(Sandy) Alex G is hard to pin down. Even his moniker is slippery — quietly, smoothly transitioning from Alex G to (Sandy) Alex G without much fuss. His sound is a convoluted intersection of low-fi, folk, country and indie-rock. The bandcamp phenom had four albums out by the time he was 19, one of which was the acclaimed Beach Music. His latest release, Rocket, brought more surprises; there was some bite behind his muddled sound.

All of these oddities and uncertainties culminated at El Club this past Saturday night. The band’s arrival on stage was marked by, of all things, a blast of the Rascal Flatt’s cover of “Life is a Highway” from Pixar’s “Cars.” The song reappeared throughout the evening — both from the speakers and from the band. At first a welcome-yet-puzzling presence, by the end of the night the song felt more like an inside joke between the crowd and the comedic frontman.

But this wasn’t the only quirk of the evening. In between songs, (Sandy) would occasionally tap his keyboard, prompting a pre-set slew of beats to shoot over the crowd. These moments were small but comical, instances of (Sandy), once again, making jokes and playing with his audience. He let the noise go on just long enough to make the crowd wonder before shutting it off, chuckling and getting back to business.

The night was in a permanent state of transition; the crowd fed off of the constant change in pace. From swaying quietly as Michelle of Japanese Breakfast came on stage to perform “Brite Boy” to the harsh energy of “Brick,” the crowd was rapt. Just as (Sandy) moved from guitar to keyboard, the mass of bodies changed from stagnant to thrashing. (Sandy) allowed his performance to be free-flowing, at one point announcing the end of his planned setlist and asking for requests.

The show concluded with another unexpected presence. Mid-way through “Adam,” from 2015’s Trick, (Sandy) broke into the opening chords of Blink 182’s “What’s My Age Again?”. The two tracks have little in common sonically — the former a quiet, two-minute peek into a crush, the latter a raucous anthem of ignorant youth. But, as (Sandy) always does, he made the impossible coming together work. The dichotomy of “Adam” and “What’s My Age Again?” was a brilliant way to wrap the evening, the crowd thrashed then calmed as (Sandy) eased back into “Adam.” And as (Sandy) and his band were exiting the stage, right on cue, “Life is a Highway” started playing.

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