Live Review: Shakey Graves – Terminal 5, NYC

A few weekends ago, Shakey Graves brought his raging vocals and aggressive singer/songwriter spirit to Terminal 5 in Manhattan, New York. What made the night even more special is the fact that he mixed up the set list from his summer show in Brooklyn.

He began the night with an unplugged yet aggressive version of Nobody’s Fool, the self-titled track from his 2015 EP of B-sides and rarities. He set the mood with strong rhythm and impressive vocal range. The second song of the set was Roll The Bones, another self-titled track, this time from his 2011 full-length album. After a rare Word Of Mouth solo performance, he sparked the energy of the venue with a memorable rendition of Pansy Waltz. Dining Alone, the first track from the new album, came next and made the last batch of Shakey songs seem more intriguing than I felt before the show. As much as we all raved over And the War Came and his older deeper tracks, Can’t Wake Up is definitely a record that needs a few repeats to fully appreciate.

After a boisterous version of Excuses, he gave the people what they wanted and dug into And The War Came with The Perfect Parts. A highlight of this rendition was the instrumental jam introduction. The next three songs, Mansion Door, Big Bad Wolf, and Counting Sheep were all from the latest album Can’t Wake Up. Seeing these songs live definitely gave them some more life than simply listening through headphones.

The rocking energy set in full blast with the following songs Family And Genus and Dearly Departed. Many artists today only focus on their latest material as the bulk of their live act but Shakey Graves mixed in a lot of older songs, which helped keep the excitement level high throughout the concert. A stripped back Climb On The Cross set up a good chance for the audience to catch their breath for a few minutes with the relaxed tempo and vibes of the next song Tomorrow. The beat fired on with another solo song, Late July.

For the encore, Shakey came back on stage to play Foot Of Your Bed and for the final song of the night, he left the audience with Cops And Robbers. Without a doubt, the latest Shakey Graves album is for sure a grower, but this should not stop fans from catching his live performance where he mixes in old gems and always has surprises up his sleeve.

Scott J. Herman