Indie-rock artist Alexander Giannascoli, known professionally as Alex G, played his first Atlanta shows at Variety Playhouse on Oct. 8, 2022.
This venue, located in downtown Atlanta, had a cool and intimate atmosphere that made all the difference for his show.
Giannascoli started making music at age eleven after his parents bought him a laptop.
He wrote and recorded two albums during high school, which he described as “punk.” His music began gaining traction on Bandcamp in 2010. After releasing his first few albums, he worked with Frank Ocean on both “Endless” and “Blonde.”
The artist, sometimes referred to as modern-day Elliott Smith, just released his ninth studio album. Titled “God Save the Animals,” there are many religious innuendos sprinkled throughout his new songs, despite the fact that he “[doesn’t] really have a set of beliefs.”
Giannascoli’s shows tend to bring an interesting and diverse crowd together, as his music ranges from acoustic singer-songwriter to rock and screamo.
As this is his new album tour, he played the majority of his songs off of “God Save the Animals,” including his singles “Blessing,” “Miracles” and “Cross the Sea,” all of which contain religious lines and metaphors (it is also directly in their titles). “Miracles” has a chorus that repeats the line “miracles and crosses.”
He opened with “S.D.O.S.,” one of his new songs that repeats “God is my designer, Jesus is my lawyer.” This is probably one of his most obvious lyrics that point to religious undertones.
“Runner,” another one of his singles, is the most reminiscent of his older work, with a solid guitar melody and catchy drum rhythm.
He got the crowd going with “Brick,” one of his more intense songs. Though it is short, the audience closer to the stage managed to create a mosh pit. Some other older songs were played off his albums “House of Sugar,” “Rocket” and “Beach Music.”
Giannascoli is known for simply playing his sets and leaving with no encore. However, this time was different, even though he said he would not return to the stage after leaving.
His encore songs included many of his older hits, including “Brite Boy,” “Bug” and the infamous “Sarah.”
He also interacted with the crowd a bit, as he talked about pitch shifting during his live performances. He usually jokes around with audience members, treating them like normal people and creating the impression that he does not like to think of himself as “famous.”
Giannascoli writes, mixes and masters all of his own music, mostly within the comfort of his bedroom. He is known for his unusual synth patterns and funky autotune distortions. His layered multi-tracks are usually what reminds people of Elliott Smith’s work, a grunge, indie-rock artist known for his songs “Angeles” and “Between the Bars.”
Giannascoli’s new album is more hopeful and sweet than many of his previous ones. A line in “Miracles” says “God help me, I love you, I agree.” Although Giannascoli has mentioned the fact that he is not religious, he said that many people in his life, including his sister, believe in God. While he doesn’t believe in God himself, he thinks it is interesting.
He discusses themes of innocence and reaching sobriety throughout the album. In “Runner,” he repeats “I have done a couple bad things” but looks towards people he can put faith in.
This makes for a unique assembly of songs that all seem quite different on the surface with different genres and tones but all discuss the same matters. This is conveyed throughout his concert, as he jumps around playing a collection of what sound like very different songs.
Alex G is a unique artist with a large discography. If you do not know his music, you should definitely have a listen, and highly consider seeing him next time he is in the Atlanta area.