On June 24th, Lauren Ruth Ward and Shakey Graves came to perform at The Observatory North Park. The venue has had several artists come in and rock the crowd before. This show was the first time in awhile where the venue has had some great live blues and rock and roll music. . It was my second time seeing Lauren Ruth Ward and I she floored me the first time. I was hoping for a similar experience seeing Shakey Graves live. This show met my expectations and then shattered them.
Shakey Graves' Sleepwalker Tour happened right after his and Lauren Ruth Ward released new albums this year. The show happened to fall on a Sunday and that usually meant the weekend crowd would be there. When there is a show on the weekend, the crowd tends to be more lively and more fun, in general. The opener was Lauren Ruth Ward and fed off the energy from the crowd.
She came out to the crowd and was vibrant as I remember when I saw her in the Soda Bar. She came out to the crowd in colorful clothes with her multi-colored hair. She performed hits like "Did I Offend You?" and "Make Love to Myself" that made me remember how much I loved her the first time I saw her. It was great seeing her on a bigger stage with more of an audience.
After she left, everyone was waiting for Shakey Graves. Despite being the opener, Lauren Ruth Ward put on a killer set and seemed hard to top. Even with my bias, when Shakey Graves came on, he proved me wrong. He came onto the stage and showed me wrong. I felt bad for sleeping on his music for all these years.
He kicked off his set with the song "Word of Mouth" from his 2016 album, Live at Levon's. I've never listened much to folk music outside of Fleet Foxes but Shakey Graves had so much soul behind his lyrics. He sang his heart out song after song and continually impressed me. He played mostly new song off his latest record, Can't Wake Up, for his set but closed it with some of the fan-favorite tracks. He ended on the song "Dearly Departed" and it was great. I listened to it in the car after the show as well and felt like that was the best way he could have ended the show.
Overall, it was a great and memorable night. Full of great tunes, fun people, and good ole rock n roll. Going to The Observatory North Park is always a treat and that night was no exception. I loved both artists and i'd be more than happy to see either artists again in the future. If you're in the mood to listen to some new music, I could not recommend Lauren Ruth Ward or Shakey Graves enough.