Photos by Joyce Lee
(SANDY) Alex G has had quite a year – from collaborating with Frank Ocean to releasing his second major label effort, Rocket, Alex is fast becoming the poster boy of indie sad rock. Most of 2017 has passed, and (SANDY) Alex G’s new record Rocket has remained a strong contender for album of the year.
With undoubtedly the most extensive catalogue of any 24 year old musician, the prolific Alex G gave Brooklyn (and Pitchfork Livestream viewers) a hell of a show. Walking on to stage to Rascal Flatts’ “Life Is a Highway,” Alex and his band jumped into a rather serious first song, “Judge.” That was swiftly followed by “Forever” off of Trick and “Bobby” and “Proud,” two folk influenced tracks off of Rocket.
Through the show, Alex did not shy away from banter that betray the seriousness and often somber tone of his discography. Mid-set, his guitar string broke and the band played “You Got a Friend In Me” over and over again. Alex also screamed “SHUT UP!!!! SHUT UP!!!” jokingly at the audience when they hollered out song requests.
Outside of his witty stage banter and nonchalant personality, Alex evoked the Elliot Smith in his music. His tracks drip melancholy feelings with their lyrics (“I painted pictures of my heart/the colors blue and purple start/to bleed into an endless dark” from “Bobby”) and incite intangible longing for something. It’s hard not to relate to Alex – he has zero pretense despite having played an incredible show and created simple yet emotional music that’s moved so many kids and adults alike.
As the set continued, Alex performed “Sportstar,” perhaps one of the best songs of the year. Tinged with autotune, the track seemed to detail a tale of a toxic relationship, while likening the situation to wanting to play on a sports team. This was followed by the Death Grips-esque “Brick,” a track in which Alex aggressively screams atop an aggressive drum track. The kids soaked up every second of this particular performance and moshed their hearts out.
The last third of the set consisted of requests, where Alex and his band played “Icehead,” “Kute,” and “Brite Boy” with his opener, Japanese Breakfast. The moment the show ended, 24-year-old Alex hopped off stage to meet his fans, signing backs and holding his heart in gratitude for the compliments.
(SANDY) Alex G