(Sandy) Alex G always seems to find new ways to impress me with the steady evolution of his songwriting, which was already turning heads even from his early days on bandcamp. With his latest album Rocket (released via Domino Records), Alex G has found yet a new way to share his talents, with a bit of a alt-country influence sprinkled in.

This month he returned to New York for a two-night run of MHOW/Bowery Ballroom. We caught the Bowery performance on July 7, which featured opening sets from Cende and Japanese Breakfast.

Japanese Breakfast, the project of Philadelphia’s Michelle Zauner, who seems pegged for an even bigger breakthrough this year with the release of her new album Soft Sounds from Another Planet via Dead Oceans. The album sees Zauner expand her sound further, and based on the dreamier sounds with a slight shoegaze influence that they played during their set, it makes sense that Slowdive had them open during their tour this past Spring. The album is a great listen, and we can’t wait to see them at their own headlining show here later in the year.

I’ve actually legitimately started to lose count of how many times I’ve now seen Alex G live, so just trust me when I say that I’ve seen him a ton. From tiny DIY venues that no longer exist, to the more legit venues like Bowery Ballroom, the mentality of an Alex G show is always the same: keep it fun, loose, and let the good songs roll.

Even with all the sets that I’ve caught, not one has been the same. The setlists are always different, as he and his longtime bandmates (guitarist Sam Accione and bassist John Heywood) usually call audibles on stage or take fan requests after they run through whatever part of the setlist that they already had in mind. This allows the band to feel the energy of the room and navigate through it in a way that always feels fresh.

The first part of the set featured mostly the newer material off of Rocket, which included violinist Molly Germer (whose also Alex’s girlfriend) recreating her work from the album live. This was a special treat that really gave the songs even more life. A mosh pit broke out during an angsty version of “Brick” that turned into a brief minute mosh pit that dispersed immediately after for “Horse” and a breathtaking bare bones version of “Sportstar” that was the highlight of the night for me.

The second half of the set featured fan requests and spur of the moment deliveries such as a playful take on “Salt” with Alex playing around with his keyboard’s drum loops and even working in a comical cover of Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” before ending the night with “Brite Boy” with Michelle from Japanese Breakfast.

Until the next Alex G show, find both his and Japanese Breakfast’s setlist posted below, along with photo galleries of both.

Japanese Breakfast Setlist:

1. Diving Woman
2. In Heaven
3. The Woman That Loves You
4. Road Head
5. Heft
6. Boyish
7. The Body Is a Blade
8. Jane Cum
9. Everybody Wants to Love You
10. Machinist

(Sandy) Alex G Setlist:

1. Judge
2. Forever
3. Bobby
4. Proud
5. Witch
6. Bug
7. Kicker
8. Poison Root
9. Brick
10. Horse
11. Sportstar
12. County
13. Alina
14. (Unknown Instrumental)
15. Powerful Man
16. Guilty
17. Harvey
18. Mary
19. Kute
20. Black Hair
21. People
22. Icehead
23. Sarah
24. After Ur Gone
25. Gnaw
26. Salt (w/ Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” worked in)
27. Brite Boy (with Japanese Breakfast


Japanese Breakfast:

(Sandy) Alex G:

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