Sasquatch 2014 Day 1: Shakey Graves

Sasquatch, Live Reviews
05/24/2014
Jacob Webb
photos by Sally Gray Mahon

Maybe its circumstantial that one well-attended set from a guitar-wielding songwriter was followed by another well-attended set from a guitar-wielding songwriter, but the Yeti Stage at Sasquatch was on fire on late Friday afternoon between Hozier and Austin's Shakey Graves. The musician (and former actor) born Alejandro Rose-Garcia emerged onstage alone, equipped only with a guitar and a kickdrum, but that was all it took to incite the crowd. Onstage, Garcia carries himself like a journeyman, someone who cut his teeth on bars and back rooms across the country, which explains how he was able to translate a ragged intimacy into a festival setting. Although he was joined by two bandmates midway through the set, Garcia was most powerful when he was alone onstage – at some points the set felt like a quiter take on Reignwolf's brilliant one-man performances – and the subtle power of his material ("Roll The Bones" was undoubtedly the set's highlight) resonated within the crowd despite a fair amount of neighboring soundbleed. In a festival full of folk-leaning artists, Garcia's Texan blues-leaning one-man show was an unexpected reprieve and a testament to how powerful the influence of American folk tradition remains.

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