Photos by Cole Leuthel
Alex G, now known as (Sandy) Alex G played an abstract gig at the Velvet Underground with openers Cende and Japanese Breakfast.
Cende’s set was a good way to open the show, as they are a punk/surf rock band. Their music is very up-beat and contains fast paced percussion and energetic vocals. Things moved a bit more to the groovier side once Japanese Breakfast took the stage, playing tracks such as “The Woman That Loves You”, “Everybody Wants to Love You” , their latest singles “Boyish” and “Machinist”, along with some other un-released material which were sounding like a big step up from their previous album. This isn’t to say that their past discography is not good- the sound of their new tracks is just bigger and better.
Alex G took the stage with his band – including a violinist. The show opened with a softer start with “Judge” off of his new album “Rocket”, followed by crowd favourite “Forever” off of his older album “Trick”. To be quite honest, I didn’t expect the show to pick up as much as it did considering the opening vibe. It was a soft and smooth opening, which eventually lead to intense interludes, song extensions, and violin and guitar solos – all of these things were able to take me away from reality and almost bring me into a completely different place not only because of how abstract the band’s sound was but, because of how unexpected it was. Many of the songs were extended into outrageous solo’s and compilations, with a variety of synth usage.
He played a long and heavily appreciated encore, featuring 10 songs- all a mixture of the new and old, including requests from the crowd. My only complaint is that a large majority of the crowd was requesting that the band play “Salt” which is one of his more popular songs, but it was unfortunately not played.
What made this show so special was the unity of his band, as well as the fact of how much of a surprise the show was overall. I went into the venue simply expecting a chill and relaxed concert and left with receiving that as well as a psych rock show. Although he doesn’t have the largest on-stage personality, what is delivered in his music makes up for it. He is such a unique artists with poetic lyrics that I couldn’t say are comparable to many modern day artists, and a fantastic performer.