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The Black Crowes
with Jimmy Page

A Concert Review

June 24, 2000

The New World
Music Theater

Tinley Park, IL

A Review by
The Mystery Dude
Photos by
The Dude on the Right
The Black Crowes have come a long way since I first heard their version of "Hard to Handle" as it lit up the radio waves around 1988. At the time I thought it was sort of a rip off of the way the Grateful Dead did it with Pigpen at the helm in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but since then they have cranked out several successful albums and toured extensively, generating quite a following. With that, hooking up with Jimmy Page strikes me as a little strange. For a group that is well established like the Crowes, going out as essentially a backup band to play mostly Led Zeppelin songs just made me scratch my head. I can’t believe the Crowes need the money and they are well known on their own. The only conclusion I can draw is they are Page and Zeppelin fans and jumped at the chance to support one of their heroes. I believe they first played together at Net-Aid last fall and did a few shows together after that, two of which are well documented on a two CD set, which I do recommend, available only at It was, in fact, after hearing those discs, that I really wanted to see this show. The show at The World in Tinley Park, IL on Saturday, June 24, 2000 was the first of their summer tour. They were well prepared and definitely worth seeing. A rainy day that turned into a rainy night, I think the weather scared off some of the crowd, as the parking lot was not that full and it was definitely a buyer’s market for tickets as a lot of people were selling. Lots of people selling, most of the buyers looked like they were trying to upgrade into the pavilion, while the lawn contained many brave souls, mostly in rain gear.

Anyway, Jimmy Page joined the Black Crowes as they took the stage. So much for the Crowes playing a few tunes of their own to start. They opened the show with "The Wanton Song" and transitioned into "Celebration Day". From this beginning the crowd knew it was in store for what they wanted to hear, Led Zeppelin tunes. I was curious how the format of the show would work out. How many Crowes songs would there be? What Led Zeppelin stuff would be attempted? Any surprise tunes? It tuned out they played only a couple of Black Crowes’ songs, a wide variety of Zeppelin tunes got a work out, and a couple of cover songs popped up. "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Custard Pie" were up next before the band took a breather.

Of an interesting side not to this reviewer, Jimmy Page played several different Les Paul’s throughout the show, although only switching after every couple of songs. On the other hand, the Crowes’ guitarists switched guitars almost every song. Perhaps the young guys are more picky about their tuning than the Master??? As far as sharing the guitar duties, Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes often joined Page in playing twin lead, while at other times throughout the show, Page let Robinson and Audley Freed, the Crowes other guitarist, take several leads. All three seemed to be enjoying themselves playing off one another.

Continuing on, the next song was one of the few Crowes’ songs of the evening, "No Speak No Slave" while "What is and What Should Never Be" generated a great response from the crowd and this reviewer. Chris Robinson entertained the crowed most of the evening with his hippy-like dancing and general bouncing around the stage barefoot. I don’t think he stood still for more than one minute. Chris commented before the next song that since they were in Chicago they should play some blues. I don’t know if the next song was unique to the Chicago show, but "Woke Up This Morning" gave us an opportunity to appreciate Rich Robinson’s slide work as he, Page, and Freed all took extensive, although not totally bluesy solos. Page then made one of his addresses to the crowd, asking how we are doing. A slimmed down, shorthaired Page looked to be truly enjoying himself. "Ten Years Gone" was up next that featured some great guitar work that at one point featured the three guitarists forming a triangle while Chris Robinson stepped back to let the trio of guitarists let loose.

For "In My Time of Dying" Page switched to Danlectro to dazzle us with some slide work on this later Zeppelin classic. This was truly the high point of the show for this reviewer. Robinson added great vocals to really pull this classic off. Some great Organ work began and ended "Your Time is Gonna Come Next", which drew smiles and applause from Jimmy. Chris Robinson led the group through their "Remedy", much to the crowd’s delight, and it occurred to me that I felt a little sorry for the few fans who didn’t really care about Jimmy Page but were looking for more Black Crowes’ songs. Oh well! Anyway, next up was "Killing Floor", or is that "The Lemon Song"? I’ll have to ask Howlin’ Wolf about that. J

I believe it was a Hurdy Gurdy that opened and closed "In the Light," and it was cool to see this instrument worked into the show as these are practically never seen at Rock concerts. Jeff Beck’s "Shapes of Things to Come" got the next work out. One of my favorite songs, it was fun to see them play it well. Then Chris Robinson added some harmonica work to the revved up "Nobodys Fault But Mine". It was nice to see this return to its more Zeppelin like form after the Page/Plant era of a few years ago slowed it way down. The main set ended with a massive "Heartbreaker" which featured an impressive, extensive solo by Jimmy that had the entire band just stopping what they were doing and watching. It was truly a sight to see. After nearly two hours the band left the stage.

A couple of quick minutes later, they were back. Chris Robinson told us they had been practicing all week and it was nice to play in front of a real audience. The "encore" portion of the show began with "Bring it on Home," an interesting version that began very bluesy with Chris having the mic very close to his mouth singing in deep voice while mixing in some harmonica. This led into a sped-up few verses, then ended in the slower blusely style. "She Talks to Angels" was the final Black Crowes’ song of the night. "Out on the Tiles" got near a full workout before leading into "Whole Lotta Love." This was not the medley style that Led Zeppelin used to do, but did feature Page fooling around with his auto-tuning, programmable Les Paul to generate an unusual solo before moving over to do some magic with the theramin. The band wrapped up right about at 11pm, which we all know is The World’s curfew time, so the night was over. The crowd kept going and the lights didn’t come for some time, but the band never returned. (Just once I’d like to see the mayor of Tinley Park, come out at eleven and say something like, "These guys are great, let’s screw the curfew and let them play for another half hour! The crowd would go nuts…) Overall a good performance to open what looks like an extensive summer tour. I hope the shows maintain this level of enthusiasm and maybe even exceed it!

And that just about wraps it up. I enjoyed myself, the crowd seemed to enjoy themselves, so in the end it’s Two "A Rainy Night Didn’t Dampen the Show" Thumbs Up from this guy in the aisle seat.


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