REVIEW: Alex G’s Very-DIY Set at First Unitarian Church


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Bedroom rocker Alex Giannascoli (aka Alex G) is one of the latest Philly artists to pop onto the national scene, but this weekend’s show wasn’t too far removed from his comfort zone. The Temple English lit major — who’s one of the most-buzzed-about musicians in town — got his start playing DIY house shows around the North Philly area. Saturday night, he ended up almost back where he began at what is arguably Philly’s most DIY concert venue, First Unitarian Church.

Giannascoli’s stage presence was typical Alex G — awkward, rambling, and off-the-cuff. At times he’d quip things like, “I’d take off my sweatshirt, but I don’t want everybody here to see that I’m wearing a wire,” or jokingly screaming at the crowd to “shut the fuck up!” His ramblings usually inspired laughter from those in the audience — mostly college-aged kids in thrift store duds and drinking cans of cheap beer..

The setlist included many songs off Alex G’s new album, Beach Music, like “Bug,” “Kicker” and “Salt.” The low-key vibe of the music matched that of the sold-out crowd, as many sat near the stage to soak in the music, killing the rowdy-teenager stereotype. In fact, the abundance of students made the show feel a lot like a basement show. Additionally, because of the Church’s lax security, fans were able to sneak in cans of beer, and illegal vendors sold bottled water and loose cigarettes — for $1 apiece — at the door. At Alex G concerts, some things just never change.

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