, DK
w/ Petal

NOV 3, 2018
Take Root
Groningen, NL
w/ Petal

NOV 4, 2018
Berlin, DE
w/ Petal

NOV 5, 2018
Hamburg, DE
w/ Petal

NOV 7, 2018
Vienna, AT
w/ Petal

NOV 8, 2018
Munich, DE
w/ Petal

NOV 9, 2018
Kulturfabrik Kofmehl
Solothurn, Switzerland
w/ Petal

NOV 10, 2018
La Maroquinerie
Paris, FR
w/ Petal

NOV 12, 2018
Manchester Academy 2
Manchester, UK
w/ Petal

NOV 13, 2018
London, UK
w/ Petal

NOV 14, 2018
Brudenell Social Club
Leeds, UK
w/ Petal

NOV 15, 2018
Glasgow, UK
w/ Petal

NOV 16, 2018
Vicar Street
Dublin, IE
w/ Petal

NOV 17, 2018
Elmwood Hall
Belfast, UK
w/ Petal

DEC 1, 2018 – DEC 2, 2018
San Antonio, TX
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & 1/2 Marathon San Antonio

DEC 3, 2018
Fremont Theatre
San Luis Obispo, CA

DEC 4, 2018
The Wiltern
Los Angeles, CA

DEC 6, 2018
Fox Theater
Oakland, CA

DEC 7, 2018
McDonald Theatre
Eugene, OR

DEC 8, 2018
Neptune Theatre
Seattle, WA

DEC 9, 2018
Neptune Theatre
Seattle, WA

DEC 11, 2018
Roseland Theater
Portland, OR

DEC 12, 2018
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Vancouver, BC

DEC 14, 2018
Belly Up Aspen
Aspen, CO
w/ Kid Reverie

DEC 15, 2018
Ford Park
Vail, CO

APR 18, 2019 – APR 22, 2019
Byron Bay Bluesfest
Tyagarah, Australia

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