Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Concert Review: The Last Waltz For The Black Crowes

At the end of this tour, which will conclude in December, The Black Crowes will be taking an indefinite hiatus from music as a complete group. So, Tuesday night's show at The Palace Theater in Waterbury reflected "The Last Waltz", the famous concert performed by the members of The Band before calling it quits at the height of their popularity. It can be argued that The Black Crowes are currently on a creative high. While their last two albums did little on the music charts, they displayed some of the best Southern Rock/Americana music to be heard in a long time, maybe even since The Band.

The evening was billed as the "Say Goodnight To The Bad Guys" 2010 tour, consisting of "Acoustic Hor D’oeuvres followed by an Electric Reception with the Black Crowes." The band tried to fit 20 years and 8 albums' worth of material into 3 hours and did a masterful attempt at it.

Beginning just after the 7:30 start time, The Black Crowes stepped through a door located at the back of the stage. Each band member took up residence at what seemed like their own cubicles which featured each member's individual amps and equipment. The mostly acoustic first set began with the aptly titled "Welcome To The Good Times." The evening's first 90 minute set belonged to slide-guitar guru Luther Dickinson. His fret work on "Morning Song" and "Wiser Time" was nothing short of spectacular. Black Crowes co-founder and guitarist Rich Robinson took the lead vocals on two of the evening's songs, the first being the "What Is Home" from the Crowes latest studio release "Before The Frost...Until The Freeze." Lead singer and fellow co-founder of the Black Crowes Chris Robinson performed a relaxing cover of David Wiffin's "Lost My Driving Wheel." The band came together like a well-oiled machine to finish the first set with their hits "Jealous Again" and "Remedy."

After a short intermission, The Crowes returned to the stage plugged in and ready to blow the roof off The Palace Theater. The volume was raised as the first chords of "Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)" rang from Rich Robinson's guitar. The highlight of the second set was a twenty-plus minute version of the hit "Thorn In My Pride." It featured a drum solo from Steve Gorman and a blues jam lead by Chris Robinson on harmonica. The Black Crowes searched for their inner Grateful Dead on the psychedelic/space jam of "Non-Fiction," but returned to earth for the crowd pleaser "She Talks To Angels." The band finished their set with the audience sing-along "Hard To Handle."

The Crowes returned for a very quick version of "Thick N' Thin" from their debut album. A 10:30 pm curfew seemed to be the cause for the early exit. The evening was a fitting end for a band that began as a cover band performing the songs from the 1970s-era of blues rock. Hopefully, their hiatus will be short, as the music world looks for another band to fill the void left by The Black Crowes.

First Set:
Welcome To The Good Times
Morning Song
Soul Singing
Ballad of Urgency
Wiser Time
What Is Home
Lost My Driving Wheel
Cold Boy Smile
Jealous Again

Second Set:
Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)
Thorn In My Pride
Dirty Hour Halo
She Talks To Angels
I Just Want To See His Face
Share The Ride
Hard To Handle

Thick N' Thin

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