Skip to content Skip to footer

Live Review: Shakey Graves and Trampled by Turtles @ The Anthem — 6/27/24

There were no actual turtles or graves at the recent double bill of Trampled by Turtles and Shakey Graves at The Anthem. What there was was nearly three hours of the best folk-Americana music to hit DC this summer.

Trampled by Turtles, who have one of the truly great band names, got the evening started with “We All Get Lonely.” Hailing from Duluth, Minnesota — the birthplace of a certain very important and influential songwriter — the progressive bluegrass band was originally formed as a side project by frontman Dave Simonett. Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention: Most of Simonett’s equipment had been stolen by car thieves, leaving him with just an acoustic guitar. With no previous experience playing bluegrass, he set about forming a band  with other novices who played in metal and jam bands.

From those humble beginnings, TBT have become one of the most beloved and popular bluegrass acts, with numerous albums topping the charts. Their fifth album, 2010’s Palomino, spent an uninterrupted year in the Top 10. On June 27 at The Anthem, their performance included two songs from that album: “Victory” and “Feet and Bones.”

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy produced their most recent album, 2022’s Alpenglow. TBT played three tracks from the album at The Anthem: “It’s So Hard To Hold On,” “On The Highway,” and “Quitting Is Rough.” Amusingly, they started playing this as our photographer mentioned his ice cream addiction. It was appropriate that “Quitting” was immediately preceded by “Codeine;” there might be a message there! “Quitting” was followed by a cover of Warren Zevon’s “Keep Me In Your Heart.”

Watch the official music video of Trampled by Turtles for “Keep Me in Your Heart” by Warren Zevon on YouTube:

After “We All Get Lonely,” the set continued with “The Darkness and the Light,” “Right Back Where We Started,” and “Annihilate.” Sandwiched between “It’s So Hard To Hold On” and “On The Highway” were “Widower’s Heart” and “Stranger.” The set was rounded out with “Wild Animals,” “Alone,” “Truck,” “Midnight on the Interstate,” and “Wait So Long.”

The Turtles finished at nine o’clock sharp, and, 30 minutes later, Shakey Graves was on stage with his band.  Shakey Graves is the moniker of Austin, Texas native Alejandro Rose-Garcia. Before turning to music, Rose-Garcia was an actor, appearing in the Spy Kids movies and on the TV series Friday Night Lights. (During his set, he mused on the time he spent sleeping on his friend’s couch after he moved to Los Angeles. “I could live in my car,” he said.)

Though Shakey has since embraced a more expansive, full-band sound, his earliest recordings, like his debut, 2011’s Roll The Bones (rereleased with bonus material a decade later as Roll The Bones X) were made as a one-man band. Shakey brought things back to those days at the beginning and end of his set, starting things off solo with “Late July” and finishing alone with “Tomorrow,” “If Not For You,” and “Roll The Bones.”

Shakey Graves was accompanied by his band on “Look Alive,” “Family and Genus,” “Ready or Not,” “Counting Sheep,” “Chinatown,” “Mansion Door,” “Playing Along,” and “Love Is New.”  He explained that “Kids These Days” came to him in a dream in which he was listening to a David Bowie album he’d never heard and, when he woke up, he recorded as much as he could. Before “Limbo,” he said, “Last year was the most insane year of my life.” “Limbo” appeared on his most recent album, 2022’s Movie of the Week, as did “Heartstopper.” For his encore, he played “Dearly Departed.”

Watch Shakey Graves perform “Limbo” live at WFUV Public Radio on YouTube:

Whether he was spinning songs all by himself or his sound was filled out by his band, Shakey was in top form at The Anthem, as was TBT — ruly a night of excellent music.

Here are some photos of Trampled by Turtles and Shakey Graves performing at The Anthem on June 27, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Casey Vock.

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

 

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves

Shakey GravesShakey Graves

Shakey Graves