(Sandy) Alex G
featuring Sidney Gish and Half Waif
November 18, 2018 at Paradise Rock Club
(Sandy) Alex G can shred a guitar, but he can also masterfully meld together chords on a piano with a voice and style ranging from wailing ballads about love to screaming at the top of his lungs like a pop-punk vocalist.
Sporting shiny new clip-on dalmatian earrings, Northeastern sweetheart Sidney Gish and her trusty loop pedal charmed the entire crowd of indie-heads at Paradise Rock Club in November. She led her set with tongue-twister musings on life and relationships and gave soft-spoken explanations on the various locations where her music can be found. Though this was a (Sandy) Alex G show first and foremost, Gish’s addition as support definitely helped fill the already packed room. While any random indie-head would easily be found at an Alex G show, this particular gig was evidence of Gish’s expanding popularity throughout Boston – because a crazy high percentage of the crowd was clearly here for her.
The subset of specifically Boston indie-heads in the room knew every word– or at least the tune–to all of the tracks Gish brought out. A raucous chorus of “two-faced bitches never lie, and therefore I never lie” filled the room when Gish performed ‘Sin Triangle;’ a powerful indicator that Sidney can only go up from here. She’s reached the point of Peak Boston Indie Popularity, and will soon take over the world.
Half Waif seemed beyond thrilled to be returning for a performance in her home state of Massachusetts. She spent most of her set weaving groovy vibey tunes alone with only her keyboards and laptop and didn’t interact with the audience very much. This was a reasonable thing to do, but being sandwiched between two super social and outgoing artists, it made her set feel more like an intermission than an actual distinct set. However, her talent was apparent, and I was impressed by the skill she exuded through her warm silky vocals and her fingers fluttering across the keyboard. Her laptop seemed to think she was too intense though, as it came flying down off her set-up in the middle of the set, but she carried on and powered through. A note stuck to her keyboard read “I’m proud of you,” which was a sentiment I felt in that moment as well. She tried her best and kept going when things fucked up, and I was proud of that resilience.
(Sandy) Alex G is an obvious representation of the message championed by the twitter account @thisbandfucks. He can shred a guitar, but he can also masterfully meld together chords on a piano with a voice and style ranging from wailing ballads about love to screaming at the top of his lungs like a pop-punk vocalist. In short, “(sandy) alex g (fucks).” He really loves screaming, and at Paradise, he enjoyed yelling “fuck you” to the audience members asking him to play ‘Wonderwall.’ He did give them a little taste of the wall though, for maybe 20 seconds before he forgot the words. During ‘Bobby,’ G brought out the pieces necessary to perform the song just as it is on Rocket– a violinist accompanied the performance with some smooth fiddle, and Half Waif returned to the stage to harmonize on vocals. The audience’s yees were thoroughly hawed, and then he went right back to screaming. ‘Brick’ was a work of chaotic dissonant art as always, though the crowd at Paradise was interesting as it was a lot more representative of the intended audience for that track than the people in afterHours or at Pitchfork fest. People were moshing and bras were flying, but I don’t think anyone got kicked in the face (It’ll happen one day). G ended his set with ‘Sarah,’ for which the entire crowd was belting their feelings, and afterwards, he took song requests from the crowd for his encore. The front of the crowd was clearly full of old fans because they requested some throwbacks and deep cuts. After it all ended, fans left the show satiated and full of warmth. I topped off the night with some Cane’s fries and retired to my apartment with my emotions soaring.
Photos by Ingrid Angulo