The Black Crowes
A Concert Review
The Dude on the Right
Way back when, it almost seems before the end of time, I saw a
concert. Me and my buddy made our way up to the north side to the
Aragon Ballroom to see the first of two shows by the Black Crowes.
The Black Crowes are fresh on the heels of their new album
Amorica, and also fresh off the heals of a show that, well, we'll
give my end remarks later.
It was a show intermixed with old and new and newer unreleased
material, a show where some randomness abounded, and a show that, in
the end, well, we'll get to that later.
The night began with some excellent guitar work, costumed
creatures, and some basic Black Crowes hits, and continued with some
extended guitar solos, low spots, and what seemed like a lack of
energy. Sure, the hits were there, and I enjoyed the BB King song,
boy did I enjoy that BB, but the show, although technically good,
seemed to like The Crowes just didn't want to emit any real bursts
of energy to a crowd just waiting to burst.
Yep, as a "Hard to Handle" seemed to be played at about
30 on a 33 1/3rd phonograph, and the new song they played seemed to
lull the crowd into a slight abyss. From what I had seen before, The
Black Crowes seemed to abound with energy, entice the crowd with it,
and build it up to a crowd dying for it. This show didn't do it.
With the closing of "Remedy," the crowd finally got
their chance, only to end to soon as the Crowes let the crowd leave,
without a true encore. Alright, true, they played through the break
before the encore, so they skipped the encore, but aren't encores
there for a reason. Usually that reason is to leave the crowd drunk
with excitement, and wanting more. Unfortunately, they left the
crowd just drunk.
A little disappointed, and from the sounds of the crowd they were
a little disappointed too, I hate to do it but I'm giving The Black
Crowes ONE THUMB DOWN. Musically good, but energy lacking, they left
me and the crowd waiting to let the energy go, but there it was,
stuck, on the ride back to campus.
Stay tuned for more and more from me, rejuvenated from Spring
Break, I got a bad ol' tan!! So, that's all for this episode. As
always, Party Smart, and more as always, Rellim Reeb!!!
The Dude on the Left
The Black Crowes emerged from under their disguise of The O-D
Jubilee band to play the Aragon Ballroom on March 10, 1995. The
Crowes began with some dual slide-guitar action that made this
reviewer think of the Allman Brothers, but it was real Black Crowes.
As Chris Robinson sang about being saved, a costumed devil climbed
on the speakers behind the band and tried to reach out and take our
singer away. By some artful dodging, Mr. Robinson escaped.
The band has said in past interviews that they do not work with a
set list. This was evident by the chatter between members as songs
wound down, as the band was figuring out what they were going to
play next. I like this philosophy, it keeps the band on its toes and
the shows fresh. It also prevents the group from falling into a rut
of playing the same songs, in the same order, every night. This
evening brought us some of the Crowes old hits, new hits, and some
songs they just like to play. They worked their way through
"Twice as Hard", "Torn in my Pride" including a
great harp solo, "Hard to Handle", and "Jealous
Again". The band was joined by one of the trumpet players from
the Dirty Dozen Brass Band for "Non-Fiction". The boys
also covered Gram Parson's "She" and BB King's "Woke
up this Morning". As they gave their interpretation of the BB
King song, my fellow review said to me, "They are getting down
with their Bad selves". Many people do not know, but my partner
is quite the HUGE BB King fan and he loves hearing BB's music. When
I go to visit him it seems like all he listens to is BB King, hour
after hour. I have to almost break his arm, to slip in a John Lee
Hooker record! The Crowes finished with their latest hit
"Remedy", to the dancing of a large costumed crow a top
their speaker stacks. One thumb up for the Black Crowes. The band
let people tape them this evening and about 10 microphone stands
around the sound board proved this true. Find a copy of the tape and
listen for yourself.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band opened the evening with their all to
brief 45 minute set. This band is led by a five piece horn section
consisting of two trumpets, two saxophones, and a tuba. These boys
rocked! They played a style of New Orleans music that made this
reviewer want to just dance around. All but their closer were
instrumentals, which was their own "Feat's Don't Fail Me".
The only thing missing from this Mardi Gras atmosphere was the bead
necklaces. I'd have to give these boys two thumbs up. Hang