Shakey Graves and Lucius Captivate Crowd At Bauhaus Brew Labs


Mother Nature has it out for me these days. My gut told me I wasn’t going to see Sublime With Rome on Thursday night so I was prepared for that but I was not prepared for her to mess with my Friday night show as well. I know that doing outside shows is always a gamble and am used to storms popping up here and there throughout the hotter months of the year up here in Minneapolis but the little thunderstorm that postponed the doors for Friday night’s show at Bauhaus Brew Labs seemed to come out of nowhere. Thankfully, that storm didn’t last long but it absolutely wreaked havoc on the night due to having to push back the doors for the sold-out show by about an hour.

I’m the type of person that will get into a show when I get into a show. Although I hate being late, sometimes it’s out of your control and that was the case on Friday night. The pushed-back doors mixed with curfew laws meant that there was a little bit of confusion and panic among concertgoers in the extremely long lines as we could hear music starting up in the beer garden. I could feel frustration in the air as I stood there but I knew there was nothing I could do about it so I just stood there and waited my turn. People were complaining about the long lines and the delay in getting in. Some were blaming the venue and lack of organization which broke my heart a little bit. Bauhaus Brew Labs were in a tough situation and I feel like they did what they could with the hand they were dealt. I will exit my soapbox now but I just want to praise Bauhaus for they handled the blow from Mother Nature. They did their best and although that meant the majority of the audience missing opening act Mike Kota, I knew that things were a bit out of their control.

Unfortunately, I was in the majority that missed Mike Kota. I was standing in line and could hear some bass notes floating through the air. I’d be lying if I said that my heart didn’t break ever so slightly when I realized what that meant. Mike Kota’s name has been everywhere lately and I was beyond stoked to finally have a chance to check her out but I suppose I will just have to wait a wee bit longer. If you were one of the lucky ones who got in in time to see this local act perform, please let me know how it was so I can pretend like I was there in my mind!

Thankfully, I was inside the beautiful beer garden setting in time to see Lucius. Although I knew nothing about this group’s music, they have been on my list of artists to catch for a long time. I’ve only heard good and unique things about their performance and I was ready to experience it all for myself. The Brooklyn-born, Los Angeles-bred band took the stage and instantly had me in the palm of their hands. Obviously, my eyes first went to the two vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig due to the hot pink outfits they had on but it wasn’t long before my eyes started to wander throughout the entire band. There was something so electric with the way they took the stage and they were somehow able to keep the electricity high as they played through their eleven-song set.

Knowing nothing about their music walking into the show, I was impressed by the range of their songs. From pop jams that made me want to dance to slower more acoustic-inspired tracks that filled my heart with love, I was in love with how versatile this band was right off the bat. They even threw in a cover of “Uncle John’s Band” from Grateful Dead which was super unique and just continued to showcase the originality of Lucius. This stark contrast between songs made their set seem to fly by. It was clear that all of the people who had told me about this band knew what they were talking about as far as Lucius’ insanely amazing live show and, by the time they wrapped up “Two of Us on the Run”, I was left in the audience silently begging for more.

Just as I was hooked on Lucius as soon as they took the stage, headliner Shakey Graves had me in the palm of his hand as he kicked his set off right around 8:45 PM. Before he was seen by the audience, you could hear his masterful guitar playing ringing through the speakers. Honestly, I thought it was a recording or walk-up music of sorts but that’s when he appeared climbing the stairs up to the stage all the while playing the sound I was hearing and I was floored. At only 36 years old, Shakey Graves (born Alejandro Rose-Garcia) has become a staple in the Americana scene and although I had only been listening to him for mere seconds, it became clear why this is.

Shakey Graves spent the first three songs of his set as just a one-man band. This is how he got his start and I loved how he stayed true to that for a few tracks before he brought up his incredible band. At the beginning of his set, I was buried in the audience but as he played his first track, I felt drawn closer to the stage. I wanted to know how he was doing all of the percussion I was hearing while just standing there singing and strumming his guitar. As I got closer, I realized it was all done through his feet. One foot for the cymbal, one for the bass drum. Sounds simple enough, right? I mean, who hasn’t seen Mary Poppins and the part with Dick Van Dyke walking around as a one-man band? But there was something different about seeing it happen right in front of you. To say I was caught hook, line, and sinker would be an understatement.

Much like the music of Lucius, I felt like Shakey Graves’ styles were all over the place. Within the second song, he was throwing out a nod to The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” even though, at first, it felt like a straight-up Americana singer-songwriter-styled song. Hearing a familiar song in an unfamiliar set definitely helped me fall harder and deeper for this musician but, even without it, I think I would have been just as captivated. There was something just so raw and real about Shakey Graves’ performance. He would stop mid-song to talk about a line of lyrics which gave his set an informal feeling but, throughout the over hour-long set, he constantly came off as a pro who obviously had been doing this for years.

The audience around me was excited for the majority of the night. They knew what they were going to get from the two touring acts. Even if they didn’t, they could have fooled me. I was standing there in a world that was a little bit out of my element. I didn’t see familiar faces around me and instead of pushing and shoving their way through the set, the audience just stood there in a trance. It felt like a whole other world to me in a way but it was a world that, by the end of the night, I didn’t really want to leave.

I again want to praise the staff and people behind this show for how they pulled the night off even with the wild card of the weather. This is just one of a couple of shows happening at Bauhaus Brew Labs in Northeast Minneapolis as part of the Sparkyard Sound Series presented by 89.3 The Current and Sue Mclean & Associates and, after what I experienced on Friday, I will be looking to attend the next one for sure. It was a perfect setting for a perfect night of music. Bravo to everyone involved.