Co-headliners Shakey Graves and Dr. Dog took to the Anthem’s stage to meet in the middle of their respective styles, which stretch from floor-stomping Americana to psychedelic indie rock.
Dr. Dog took the opening slot at the Anthem, which brought out the return of the “Dr. Dog” knitted beanies They pulled tracks from across their career including recent gem “Buzzing in the Light” as well as classics “Nellie” and set opener “Where’d All the Time Go.” The band was propelled into the night by a mysterious bottle of “STAGE MILK,” which rested on bassist Frank McElroy’s amplifier throughout the show.
Shakey Graves returned to DC a little more than a year after headlining back-to-back appearances at 9:30 Club. This time he kept more focus on his back catalogue, including “Dearly Departed” and “Roll the Bones.” His set progressed through three distinct movements. He took the stage alone with an electric guitar, then was joined by a full band, and closed with a solo acoustic set featuring the suitcase-turned-kick-drum one man band setup that was fundamental to his early success.
Shakey Graves has grown up through some heartbreak and self-reflection that shows itself clearly through the hazy daydream production of his most record, Can’t Wake Up. That dissipating fog also seems to haunt some of his most well-loved songs, which he wrote when he was in high school. Alejandro was unable to get through “Tomorrow”—a song he penned intermittently from age 17 and into his twenties—without breaking in between each verse to offer self-deprecating commentary about his early songwriting (and who he was as an early songwriter).
Despite his growing self-awareness Shakey Graves has decided to let his past be his past and embraced what his fans love so much about his songs—old and new. He sent the crowd on its way with a loud kiss into the microphone dripping with reverb, “MUAH!”
Liz Cooper and The Stampede opened the show with signature physicality, including Liz’s fuzzy guitar solos from her knees before flipping her boots skyward to hold drummer Ryan Usher’s conga drums. She last played a headline show at Songbyrd in DC in February 2019.