A week after I saw the Crowes at the Nokia/Best Buy Theater in NYC, it was time to head south and see my third and final show of the tour at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. Like last week, I had an exam Friday morning and once that was over my mind was shut off from everything related to school. I took a 7:30PM train that arrived at Union Station in the nation's capital at 9:00PM. I have family that lives just outside of D.C, so my uncle picked me up and we made the 20 minute drive back to his house where I stayed the night. If you have read my concert review blogs in the past (all three of you), you may remember that I made this same trip two years ago (almost to the day, actually) to see the Crowes at the same venue, and at that show met a girl who was about my age and had very similar taste in music. We stayed in touch ever since and Saturday morning we met up for the first time since that show back in '08. After spending two hours around town with her (only reason she wasn't coming to the Crowes show was because she was going to see Bob Dylan instead. That will come into play later), I made my way back to my aunt and uncle's house where I spent time with them and their kids and ate a nice home-cooked meal. I was in no rush to get to this show after last weekend's festivities and my uncle was coming with me to this one (he didn't in '08), so we took our time and made it to the venue at about 6:45PM. Despite being pretty far back in line, we still managed to grab a spot about 6-7 rows of people back on Rich's side. The 9:30 Club had a late show after the Crowes so I figured they would go on at 8PM sharp and sure enough, 7:50 incense was out, lights out at 7:59...
- ACOUSTIC SET - (On: 8:00)
REMEDY- Rich's tech was checking a guitar that was capoed at the 3rd fret before the band came on so my initial guess was a Nonfiction opener, but as soon as the band walked out and Rich started noodling around before they started it hit me that Remedy was up first. This was the first time I had heard the acoustic version of this song live in person, and it was really, really cool. Adam was rockin' the clavinet through a wah for that extra funk, as he did on Croweology.
UNDER A MOUNTAIN- Rich was handed a 12-string and didn't really play anything before they started the next song so for a minute I was clueless as to what was next. The band then looked towards Adam and it hit me. That unmistakable whirl from the keyboards kicked off Under A Mountain, my favorite song on Three Snakes and One Charm. I loved every second of this classic Crowes song.
WHOA MULE- This time Rich was given a 12-string that I noticed was in open E and since Steve was handed a djembe, I knew Whoa Mule had to be next. This song gets a lot of crap, but I really like it. Nothing outstanding, but it's a cool little tune that fits in with the acoustic sets very well.
TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU- Since Bob Dylan was playing across town at George Washington University, it was pretty obvious that we'd be getting a Dylan cover at this show. I saw the Crowes play this one last week in NYC and they certainly do Dylan's original justice, so it was a welcome addition to this show as well. Chris made a comment along the lines of "I wonder if Bob Dylan was playing that song across town at the same time we were playing it? I'll bet you he wasn't. That's Black Crowes- 1, Bob Dylan- 0."
BALLAD IN URGENCY- As I have said in probably every review I have written, this song is always a standout when I see it live. Tonight was no exception.
WISER TIME- Once again, the first half of this song is great. It's still a treat to hear Chris and Rich harmonize the verses (by the way, if I choose to sing along to this song either at shows or just listening to it elsewhere, I'll usually go with Rich's higher harmonies then Chris' main vocal line ), but the solo section still bores me to tears. Except for Sven. Rich's solo didn't pick up the pace until he grabbed the slide.
WHAT IS HOME- Maybe it was the fact that I was closer to the stage at this show then I was when I saw this song last Saturday and wasn't impressed, but I enjoyed it this time.
OH JOSEPHINE- As usual, the outro alone makes this song a welcome addition to a live show. The band nailed it.
COLD BOY SMILE- I was really, really hoping to hear this at one of my three shows this year, so once Rich was handed a guitar with a capo at the 5th fret I freaked. This is one of the best song they've written since returning in '05, and it suits this lineup SO well. Stellar version tonight.
SHE TALKS TO ANGELS- Boooo.
MY MORNING SONG- This was the first time I had heard My Morning Song played acoustic in person, and while it did not have the punch that the electric versions have...it's still freaking My Morning Song. Like I've said, I still greatly prefer the sunrise section ("if music got to free your mind") on Southern Harmony over the Croweology gospel arrangement of the same section but whatever, I enjoyed what I was given. (Off: 9:31PM)
- ELECTRIC SET - (On: 9:42PM)
FEELIN' ALRIGHT- I had not been down front at a Crowes show in quite a while, and this second set opener (which I had a feeling was coming) reminded me why I love being so close to the stage. They blew the doors off the 9:30 Club with this song. This was loud, glorious rock and roll right here. First time I had seen them play this song and I loved it. Rich was sporting a metal-front Zemaitis.
BLACKBERRY- A few weeks ago in Boston, the Crowes followed up a second set Feelin' Alright opener with Blackberry, and when Rich was handed his white SG in standard tuning that was my guess for what was next. This is the weakest song on Three Snakes in my opinion, but hey, it was rockin' live. They jammed out the middle section which was a nice little treat.
I AIN'T HIDING- The trend on this tour has been that whenever Blackberry has been played, I Ain't Hiding is right around the corner. Rich stayed on his SG for this song (don't think I've ever personally witnessed him play two songs in a row on one guitar) and absolutely ripped it to shreds. I don't like I Ain't Hiding, but Rich and Rich alone makes it tolerable.
FEATHERS- After Hiding ended, Rich stuck with the SG again (three in a row? That's gotta be a record...) and my mind was screaming "PLEASE NOT OZONE MAMA. ANYTHING BUT THAT", Ozone Mama has followed the Blackberry/Hiding combo a few times on this tour. I could not have been more wrong. Now Feathers might not be as much of a rarity as say, Exit or Title Song, but that doesn't diminish the fact that it is a dark, almost spooky piece of music that is hypnotic live. When Steve started that intro drum beat I specifically remember yelling "holy shit!" and looking around to see if anyone else knew what was going on. Most didn't. That didn't matter because I was in my own little world thoroughly enjoying this unknown classic. Interestingly enough, the Crowes also played Feathers at the show I attended at the same venue two years ago.
DOWNTOWN MONEY WASTER- On Amorica this song is decent but nothing special. Live it's a whole different monster. They hit such a groove with this when they play it live that I have no idea why they didn't record it that way to begin with. After the main outro jam, Rich's tech walked up to hand him his Telecaster with a capo at the fourth fret (obviously for Thorn In My Pride), but Rich paid no attention to him, looked over to Luther and started playing another riff completely on the fly. The band caught on and they kept jamming. At one point, Rich then got everyone's attention and said "now go to C!" and synchronized with a nod of Rich's head and guitar, the band switched gears perfectly. Shortly thereafter, Rich shouted "back to G!" and once again, the band returned to Rich's main riff in G. It was amazing to watch Rich Robinson, the guitarist who I've learned so much from over the years, lead the band through a jam like that.
THORN IN MY PRIDE- I thought I was going to avoid the infamous Thorn drum solo on this tour, but sure enough I was wrong. Joe Magistro and Steve coordinated some rhythms before Steve took the spotlight by himself. When the band came back in with the usual harmonica break, instead of going in the familiar post-drum solo jam from Thorn's of yesteryear, Rich led everyone through a slow, swampy Midnight Rambler-esque blues jam. Chris was a man possessed. Rich was the most animated I have ever seen him on stage. I'm telling you he was hitting his strings so hard it looked like he was going to rip right through them.
FEARLESS- Rich was handed his Danelectro 12-string, so my mind began scanning the songs it could be used for. It couldn't be Under A Mountain, since that had already been played in the first set so that meant it had to be...Fearless! Seeing this last week was a complete surprise. Seeing it again this week was even more of a surprise. I love this song and am so glad they brought it back for this tour. They definitely do it justice, though I don't think Rich has ever gotten the lyrics to the chorus in the correct order.
(ONLY) HALFWAY TO EVERYWHERE- What can I say? This song absolutely smokes live. I was a little nervous because late set Halfways are usually the short version sans-jam, but when Steve and Sven started up the rhythm for the jam I went nuts. I knew this was the last song of the set, so I just threw away the fact that I'm normally a pretty reserved guy and just lost myself in the music for this entire song. I could not have asked for a better way to end the main set of my final Crowes show of the year. (Off: 11:02PM)
- ENCORE - (On: 11:03PM)
A TRAIN STILL MAKES A LONELY SOUND- This was an unexpected first encore but I really liked it. Classic Rich Robinson open G rhythm guitar here. Nothing too extraordinary, but a solid song.
BOOMER'S STORY- So here it was, the last song I would see at a Black Crowes concert in who knows how long. Rich motioned to his tech that he wanted to keep the same guitar (white SG) he used for "A Train..." for the next song, which could have been because they were running short on time (the 9:30 Club had a late show for which doors opened at 11:30PM). Though the Crowes have used it many times as a show closer in the past, Boomer's Story might not be one's ideal encore song. I, for one, love it and thought it was a fitting end to an amazing five years spent following this band's every move to the best of my ability:
Traveled all over the country
I traveled everywhere
I been on every Branch Line railroad
And I never paid a nickel fare
I been from Maine to Califor'ny
And from Canada to Mexico
I never tried to save no money
And now I got no place to go, boy
Now I got no place to go
Listen to a Boomer's story
Pay attention to what I say
Well, I hear another train a-comin'
Guess I'll be on my way
If you want to do me a favor
When I lay me down and die
Just dig my grave beside the railroad
So I can hear the trains go by, boys
So I can hear the trains go by
Hear the train go by
I can hear the train go by
Just bury my bones beside the railroad
So I can hear the train go by
It was sad and beautiful all at the same time. There I was after five years of so much time, money, and effort spent to see this band, watching my musical idols end my last show with what almost seemed like a personalized goodbye. (Off: 11:15PM)
I watched the band walk offstage then turned to leave and catch up with my uncle (during set break he had went to the bathroom and didn't feel like pushing through everyone to get back to our spot so he just hung out by the back). We walked back to the car and headed home, where I grabbed a much needed drink and went straight to sleep. This morning I spent some more quality time with the family before catching my 2:30PM train back to campus, where I finished a math lab, followed tonight's Crowes setlist and wrote up my thoughts about the second Nokia Theater show. Now here I am finishing my third and final review of the year, and I can do nothing but thank the band for everything they've given me in the past five years. Great music, great experiences, great memories, and great people. My last show was a very good one. I enjoyed myself to the best of my abilities and was happy with the setlist and performance. Hopefully this hiatus won't last long.
A note about the crowd in my area- what a bunch of assholes. When I first got to my spot, I had plenty of breathing room. Before the band went on some dude who was probably about 6'3" and his significant other walked over and started pointing down towards the rail in front of Chris Robinson. I figured they would try and make their way to the front but get stuck right in front of me. I was right. At some point during the first set, his girl left the floor for a few minutes and returned with two older women (who looked like twins). I could see clear over both
of their heads, but that was still more people trying to squeeze into a
small area on the floor. Then a few songs into the first set, three guys came waltzing in like they owned the place and set up camp right in front of me as well. One of them threw their sweatshirt onto their shoulder and hit me in the face in the process. I said something to myself but loud enough that he could hear it and he must have thought it was funny because he did it three more times. I'd also like to point out that this was the same guy that engaged in a bro-hug with his bros during Oh Josephine. Bro. The next asshole came in the form of an older guy with his hair slicked back, carrying around a wad of $100 bills who walked up next to me during set break. At some point during the Thorn jam (if I remember correctly), this dude leaned over to his significant other and said (and I quote) "if this motherfucker touches you again you let me know." Hearing that I turned around and said "who, me? First of all, I never touched her. Second, I'm facing the opposite direction so how could I have intentionally touched her?" He responded with "just turn around," so I shut up and then made it my duty to knock into his girl as much as I could for the rest of the night The last idiot of the night came sometime towards the end of the second set in the form of a guy who felt it was necessary to shake his open water bottle in time with the music. Thanks for the shower, man.
After what was one of the best shows I had ever seen to date the night before, I had high hopes that Saturday's show would be even better. It was, after all, the last show the band would be playing in NYC in what could be years and history would indicate that the Crowes love New York, so surely something special was in store for us on the final night of a 5 show run, right? I ate breakfast with my family then headed straight for the bus station to catch a 12:45PM bus into the city. There was a little bit of traffic heading into the Lincoln Tunnel, but nothing like yesterday. A few minutes before 2PM, I was standing under the marquee at the Best Buy Theater (I neglected to mention in yesterday's blog that sometime between July and November of this year the Nokia Theater became the Best Buy Theater. I think the Nokia Theater has a better ring to it, so that's what I'll call it). Since there were only about 10-15 people in line and there were five hours until doors opened, I made my way up to 48th street to check out the music stores. I walked around in Sam Ash for a few minutes then made my way to the acoustic room upstairs, where I played some really nice acoustic guitars for about 45 minutes. I also tried a mandolin for the first time; I might have to pick one of those up to play around with one of these days. After Sam Ash, I crossed the street and gazed at all the expensive gear hanging in Rudy's, including their amazing pedal collection, but decided not to play anything. At about 3 o'clock I made my way back to the Nokia and got my spot in line. I was standing next to a guy named Brian, who had flown into NYC from Colorado for just this final show of the run, and two Australian newlyweds (they got married the night before) named Warren and Robin, if I remember correctly. Ken from the night before walked past me as he made his way to the back of the line, said a quick hello and said he'd meet me in the same spot as last night. The next four hours until doors crawled by, though Luther walked by the line twice so we all said a quick hello, and I'm pretty sure I saw Joe Magistro aimlessly wandering around outside the doors for a few minutes. A few minutes before doors opened, someone tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around to see two people I had met last year at the Stone Pony- Crystal and Greg -that I hadn't noticed were a few people behind me in line the whole time I was there. We talked until doors opened promptly at 7, when once again I decided to hang back on the railing of the second section, so I grabbed the exact same spot I had the night before. It might be worth noting that the one taper I saw in the building the night before was back to tape this show, and instead of setting up shop two people down from me like he did the night before, he was below me for this show. That meant his mics were about two feet from my face, which means that I will probably be heard on the tape. I tried to keep my talking to between songs, but the guy next to me wasn't as considerate. Ken rolled in with a group of people, one of which was a UD alum, so talking to them made the next hour and a half roll by pretty quick. Mike met me inside tonight and we settled on a guess of Soul Singing for the acoustic set opener and Feelin' Alright for the electric set opener. Incense at 8:20, lights at 8:31...
- ACOUSTIC SET - (On: 8:33PM)
JEALOUS AGAIN- My comments on this one are pretty much the same as last night. It is what it is, but it got the crowd moving.
ROLL OLD JEREMIAH- Chris picked up his acoustic and Rich was capoed at the 7th fret, and since this is the only song in the catalog where Rich is capoed that high, I knew this was next. I'm not really a fan of this song, but the jam they add at the end of live version is pretty cool.
THUNDERSTORM 6:54- Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. Rich was handed a guitar that was capoed at the third fret, so my first thought was Nonfiction. When Rich played that first chord in Thunderstorm, it hit me like a freaking ton of bricks. Like Title Song last night, I could not believe it. This is another one of those rarities that I've always been hoping for but never really thought I'd get it, so I was absolutely ecstatic to see it. It sounded fantastic, and the fact that it was so early in the set made me believe that this show would turn out to be even more ridiculous then I expected.
TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU- I'm glad to see that they brought this song back, because like most of the other Dylan songs the Crowes do, this one sounds great. Another cool cover that I can add to my list of songs I've seen them play live.
WHAT IS HOME- I like this song on Before the Frost, but for some reason it did nothing for me live. I don't know what it was, but I just wasn't feeling it.
OH, THE RAIN- This was the first time the Crowes had played this song since it's debut on 2006-08-01, and while that's a cool stat by itself, I wasn't too impressed with the performance. Like What Is Home, it just didn't really do anything for me.
BALLAD IN URGENCY- No matter who is playing guitar or keyboards at the time, or whether it's acoustic or electric, Ballad in Urgency is always a treat to hear live. This is truly one of the Crowes' best songs and it has been a standout every single time I've seen it, this show included.
WISER TIME- Uh, yeah. See last night's comments, with emphasis on my comments about Sven.
GIRL FROM A PAWNSHOP- Similar to Ballad, Girl From A Pawnshop is always a welcome addition to the setlist at any show I see. The outro alone makes it worthwhile. If I remember correctly, Luther was on lap steel for this one.
THORN IN MY PRIDE- Once again, see my comments from last night.
SOUL SINGING- Nothing special here. They should throw this in the electric set and bring back the jam from '05-'06. THAT would be special. (Off: 10:07PM)
- ELECTRIC SET - (On: 10:20PM)
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE- Chris came out and said something to the effect of "everyone knows the words to this song!", which was immediately followed by Adam jumping into the opening piano riff to this rockin' Joe Cocker song. I felt that this was a great way to start off the second set after a first set that kinda fell flat as a whole in my opinion.
SEEING THINGS- Usually when Give Peace A Chance is played by the Crowes, Seeing Things can be found somewhere close by. When Rich was handed a Zemaitis capoed at the 2nd fret my suspicion that it would be next was confirmed and what followed was nothing short of a religious experience. This was one of the most powerful performances of this song I can remember hearing. The band was quiet during the verses to let Chris preach, then they hit the choruses with a wall of volume that I swear I could feel from my spot halfway to the back of the venue. It was incredible.
GO TELL THE CONGREGATION- After Seeing Things it was becoming evident that we might be getting what was dubbed by the fans (and maybe even the band) back in '05-'06 as a "Sunday Service", where the band would play their more gospel/religion/preachy/peace songs at Sunday night shows (obviously). Go Tell The Congregation, another Sunday Service regular, confirmed that church was indeed in session...on a Saturday. I freaking love Go Tell The Congregation. The riff is just straight up classic Rich Robinson rock and roll.
MY MORNING SONG- You have to be careful when you're at a show where My Morning Song is played in an electric set. If you're not paying attention, it's quite possible that when the band launches into this song your head might explode. Say what you want about lineups and the Southern Harmony arrangement vs. the Croweology arrangement, but it is still undeniable that there is nothing quite like hearing that wall of sound when the band hits those opening chords to this monster. Given the fact that this was a Sunday Service set, I was pretty confident that they would take the My Morning Song break into...
STARE IT COLD- Awesome! They've done the Morning Song/Stare It Cold segue a few times on this tour and it's a pretty cool idea in my opinion. They don't just play a verse or two of Stare It Cold either, they run through nearly the entire song, replacing the gospel outro with the one from Morning Song on Croweology. I'm a big fan of Stare It Cold, so I was very happy to see it live for the first time.
MY MORNING SONG- This was the first time I had heard the new Croweology arrangement of the outro live, and although I think the original outro is one of the greatest pieces of music the Crowes have ever put to tape, I have to say that I enjoyed the gospel outro.
GOD'S GOT IT- Okay, we get the whole "God" theme, but was this song really necessary? It's a throwaway on Warpaint and still doesn't do much for me live. Though as I said when talking about Hotel Illness last night, watching Steve beat the crap out of a marching band bass drum is pretty entertaining.
I JUST WANT TO SEE HIS FACE- I was pretty surprised when the Crowes debuted this song earlier on this tour. The Stones' original is probably my least favorite on Exile considering that, well...it doesn't really go anywhere. Similar story with the Crowes' version, but at least they threw some jamming in at the end. Chris played guitar on this one, and Joe Magistro came out front and played Steve's marching band drum while looking totally uninterested in anything that was happening.
SHOW ME- This is another interesting cover choice that doesn't really impress me too much for whatever reason. Luther threw a Land of 1000 Dances tease in one of his many solos.
ONLY A FOOL- Nothing too special here, but I like this song. It's a cool little tune with some slick riffs in the rhythm guitar department.
HARD TO HANDLE- Bring back the intro and/or outro jam. That's pretty much all I have to say.
AND THE BAND PLAYED ON- This is probably my least favorite song on Before the Frost, but it's not too bad live. The outro jam turns into a freaky Pink Floyd- Breathe kinda thing, only with the chords to the chorus of And The Band Played On, which also happen to be almost exactly the same as Good Friday. I've heard people compare this jam to the '05-'06 Soul Singing jam, and while it's definitely cool, "it ain't the same fuckin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fuckin' sport." (Off: 11:34PM)
- ENCORE - (On: 11:38PM)
TORN AND FRAYED- This is another one of those covers that the Crowes own. I'm sure I'll get shit for saying this, but I'll take the Black Crowes' version over the Stones' original. This has always been a cover I've wanted to hear them play and I'm glad I finally got it.
THE LAST TIME- Well isn't this an interesting song to play as the final encore at the last show in NYC before a hiatus. It was played well, but the whole idea of what was going on was kind of sad...the band was saying their goodbye to the New York fans. (Off: 11:50PM)
After the house lights came up, I fought through the crowd and headed down to the rail where I introduced myself to Rafael (Roughale on the crowesbase boards, he PMed me earlier in the day telling me to say hello at this show) who flew in from Germany for the entire NYC run, then Tomer (Hotel Illness on the crowesbase boards) who flew in from Israel for the entire run as well. Both were very cool people who seemed to have had an absolute blast over the past week at all these shows. Good for them that they got to fly out here and enjoy the Crowes one more time before the hiatus. I said farewell to Mike then headed over to the Port Authority to catch a bus home. Got myself another dirty water dog and bottle of water on the way over (for a dollar less then I paid last night ) and got on a 12:30 bus. No traffic this time, so I was home in 40 minutes.
---MY THOUGHTS ON BOTH NOKIA THEATER SHOWS--- November 5 and 6, 2010 are two nights I will never forget. As I said in my blog for the November 5 show, that was one of the best shows I have ever seen. The song choices, flow, vibe, and performances were all outstanding. The second night was different. There were some very high points (Thunderstorm, the first five electric songs), but overall I felt that the first set didn't quite get off the ground and while the second set started off very strong it felt disjointed after My Morning Song. Regardless, I attended the last two shows The Black Crowes played in the Big Apple for who knows how long. I met a couple of new people, saw some old faces, and was treated to six hours music including 19 songs I had never seen live before. All in all it was a great weekend away from the constant headache of my classes, homework, and exams at school.
When the Black Crowes first announced their "Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys" tour way back in April of 2010, my reaction was mixed. The Crowes were finally touring with planned and publicly announced two set shows, an acoustic set followed by an electric set that were set to last three hours, and that was cause for a celebration. The only downside...it was being billed as their last tour before an indefinite hiatus. The band that I have grown to know and love over the past five years would be gone for who knows how long in a mere eight months. It was at that moment that I made it a priority to attend as many shows as my wallet would allow. The final number was three: November 5 and 6 at the Nokia Theater in New York, NY (shows 4 and 5 of a 5 show run at that venue) and November 13 at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. All three were billed as two set shows.
I bought my tickets for the Nokia Theater shows and shoved the occasion to the back of my mind until a few weeks ago, when I secured my travel plans and it really began to sink in that I was about to see the final two nights the Black Crowes would play in New York City for what could be years. November 5th finally came, and my day started at school in Delaware. I went to my first two classes at 9AM and 10AM in a daze, then tried my hardest to keep my mind off the show in order to take an exam in my third class at 12:20. Once that exam was over, I shut my mind off and psyched myself up for what was to come later that night. My mom picked me up outside of my classroom about 20 minutes after my exam ended and off we went. We hit some traffic but ended up making it back to my town at about 3:30, and I was on a bus into NYC at about a quarter to 4. Heavy traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel turned a 40 minute trip into an hour and 15 minutes, but with the theater two blocks from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, arriving at 5 o'clock was not such a big deal. I met up with Mike Cooper (Marc Ford on the Amorica2 boards) and we got a good spot in line just a little after 5. The next two hours flew by thanks to conversations about anything and everything related to music and the Black Crowes with Mike and the two guys who we met in line next to us- Ronnie and Ken. 7 o'clock rolled around and the doors opened and once inside I decided that instead of running down front and parking myself right in front of Rich's amps, I would hang back on the second level behind the main floor and get myself a spot overlooking the crowd with a great spot of the stage (the theater had a main floor, a raised floor section behind that and seating behind the second section). I set up camp in line with Chris' mic stand leaning on the rail of the second section and waited. Ken from the line outside liked the idea of getting a spot overlooking the crowd, so he joined Mike and I on the rail and once again, we were kept occupied for the hour and a half until showtime with setlist predictions and wishlists. It was 8:20 and the incense was out. 8:30 and the lights went down...
- ACOUSTIC SET - (On: 8:32PM)
(As has been the case for the past few weeks, Rich was on stage right and Luther stage left, which to my knowledge is the first time in twenty years that young Richard has occupied that side of the stage.)
GOOD FRIDAY- Mike called this one before the show, so props to him. This song has become so spacey in recent years; it's as close to Pink Floyd's Breathe as it has ever been, and I'm certainly not complaining. Great start to a Friday night show.
BETTER WHEN YOU'RE NOT ALONE- This song is horribly underplayed so I was very excited to see it show up so early in a set. It sounded fantastic.
NO EXPECTATIONS- Chris picked up his acoustic guitar, Luther's tech set up a lap steel that is mounted on a stand in front of him, then Chris started slowly playing some chords by himself in a manner that sounded vaguely familiar. "I know this..." I thought, and had a sneaking suspicion that it was No Expectation by The Stones, but it couldn't be...they had never played that as a full band, right? Well, before Rich started playing the familiar slide part that would have given it away instantly, Chris' intro was a complete run through of the chords, and once he hit the D chord at the end of the progression, my suspicion was confirmed. Rich started the slide part, Luther played swells on lap steel. Adam added gentle flourishes on keys. No Expectations. Words cannot describe how amazing the entire band sounded on this song. I was speechless. This was worth the price of admission alone, and we were only three songs in.
OH JOSEPHINE- Luther kept the lap steel out in front of him for this one. This is a great ballad and it did not disappoint at this show. The outro was fantastic as usual.
THORN IN MY PRIDE- Rich was handed a guitar with a capo at the 4th fret and since Sometimes Salvation is not a likely candidate for an acoustic set, the only song that could be up next was Thorn. No matter how overplayed this is, and no matter how sick I am of the jam that splits the song in two, once that verse riff starts none of that matters. This is still one of the best songs the Crowes have ever written. Like I said, I can do without the jam, but I can't stop them from playing it.
LOCUST STREET- Luther on mandolin. Standard take here, nothing too special. Not bad, not great.
DARLING OF THE UNDERGROUND PRESS- Rich's next guitar was capoed at the 2nd fret, so my mind went straight to Darling of the Underground Press, but then Luther was handed an electric mandolin which made me question that. Well, Darling it was and I could not be happier. I LOVE this song, great lyrics and man what a groove! The mandolin added an interesting element to a what is normally a swampy blues kinda thing, but that didn't matter much. Awesome version.
DRIVIN' WHEEL- This is just a beautiful song any way you look at it and the Crowes definitely do it justice. Chris on guitar.
JEALOUS AGAIN- I'm pretty sick of this one, but I'd rather hear it acoustic then have it waste space in the electric set. That said, I absolutely love the lines in the verses that Rich sings (not on the album, live only) for whatever reason. It's just such a minor touch to the song but it makes a difference to me. In a similar manner, this year the band has added the original album vocals during the outro: "I'm jealous with a restless heart" for the first time ever to my knowledge. That's another cool little touch that might not make much of a difference to 95% of the people who hear the song live, but I like it.
HOTEL ILLNESS- Steve's tech brought out the big marching band bass drum, so that narrowed down what could be next to four songs. When Sven picked up an acoustic guitar(!) I knew it was going to be Hotel Illness. I love the Croweology take on this song, which is what has been played on this entire tour and it was even more fun live then it is on the album. Plus, any time you get to spend four minutes watching Steve Gorman flail around on stage and beat the living crap out of a bass drum is time well spent.
WISER TIME- I have been openly critical of this song for the past three years. I still absolutely do not like what Adam and Luther have to offer to this song during the solo section and I can't believe the Brothers Robinson have let it become so bloated and uninteresting. That said, the verses and choruses are still reason enough to enjoy this song live. Chris and Rich harmonize it PERFECTLY and it's just a surreal feeling hearing everything click into place like that. Then the solo section comes along and for a good eight minutes I don't know what to do with myself. At this show, however, I decided to tune Adam and Luther out completely and focus on Mr. Sven Pipien. Oh my God can that man groove. His talents and contributions to the sound of this band are grossly underrated, and it was a blast to watch him do his thing totally unrestrained for nearly nearly 10 minutes. Then Rich came in for his solo and things started to make sense again. A few minutes later, Luther joined for the dueling guitars solo right before the final chorus and the song was brought to the intensity level that it should have kept throughout the entire solo section. The final chorus was huge. Set break. (Off: 10:01 PM)
- ELECTRIC SET - (On: 10:17PM)
(ONLY) HALFWAY TO EVERYWHERE- Mike called this one as well, so he was two for two. I think this is one of the best openers in the band's catalog; it's funky, in your face, and loud and this version was no exception. This version was absolutely nothing short of SMOKING. There is no possible way that you can't move your body to this song. The jam at the end was fire. Possibly a sign of things to come?
COSMIC FRIEND- Rich had his Telecaster Custom in open F, so I was really hoping for Paint An 8 or even better Peace Anyway, but instead we got this little nugget from Lions. I've never really liked this song but I have to say, after the intro it freaking rocked.
WEE WHO SEE THE DEEP- This song is not my favorite from Warpaint and not my least favorite either, but it continued with the early theme of the electric set which was pure and simply: ROCK. Triple SG attack, with Chris playing an SG that I've never seen before with a custom paint job. After the ROCK, the usual jam at the end of this song shifted into the second theme of the electric show: space. This led to...
FEARLESS- During the Wee Who See The Deep jam I saw Rich's tech preparing his Danelectro 12-string and Luther's tech readying the lap steel, so I thought "nice, Under A Mountain could be next!" I could not have been more wrong. When that first chord rang out in Fearless, I nearly jumped out of my skin. If you're reading this right now, you know I am a Pink Floyd nut so to hear my favorite band covering a great song by my second favorite band was unreal. I never thought I would hear the Crowes do Fearless, even after the momentary revival in Atlantic City the week before. Rich sang lead vocals as usual, and he sounded strong.
MOVIN' ON DOWN THE LINE- I think this is the strongest song on Warpaint so I love hearing it live, the extended intro just builds up so well to the main song. Sven was having some amp trouble during the intro, which seemed to last through most of the first verse and chorus and it got to the point where he couldn't continue, so when the first chorus ended the band melted back into the intro like they had written that way in order to give Sven a chance to fix things. His tech removed one of his cabinets and after a quick nod to Steve and Rich, the launched into the second verse like nothing had ever happened. Chris later remarked "that was like, the coolest technical difficulty ever!"
TITLE SONG- Okay. I'm going to preface this by saying that shortly after I got in line for this show at 5PM and got into a discussion about what might be in store for us tonight, I said "I'm feeling a Title Song tonight, it's been a while." Mike Cooper can confirm this. Title Song is without question one of the best unreleased songs this band has, if not the best. When you factor in the rest of the song catalog, I'd still put it top 15, and that's a huge statement considering the sheer volume of songs they've written over the years. As I listened to this song countless times over the years, the combination of pure beauty and raw epic power that this tune possesses helped embed it in my mind and put it right at the top of my "songs I want to hear live" list. When Rich was handed a white SG in standard tuning on Friday night, he played one note to check his levels. That note set off an alarm in my mind...it was the first note of his intro solo in Title Song. As we waited for what was next, Adam shifted over to his organ and might have hit a note or two to check his sound. I leaned over to Mike and went "This is it. TITLE SONG. RIGHT NOW. HERE WE GO" A few seconds later, Adam hit that opening chord and I was completely overcome with all kinds of emotion due to the fact that holy shit, they were about to play Title Song. Many people might have a problem with this lineup doing classic songs like this one, but I could not care less. They absolutely nailed it. This was without any doubt in my mind one of the greatest moments I've ever witnessed at a show. 9 minutes of pure bliss.
HIGH HEAD BLUES- Luther picked up his black Strat and strummed a quick chord that I identified as the first chord of High Head Blues, so I figured this was next. This is a great song from Amorica that I think this current lineup plays very well, and it will always be a welcome addition to any show I attend. The choruses were exaggerated and heavy as hell, just like they should be. I used to question the jam out of this song live but now that I've seen it twice I've grown to like it.
SOMETIMES SALVATION- Rich was handed his ES-335 with a capo at the fourth fret, and since Thorn In My Pride was already played during the acoustic set, I emphatically made everyone around me aware that Sometimes Salvation was next. This is one of the two album tracks that has eluded me at shows over the years that I really, really wanted to see (the other is One Mirror Too Many), so I was psyched to hear Rich, Steve and Sven tear into that opening riff. Luther's solo was good but not great. I think he has to slow it down a bit, it sounds like he's trying to do too much. The studio Salvation solo is the epitome of "less is more" in music, and Luther still hasn't quite grasped that if you ask me. Regardless, this version still rocked. Hard.
GOODBYE DAUGHTERS OF THE REVOLUTION- Nothing too special or different here, but I have no problem with that. This is a strong, upbeat song that I've seen a few times now and it has never failed to keep the people happy, myself included.
REMEDY- Once again, another song that I've seen many times but have no problem with. Let's face it...this is a hell of a song, and it brought the house down to close the set. (Off: 11:34PM)
- ENCORE - (On: 11:38PM)
THE NIGHT THEY DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN- When the band walked off the stage for the encore break, I thought to myself that I honestly could not care what they came back and played for an encore. She Talks To Angels/Thick 'N' Thin? Fine. The electric set would more then make up for it. After a few minutes Chris walked back out on stage with an acoustic guitar and the rest of the band picked up their instruments. Adam hit a really sour note which had me completely baffled for a few seconds, until he walked it up to the familiar opening of none other than The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band. The Crowes do this one justice and the crowd was loving it. It seemed like everyone in the room sang the chorus together, band included.
WILLIN'- Once again, while we were in line before the show and talking about predictions, I called a Willin' encore. Rich was handed a Gretsch in open G so I turned to Mike and said "come on now, let's get Willin' to close it!" Willin' it was. This is classic, classic Little Feat song that the Crowes play so well it might as well be considered a part of their catalog. Feat might still do it better, but the Crowes come damn close. As with The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, everyone in the crowd and on stage joined in to sing the chorus together, and it was really a sight to see. I could not think of a better way to end such a great night of music then this song, and as the song drew to a close, I stood in my spot directly in the center of the room and just took it all in. This was one of the most anticipated shows I've ever attended, and they delivered exactly the kind of show I was hoping for. I could not be happier. (Off: 11:50PM)
I said a quick goodbye to my friends on the rail as we planned to hit the same spots tomorrow night for the finale and started heading over to the Port Authority to catch a bus. I stopped on 43rd and 8th for a dirty water dog (that's a NYC street vendor hot dog to all you out-of-towners) and a bottle of water, took a seat by the gate for the bus I needed and began to process what I had just seen. In the 20 minutes or so I waited for my bus to start loading, I came to the conclusion that the show I had just attended was one of the best I had ever seen. The setlist (which included eight songs I had never seen live before), the performance, the vibe, the people...it was all just as perfect as I could have asked for. The bus I took home ended up sitting in traffic for 45 minutes on the NJ Turnpike (at 1 AM...), considering whoever is in charge of construction decided it would be a great idea to shut down three out of the four lanes on the most congested highway in New Jersey, but it didn't matter much. I spent the ride reliving the three hours of amazing music that I just had the pleasure of hearing and preparing myself mentally for the finale Saturday night.
So after cementing the new Black Crowes into my head over the past week, it was finally time to see the new material played live. This was my first show since the Town Hall shows last November, and I couldn't have been more excited to get up close to the stage and take in the two hours of music played by my favorite band that was to follow. The show took place at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, a historic venue and a definite musical landmark in NJ, on a beautiful Saturday evening by the beach. I live about a half hour from The Pony, so I decided to leave at 2:30 (doors were at 5), in an effort to try and hear the Crowes soundcheck. The drive took a half hour on the dot, and I pulled up next to the venue and started looking for parking. Before I continue, let's rewind back to yesterday afternoon. I was back at the University of Delaware, sitting in math class, when I realized my wallet was missing. I freaked out, left my class, and checked everywhere I had been since I last had my wallet, but it was nowhere to be found. Eventually, I checked one of my school's student centers and they told me that someone had just turned it in, so luckily, I ended up getting it back after all, and the only thing that was missing was the $38 remaining from the money I received for my birthday. Tough luck, at least my credit card, debit card, student ID and drivers license were still there. When I got back to my room, I canceled both my credit and debit card, opting to get new cards just to play it safe. How does this all tie in to last night's show? As I was driving around Asbury Park looking for parking near the Stone Pony, I realized all the parking was metered. I was flat broke- no cash, credit card or debit card -driving around a town with no free parking. That's a lie, there was free parking, but it would have been a hike, and Asbury Park is a bit of a shady area, so I wasn't exactly favoring that idea. I ended up driving all the way back to my home town of Marlboro, only to turn around immediately and return to the Stone Pony, an hour later than I expected, just to pay a $5 parking meter. A found my place in line, and was about 6 or 7 people back, so all in all, the pre-show mishap wasn't really a loss at all. The doors opened promptly at 5:00, and we were let in to the Stone Pony Summerstage, which, instead of being inside the actual Stone Pony, was outdoors behind it, parallel to the beach. I decided to skip the two bands playing inside the Stone Pony itself (one of which is Matt O'Ree, who I've seen twice before. Good guitarist, that guy is) and get a nice spot along the rail for Truth and Salvage Co. and the Crowes. As usual at Black Crowes shows, I got into some conversations with everyone around me, and met some really cool people this time around, so that helped pass the time between doors and the opening band, Truth and Salvage Co. They went on at about 6:45 and were done at around 7:30, playing a very enjoyable set of material that reminded me of the Band, but a little more country. Shortly after they left the stage, the techs began to the gear and tune one last time, and finally, at around 8 o'clock or so, out came the incense, which indicates showtime is imminent. At 8:10, the Crowes hit the stage with this set...
Good Morning Captain
Under A Mountain
Greasy Grass River
Houston Don't Dream About Me
Roll Old Jeremiah -> Jam ->
I Ain't Hiding
Oh! Sweet Nuthin'
Let Me Share The Ride
A Train Still Makes A Lonely Sound
Hard to Handle
Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)
- encore -
Hot Burrito #2 GOOD MORNING CAPTAIN- Given the Make Glad opener on the 4th at Westbury, I had a good feeling this would be the opener, and WOW, what an opening it was. This is definitely one of my favorites on Before the Frost... and the song just kicks ass live and is a great way to open up a show.
MAKE GLAD- Rich sustained a note out of Good Morning Captain, then the band segued into Make Glad. This one had a lot more bite than it does on the album, and it sounded awesome. My favorite part of this song is the interlude/Luther's solo. What a cool, laid back groove.
UNDER A MOUNTAIN- Rich was handed a Danelectro electric 12-string which had me completely confused as to what could be next. A few seconds later, Adam started up Under A Mountain with the familiar organ whirl and off they went. I saw this one last year at Town Hall, but it's great to finally see it electric. Great, great song from Three Snakes, and I loved every second of it last night.
GREASY GRASS RIVER- This song was at the top of my list of songs I want to see live, and GOOD LORD did it not disappoint. An awesome, light intro jam led to a loud and heavy performance of an underrated gem from Lions. I'm glad I can finally cross this one off the list, and it was definitely my favorite part of the show.
HOUSTON DON'T DREAM ABOUT ME- This one sounded pretty much as it does on the album, but that's not a bad thing, as it's a very good song. Nothing wrong here, I enjoyed this one.
SHINE ALONG- This is one of the three that I really like from ...Until the Freeze (the other two being Aimless Peacock and Shady Grove), and it was really cool to see live. It had a kind of bluesy, jug-band swagger to it, and the band really seemed to be enjoying themselves.
ROLL OLD JEREMIAH- I'm not particularly a fan of this one, but the outro jam, where Rich and Luther switched from their acoustic and mandolin respectively to electrics was an awesome twist.
WISER TIME- At first I couldn't get a Wiser Time, and now it seems to follow me around. The second solo section is still a mess, and Adam's solo still sucks (it was better than what I've heard recently, but still not very good), but this was the song that started it all for me, and I still welcome it and enjoy it whenever I see it live. The dual solos into the final chorus was great.
OZONE MAMA- I have to say, I think this show might have changed my opinion on this song a little bit. I still won't listen to it on album, but I'm surprised to admit...they rocked the fuck out on this song last night.
I AIN'T HIDING- This was the logical next after Ozone Mama step given the recent setlist history. The choruses and solo are good, but I still don't like the song overall.
OH! SWEET NUTHIN'- Beautiful. I had never heard this song prior to them playing it a few months ago, and it has been the source of newfound interest in the Velvet Underground for me. Sounded great tonight, and I think I caught a little bit of a Dear Mr. Fantasy tease (which seemed to be supported by Sven laughing), and I actually sang the first verse while Luther was soloing, which yielded a pretty weird look from Rich.
LET ME SHARE THE RIDE- You could argue it's one of the weaker songs on Three Snakes (if you think Three Snakes has weak songs at all), but that's not the case live. Nice extended jam on this one.
A TRAIN STILL MAKES A LONELY SOUND- As with Houston Don't Dream About Me, nothing too different from the album version, but it's a solid song, and it was very enjoyable in a live setting.
HARD TO HANDLE- Is this the most overplayed and cliche Black Crowes song in their entire catalog? Probably, next to She Talks To Angels. Did I still enjoy it last night? Yep. I had never seen this one live, so it's good to be able to cross it off the list, but as sick of this song as I am, it was fun to hear live. I'd like to see them bring back either the intro or outro jam in the future.
REMEDY- Once again, I've heard it many, many times, but there is no denying that this song rocks.
BEEN A LONG TIME (WAITING ON LOVE)- WOW. This is the standout track on Before the Frost... and it absolutely kicks all kinds of ass live. This was loud and heavy during the choruses and laid back and groovin' during the verses. The jam was explosive and just straight up rocking. Awesome.
OH JOSEPHINE- Great song, but not my first choice for an encore. Whatever, the Girl From A Pawnshop-esque outro is still a major highlight.
HOT BURRITO #2- This is a Flying Burrito Brothers cover, and it's a really cool song. Great end to a great evening, even though it seemed like Rich was kinda walking Luther through this one. It also occurred to me that I saw the last time this song was played prior to last night as well (2006-11-08).
Overall, I had a great time on a beautiful evening at the beach, met some cool people, and heard a bunch of songs I have never heard before live. The band seemed tight and very, very happy. It's a good time to be a Crowes fan, and I'm disappointed that I can't attend any more shows this year, but according to Steve Gorman, 2010 will be a busy year, so maybe I won't have to wait so long. Only time will tell.
2004-06-30 Aerosmith (Antigone Rising) 2004-10-21 The Australian Pink Floyd Show 2004-10-22 Metallica (Godsmack) 2005-06-22 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (The Black Crowes) 2005-09-15 The Rolling Stones (Alanis Morissette) 2005-10-04 Paul McCartney 2005-10-24 Cream 2005-11-08 Aerosmith (Lenny Kravitz) 2005-11-10 Aerosmith (Lenny Kravitz) 2005-11-23 Aerosmith (Lenny Kravitz) 2005-12-31 Classic Albums Live: Physical Graffiti and Back In Black 2006-07-22 The Black Crowes (Drive By Truckers, Robert Randolph and the Family Band) 2006-08-05 John Fogerty (Willie Nelson) 2006-08-12 Blues Traveler (Matt O'Ree) 2006-08-18 James Gang (JD and the Straight Shot) 2006-08-19 Foreigner 2006-08-22 The Allman Brothers Band (Gov't Mule) 2006-09-06 Roger Waters 2006-09-14 Aerosmith (Motley Crue) 2006-10-10 Peter Frampton (Johnny A) 2006-11-08 The Black Crowes 2006-11-25 The Machine (???, ...Water...) 2006-12-16 The Dark Star Orchestra 2007-03-23 The Allman Brothers Band 2007-04-21 School of Rock All Stars with Jon Anderson of Yes 2007-05-24 Roger Waters 2007-06-22 The Machine (???, ???) 2007-07-08 Rush 2007-08-05 Zappa Plays Zappa 2007-08-07 Joe Walsh (JD and the Straight Shot) 2008-03-02 The Black Crowes 2008-03-14 Robin Trower (Cheap Sedated Hams, Matt O'Ree) 2008-04-08 Ray Davies (Dana Fuchs) 2008-07-02 The Black Crowes 2008-07-20 Gov't Mule (Apollo Sunshine) 2008-10-11 The Australian Pink Floyd Show 2008-10-25 The Black Crowes 2008-11-03 The Black Crowes 2008-11-04 The Black Crowes 2008-12-26 The Fab Faux 2008-12-28 The Machine - Early 2008-12-28 The Machine - Late 2009-06-16 Back Door Slam (???) 2009-07-26 Yes (Asia) 2009-09-05 The Black Crowes (Truth and Salvage Co.) 2009-12-12 Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2010-02-22 Furthur 2010-07-28 Furthur 2010-11-05 The Black Crowes 2010-11-06 The Black Crowes
2010-11-13 The Black Crowes 2011-01-01 Phish 2011-01-20 The Jayhawks 2011-03-26 Furthur 2011-05-31 Phish 2011-06-01 Phish 2011-08-10 Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2012-03-16 Rich Robinson (Amy LaVere) 2012-06-28 Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2012-06-29 Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2012-07-14 Roger Waters 2012-09-08 The Heavy Pets 2012-09-11 Bob Weir 2012-09-15 Mad-Sweet Pangs 2012-11-10 Mad-Sweet Pangs
????-??-?? Hammer of the Gods ????-??-?? Velvet Revolver (Alice In Chains, Kill Hannah)
UPCOMING: 2013-04-05 The Black Crowes 2013-04-06 The Black Crowes 2013-04-12 The Black Crowes
NUMBER OF SHOWS: 12 2005-06-22 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ*& 2006-07-22 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ* 2006-11-08 Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ** 2008-03-02 Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ*** 2008-07-02 The Fillmore at TLA, Philadelphia, PA*** 2008-10-25 9:30 Club, Washington, DC*** 2008-11-03 Town Hall, New York, NY***$ 2008-11-04 Town Hall, New York, NY***$ 2009-09-05 Stone Pony Summerstage, Asbury Park, NJ*** 2010-11-05 Best Buy Theater, New York, NY***# 2010-11-06 Best Buy Theater, New York, NY***# 2010-11-13 9:30 Club, Washington, DC***#
*with Marc Ford on guitar and Eddie Harsch on keys **with Paul Stacey on guitar and Rob Clores on keys ***with Luther Dickinson on guitar and Adam MacDougall on keys & Opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers $ ALL ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE #Acoustic first set/electric second set
SHAKE YOUR MONEY MAKER (8/10) Twice As Hard x2 Jealous Again x4 Sister Luck Seeing Things x2 Hard to Handle x2 Thick N' Thin She Talks To Angels x3 Stare It Cold
SOUTHERN HARMONY AND MUSICAL COMPANION (9/10) Sting Me Remedy x4 Thorn In My Pride x7 Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye x2 Sometimes Salvation Hotel Illness Black Moon Creeping No Speak No Slave My Morning Song x6
AMORICA (10/11) A Conspiracy High Head Blues x2 Cursed Diamond Nonfiction She Gave Good Sunflower P.25 London Ballad in Urgency x4 Wiser Time x8 Downtown Money Waster x4 Descending x2
THREE SNAKES AND ONE CHARM (10/12) Under A Mountain x3 Good Friday x2 Blackberry Girl From A Pawnshop x3 (Only) Halfway to Everywhere x3 Bring On, Bring On How Much For Your Wings? Let Me Share The Ride x2 Better When You're Not Alone x2 Evil Eye
BY YOUR SIDE (6/11) Horsehead Only A Fool Heavy Welcome to the Goodtimes Go Tell The Congregation x2 Virtue and Vice
LIONS (6/13) Midnight From The Inside Out Ozone Mama Greasy Grass River Soul Singing x2 Cosmic Friend Lay It All On Me
WARPAINT (11/11) Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution x4 Walk Believer Walk x2 Oh Josephine x6 Evergreen x2 Wee Who See The Deep x5 Locust Street x4 Movin' On Down The Line Wounded Bird x3 God's Got It x2 There's Gold In Them Hills x2 Whoa Mule x4
BEFORE THE FROST... (8/11) Good Morning Captain Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love) A Train Still Makes A Lonely Sound x2 I Ain't Hiding x2 What Is Home x2 Houston Don't Dream About Me Make Glad And The Band Played On
...UNTIL THE FREEZE (2/9) Shine Along Roll Old Jeremiah x2
LOST CROWES: BAND/TALL (7) Another Roadside Tragedy x2 Wyoming and Me Dirty Hair Halo Feathers x2 Sunday Night Buttermilk Waltz Thunderstorm 6:54PM Title Song
B-SIDES/UNRELEASED/RARITIES (5) Waiting Guilty x2 Darling of the Underground Press x3 Here Comes Daylight Ready For Rain Cold Boy Smile x4
COVERS (41) *arrangements played by TBC in parentheses* Pre-Road Downs (CSN) Song of Love (Manassas) Alabama (Neil Young) Around and Around (Chuck Berry) Ride On A Pony (Free) Answers (Rich Robinson) Space Captain (Joe Cocker) Give Peace A Chance (Joe Cocker) x2 Hot Burrito #2 (The Flying Burrito Brothers) x2 It Takes A Lot To Laugh, A Train To Cry (Bob Dylan) She (Gram Parsons) Got To Get Better In A Little While (Derek and the Dominos) Poor Elijah/Tribute to Johnson (Delaney and Bonnie) x3 Rockin' Chair (The Band) Hey Grandma (Moby Grape) Never Ending Song Of Love (Delaney and Bonnie) x2 Let's Go Get Stoned (Ray Charles) Don't Do It (The Band) Brand New Heartache (The Flying Burrito Brothers) He Was A Friend Of Mine (Bob Dylan) Stoned Faces Don't Lie (The Sir Douglas Quintet) Wheels (The Flying Burrito Brothers) Stealin' (The Grateful Dead) Lost My Drivin' Wheel (Tom Rush) x2 Roll 'Um Easy (Little Feat) Glad and Sorry (The Faces) You Don't Miss Your Water (The Byrds) New Speedway Boogie (The Grateful Dead) Oh! Sweet Nuthin' (The Velvet Underground) No Expectations (The Rolling Stones) Fearless (Pink Floyd) x2 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (The Band) Willin' (Little Feat) Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (Bob Dylan) x2 Oh, The Rain (Happy and Artie Traum with Maria Muldaur) I Just Want To See His Face (The Rolling Stones) Show Me (Joe Tex) Torn and Frayed (The Rolling Stones) The Last Time (The Rolling Stones) Feelin' Alright (Joe Cocker) Boomer's Story (Ry Cooder)
1ST TIME PLAYED Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution Walk Believer Walk Oh Josephine Evergreen Wee Who See The Deep Locust Street Movin' On Down The Line Wounded Bird God's Got It There's Gold In Them Hills Whoa Mule Poor Elijah/Tribute to Johnson Hey Grandma Stoned Faces Don't Lie Wheels New Speedway Boogie No Expectations The Last Time
OPENERS Another Roadside Tragedy Waiting Guilty Cursed Diamond Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution x2 Midnight From The Inside Out Under A Mountain Soul Singing Good Morning Captain Good Friday Jealous Again Remedy
I woke up at around noon, tried to go to the DMV (or is it MVC now?) to get my adult drivers license (I've been 18 for two months now but haven't had the chance to pick up a new license) only to find out they were closed. Oh well, I'll get it next time. My grandparents stopped by for dinner and offered to drive me to the train station, and by around 5:25, I was on my way (even though I had a good 40 minutes until the train arrived, my grandpa insisted that there was a train 10 minutes earlier- which there wasn't -and my grandma is always rushing us out the door, so I went with it). Train arrived in Matawan at 6:04 and ended up in NYC right on time at 7:10. I walked out from under Madison Square Garden from the same exit I did Monday night and made my way down to 43rd street. I walked up to Town Hall at about 7:25, and like the last night, doors were already open (5 minutes early), so I made my way into the theater and found my seat. ORCH, Row C, Seat 109. 3rd row, five seats from the center aisle. I was one of the first people in the theater, so I walked up to the stage like I did the night before and looked around, at the stage, the empty theater, etc. This time I decided to cheat and take a gander at the setlist, but only looked at the first song- Soul Singing. Cool, I thought, not my favorite, but at least it's different from what they've been playing/played last night. After a few minutes of walking around I made my way back to my seat and listened to the house music (which was the same as last night and 10/25 in DC. It's an album called Little Kingdom by a band called Citay, and I actually really liked it. I'm gonna have to find that album) as people started filling in. Like Monday's show, it wasn't long before the tiny theater was nearly filled, and as I expected, I recognized some familiar faces from the night before/DC/elsewhere (the woman standing next to me in DC was sitting four seats down from me, so I was talking to her for a few minutes. She said she recognized my face, but didn't remember too much, because in her own words, she was trippin' So anyway, lights went down at 8:17...here's the set:
HOW MUCH FOR YOUR WINGS
POOR ELIJAH - TRIBUTE TO JOHNSON (MEDLEY)
READY FOR THE RAIN
BAD LUCK BLUE EYES GOODBYE
COLD BOY SMILE
GIRL FROM A PAWNSHOP
THERE’S GOLD IN THEM HILLS
ROLL ‘UM EASY
GLAD & SORRY
BETTER WHEN YOU’RE NOT ALONE
WEE WHO SEE THE DEEP
THORN IN MY PRIDE
- encore -
YOU DON’T MISS YOUR WATER
NEW SPEEDWAY BOOGIE (1st time played)
SOUL SINGING- Like I said before, this isn't on the top of my list of favorite Crowes songs, but it is one of the stronger tracks on Lions, so I did enjoy it. It sounds good acoustic too.
STEALIN'- I wasn't familiar with this one, but by the lyrics I was able to tell what it was. Cool song, it was a pretty nice fit in the two spot.
LOCUST STREET- Nothing new and exciting here, but as expected, this sounds very nice in an acoustic setting.
HOW MUCH FOR YOUR WINGS- Now we're talkin'. Number two in the trio of superb acoustic songs from Three Snakes and a real treat to see live.
DESCENDING- Rich brought out the same acoustic he used for She Talks To Angels and Whoa Mule the night before, which had me puzzled for a second trying to think of the other open E Crowes songs when it hit me- Descending! Of course! This is a great, great song from Amorica, there couldn't be a more perfect way of closing that album, and it works very well acoustic. That being said, Adam hit a few weird notes in the piano outro, where I'm still not convinced with his playing on this song. I'm not saying he should play it note for note like the record, cause not even Eddie did that, but I'm just not feeling it. Rest of the song was great though.
DRIVING WHEEL- I'm familiar with this one from Chris and Rich's Brothers of a Feather release, but this was the first time I'd actually heard it live. Very pretty song, I liked it a lot.
POOR ELIJAH/TRIBUTE TO JOHNSON- Man do the Crowes rip this one up, even at an acoustic show. Some people have been giving the band shit for beating some of the 2008 covers to death, and while I agree with them on Hey Grandma, Poor Elijah still sounds great. No exception at this show, it was awesome once again.
READY FOR THE RAIN- This was the second Warpaint b-side in as many shows, and as with Here Comes Daylight on Monday, I had never heard this one either. This one is another very nice ballad (did I mention how good this band is at writing and playing ballads?), and it adds more truth to what Chuck Leavell said about the Crowes- "Those guys throw away songs that other people dream about writing". Very cool.
BAD LUCK BLUE EYES GOODBYE- I always overlook this gem from Southern Harmony, and as expected, it didn't disappoint acoustically. Chris was reading from a lyric sheet, but sounded great.
COLD BOY SMILE- Rich was given an acoustic capoed at the 5th fret, so it was pretty obvious this was coming. I love this song, and always love seeing it live. I was hoping they'd play this on one of the two nights, and like I said when I last saw them do it in DC, this is a great song for where the band is right now.
GIRL FROM A PAWNSHOP- AWESOME. This is another one I was really hoping for, and was very excited when Rich started it up. It sounded very, very good acoustic, and I can't wait to pick up a recording to hear it again. That outro is one of the best.
THERE'S GOLD IN THEM HILLS- Going into these two acoustic shows, in the back of my mind I had a feeling this one would show up. It's my least favorite song on Warpaint, but it fit much better in an acoustic setting then at a regular electric show where it would normally ruin the flow.
ROLL UM EASY- Rich was given a black Les Paul, which completely threw me off, but once he started the opening notes I was baffled. I absolutely love this song and didn't even think that they'd bring it back for these shows. What a beautiful song.
GLAD AND SORRY- I wasn't familiar with this song before this show, but from the lyrics I knew what it was, and knew that they hadn't played it in a while (and I was right, Crowesbase says it had been a little over two years). On a night filled with great song after great song, this was absolutely one of the major highlights of the show.
BETTER WHEN YOU'RE NOT ALONE- This was the final piece in the Three Snakes trio I mentioned before (Bring On, Bring On and How Much For Your Wings are the first two), and it sounded awesome. Rich blew the lyrics to both choruses, but hey, this was only the second time they've played this song this year, so I'll cut him some slack. Plus, screw ups are what make rock and roll so much fun
WEE WHO SEE THE DEEP- Interesting choice for an acoustic show, but according to Crowesbase, this song started out acoustic when they were writing it. I've seen this one at four of the five shows I've seen this year, and while I'd probably rather see a few other songs in its place, I usually don't dwell on stuff like that (unless it's She Talks To Angels). This one sounded good, as it has, and seeing it played acoustically just added to the enjoyment.
THORN IN MY PRIDE- When they started Wee Who See The Deep, I hoped they wouldn't do the Wee-->Thorn that has become almost a given now, but they did. Oh well, one repeat in two nights doesn't hurt, and it just so happened that Tuesday's Thorn was better then Monday's. Same format, but it sounded sharper.
YOU DON'T MISS YOUR WATER- Another cover I wasn't familiar with, but knew once I heard the lyrics. Normally I'm not sure if I'd be too impressed with this one, but it fit pretty decently into the mellow acoustic vibe of the night.
NEW SPEEDWAY BOOGIE- Kory would probably kill me for saying this, but I don't have Workingman's Dead, so I'm not too familiar with this one. Sorry, but I'm not a Grateful Dead Dictionary, ya know? This was a 1st time played with the full band, so that was cool, and I actually really liked this one. Maybe not the best second encore, but I still enjoyed it.
As was the case on Monday, there was nothing unbelievably rare at this show, but as a whole, the set flowed very well with a very good song selection. The performances were top notch, as expected, and I left the theater 100% satisfied with the show. Another thing I realized during this show- Sven can sing. I had always known he sang backup, and I happen to think the Crowes' backup vocals are great (Rich + Sven + Mona Lisa Young + Charity White + Adam), but this show was the first time where I took notice of Sven's voice when it was just him and Chris singing. It's also worth noting that Chris made a sarcastic comment about people calling out songs they want to hear and the band not playing them, then as the crowd continued to do it, and some jackass decided to yell "we miss Ed!", Chris got pissed and addressed the crowd again. And Rich Robinson spoke.
Times Square was mobbed with people watching the election, so I had to walk a few blocks just to cross the street so I could get to the Port Authority. I caught an 11:04 bus, got home around midnight, and because my mom is freaking awesome, she drove me back down to school in the middle of the night.
---MY THOUGHTS ON BOTH TOWN HALL SHOWS--- If it wasn't for some great people in the Black Crowes community, I would never have had the chance to see either of these shows with the seats I had. I anticipated these two shows (it was one for a while, but like I said, thanks to a fan, offering his seat at face value and not ripping someone off with ridiculously inflated prices, I managed to make the second one as well) since they were announced and they didn't disappoint.
I'm not quite sure how to describe the mood of the first show, it felt like they were playing in my living room, yet the song choice wasn't exactly what I was anticipating. That said, it was a very good show. The second show made up for anything the first show lacked. The setlist flowed well, the song choice was great, the perfomances were stellar, I thought the vibe in my section was good (but there were those jackasses calling out requests throughout the crord)...all in all, it was a fantastic show. So with that said, it's probably obvious that I liked the second show more then the first. My favorites over both nights were Under A Mountain, Bring On Bring On, How Much For Your Wings, Better When Your Not Alone, Girl From A Pawnshop, Wyoming and Me, Darling of the Underground Press, Nonfiction, Poor Elijah, Roll Um Easy, and Glad and Sorry.
I spent somewhere around $180 between the actual show tickets, Amtrak, and bus/train tickets to and from NYC, plus I'm physically exhausted and am behind with my homework, but I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Despite the fact that I went to both shows by myself, I enjoyed myself immensely and am glad I had the opportunity to attend these special shows. Do I wish they would have dug a little deeper and pulled out some serious back wall gems? Of course. But the fact remains that this band has yet to disappoint me, and I will continue to buy their albums, collect their live shows, and go to their concerts.
Well, this is the one I'd been waiting for, so here it goes...
I had classes until 3:20, but skipped chemistry so I could catch the train to NYC. Train arrived both in Newark, DE and NYC right on time, and I walked a block (alongside the greatest arena in the world- Madison Square Garden) and met up with my dad who works in the city. We found a parking lot up by 43rd street (Town Hall is on west 43rd between 6th and 7th avenue if I remember correctly), where I found out that the plan was to have my dad leave the car, take a bus home, and have me drive home from the city by myself. Now, I don't consider myself a bad driver, nor am I a timid driver, but I had never gotten behind the wheel in NYC before, and anyone who has can tell you that NYC drivers are nuts. Whatever, there's a first for everything. Anyway, we took a walk to Broadway, looking for a place to eat. We ended up at the Hard Rock, which is always a treat...I'm like a kid in a candy store at that place. After dinner we spent some time walking around and gazing at all the memorabilia. Cool stuff. It got to be about 7 o'clock so we headed down to Town Hall. My dad left and I sat there for about 20 minutes until doors opened. I went inside and bought a "Euphoria or Bust" sticker for my guitar case then went to find my seat- Orchestra Right Center, Row G, Seat 112. 7th row, Rich's side. Once I was situated, I got up and walked right up to the stage, like I usually do, to gaze at all the gear and whatnot. The setlist sheet was right in front of me, but I opted out of reading it, deciding not to ruin the surprise. Town Hall is TINY (it reminds me of the Beacon Theater, only smaller), and it wasn't long before most of it was filled. I saw the same group of people I saw last Saturday, and said hello to one of them sitting the row in front of me. Tomorrow I'm gonna have to linger a little more and say hello to the woman who stood next to me last Saturday (the one on mushrooms, remember?). Anyway, lights go down, band comes out, 8:15 on the dot.
Here's the set:
UNDER A MOUNTAIN
NEVER ENDING SONG OF LOVE
WYOMING AND ME
BRAND NEW HEARTACHE
SHE TALKS TO ANGELS
DARLING OF THE UNDERGROUND PRESS
BRING ON BRING ON
HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE
HERE COMES DAYLIGHT
THORN IN MY PRIDE
STONED FACES DON’T LIE (1st time played)
WELCOME TO THE GOODTIMES
DOWNTOWN MONEY WASTER
- encore -
WHEELS (1st time played)
GOODBYE DAUGHTERS OF THE REVOLUTION
UNDER A MOUNTAIN- Once everyone in the band sat down, they all looked over to Adam, and I was wondering that could mean. Well, as soon as Adam hit the first note I was overcome with joy. Under A Fucking Mountain. I absolutely love this song, and think it is a great way to open a show. Bravo, boys, bravo, I can now cross this one off the list of songs I'd love to see.
NONFICTION- Rich brought out an acoustic capoed at the third fret and I PRAYED for Thunderstorm 6:54, but alas, it was Nonfiction. Another first for me live, and it sounded great. Nice one/two opening with Under A Mountain and Nonfiction.
NEVER ENDING SONG OF LOVE- I saw them do this one back in July in Philly and thought it completely ruined the flow of a rocking show. In this situation, however, it was fun. The first three songs (but especially this one) really gave this show a feeling of a "Robinson Family Hootenanny" (I think Chris said something similar too ), as if they were all just sitting in a living room jamming and having a great time.
WYOMING AND ME- Whoa. When Rich brought out a guitar tuned to standard, and Luther on mandolin (I think), this was the last song I was thinking about. This was a very, very pleasant surprise, and it was beautiful (and not flawed ba dum tsss. It's in the lyrics of the song. Geez ). Very, very cool, another one to cross off the list.
BRAND NEW HEARTACHE- I had never heard this one before and it didn't really impress me. I'll have to take a listen to the recording to further form an opinion.
WISER TIME- Alright, well, now comes the obligatory ripping on Adam MacDougall for playing a crappy keyboard solo, right? Well, kind of. While I still hate his meandering 5th grade toy piano solo, it fit the song much better this being an acoustic show and all. I've also complained that the Crowes should shorten this one up to its traditional length live, but this time, it felt right for it to be extended. Again, the feeling of "hey, we're all gonna sit up here on stage, enjoy ourselves, and watch everyone do their own thing" came into play. It was very cool. Another thing- during Luther's solo, it was basically just him and Sven playing, and the two of them kinda fed off each other. It was great. P.S.- Rich picked up a strat halfway through Adam's keys solo and finished the song on it.
SHE TALKS TO ANGELS- I'd like to never hear this song ever again, k? Thanks.
OH JOSEPHINE- One of the coolest moments in this show happened during this song- where everyone stops playing but Rich and Chris on vocals. It was one of those special moments where I realized how much I love listening to this band and seeing them live. This one had soul tonight, the Crowes really are great at writing and playing ballads.
WHOA MULE- I don't have anything bad to say about this song. It's so peaceful, and it sounded very good again tonight.
DARLING OF THE UNDERGROUND PRESS- YES. This is an early b-side from the Southern Harmony days and it rocks. Awesome to see this one again (I got it back in July as the first encore), Rich was on a strat capoed at the second fret.
BRING ON BRING ON- Hands down the best song of the night. They did a little intro jam, so I knew it was coming, and man did it sound great. The whole "like the gift of sight, the baby's eye" part gave me chills. I've been waiting to see this one as well, so I can cross it off and put an asterisk next to it. Fantastic.
HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE- This was not bad, but nothing special in my opinion.
HERE COMES DAYLIGHT- This is a Warpaint b-side, and I haven't obtained those yet, so this was the first time I had ever heard it, and I liked it. Rich sounded like he was in drop D (maybe double drop-D, or even that plus down a half/full step a la Neil Young. I was hoping for Pardon My Heart when I heard him start playing in that tuning, but oh well). Rich played some cool fingerstyle parts here.
THORN IN MY PRIDE- No intro jam, no drum solo, no 15 minutes of the same stuff we've been hearing for years. This one did have a jam in the middle, but it was cut down to a tolerable length, which is, in my opinion, what they should be doing with this song at electric shows as well. Plus Chris Robinson was ripping it up on harmonica. That makes two different versions of Thorn that I've heard at two shows about a week and a half apart. Nice.
STONED FACES DON'T LIE (1st time played)- Another cover that I'm not familiar with. This one was decent on first listen, but I'd have to hear it a few more times to form an opinion.
WELCOME TO THE GOODTIMES- Interesting choice, but I always seem to be satisfied hearing it. I love the "nah nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, nah naaah" part right after the chorus, and you bet I was singing along.
DOWNTOWN MONEY WASTER- Rich and Luther were both on electrics for this one, and Steve was poundin' the skins pretty good, so it's hard to say this one was "acoustic", but either way, it sounded great. This song live absolutely owns the studio version. The biggest flaw on Amorica is having this song without drums. It loses all the swagger that I like on the live versions. Either way, great song, and I love hearing it live.
WHEELS (1st time played)- Another cover that I don't know, but it didn't impress me. Again, I'll have to give it a few more listens.
GOODBYE DAUGHTERS OF THE REVOLUTION- I've heard it a million times on CD, and this makes three times live in three shows since the release of Warpaint (two if you get technical...the first time was before Warpaint was released ) but I still like it. Nice groove to this one, and it's a big sing-a-long. Especially for one guy a few rows in front of me...he seemed to be really enjoying it
So yeah, my first impressions were very mixed. Lots of great stuff, yet still some "...what?" moments, but now that I look back on it, it was a very good show overall and I'm glad I went. I'm still praying for Peace Anyway/Thunderstorm 6:54/Spider In The Sugar Bowl Blues, and with a lot of stuff I thought I'd hear at either one of these two shows out of the way (Bring On Bring On, Nonfiction, Wyoming and Me, Whoa Mule, Wiser Time, Never Ending Song Of Love), I can only hope the Crowes will come back tomorrow with an even more impressive array of songs.
I woke up at 5 AM on Saturday, the 25th, showered, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, and headed for the bus station at about a quarter after six. I really underestimated how creepy it was going to be being seemingly the only person awake on my campus in the very early hours of the morning. Anyway, got to the bus station, sat there for about 20 minutes, and the bus came early, so I paid my fare and got on. The 7:05 AM bus from Newark, Delaware (my college's town) took about an hour to get to Wilmington, and once I was there I made my way to the Amtrak station, picked up my ticket, bought some Pop Tarts, a Snickers, a Gatorade and a pack of gum, and headed upstairs to wait for my train. The train was right on time arriving in Wilmington and DC, leaving Wilmington at 8:37 and arriving at Union Station in DC at 10:20. Once I got in, I called my uncle (who lives about 10 miles from DC), and he was running a litle late, so I sat outside the station for about 20 minutes until he came to pick me up. We took a quick driving tour of DC (I had been there once before in my life, and it was a long time ago), then met my aunt and cousins for lunch. After lunch we drove back to their house, where I passed out until about 6ish. We ate dinner and then my uncle and I headed over to the 9:30 Club. My uncle dropped me off (he wasn't going to the show) at about 7:15, and I waited in line until doors opened at 8. Once inside, I found myself a phenomenal spot behind two smaller women who were leaning on the railing halfway between Chris and Rich Robinson's set ups, giving me a clear view of the whole stage. The same group of people that I keep seeing at Black Crowes shows (they've been to around 20 shows this year so they say) were in front of me, so I was talking to them for a while, then met a girl from American University who was new to the Crowes but had a similar taste in music as me, so I talked to her for the hour or so until the Crowes went on. One of the women in front of me took a picture of Adam MacDougall's setlist taped somewhere on his rig and zoomed in so that she could read some of the songs, but I opted out of knowing what was coming. She said she could only read the encore, which I then asked "Don't tell me what it is, but is it good?" to which she responded "oh yeah, one of my favorites". So that was a good sign. They also took a picture of me after they found out that I posted on Crowesbase, so that picture is somewhere out there on the web for anyone who's interested
The band walked out at 9:17. This was the set:
GOODBYE DAUGHTERS OF THE REVOLUTION
GO TELL THE CONGREGATION
BALLAD IN URGENCY
SHE TALKS TO ANGELS
POOR ELIJAH/ROBERT JOHNSON
COLD BOY SMILE
LAY IT ALL ON ME
WEE WHO SEE THE DEEP
THORN IN MY PRIDE
- encore -
DON’T DO IT
GOODBYE DAUGHTERS- Knowing Evergreen opened the show on the 24th, my guess as an opener was either Movin' On Down The Line or Goodbye Daughters. Rich came out with his black custom shop Tele and played the first chord of Goodbye Daughters as the band was getting settled, so I knew it was coming. Solid opener, I enjoyed this one a lot.
STING ME- Rich picked up the ES-335 for this one, which I didn't see coming at all. That was the first time I'd seen this one live, and I loved it. So what if they played the heck out of this one, it's a great rocker and a lot of fun to see live.
GO TELL THE CONGREGATION- Now, I might be in the minority here, but I like the By Your Side album a lot, and this song is one of my favorites from it. This is another one I didn't see coming, but have been hoping I'd see sometime at a show. Great stuff, Rich still on the ES-335. Chris even ended it with "everythaaang is everythaaang", as it is on the album.
BALLAD IN URGENCY- This was a fucking religious experience. I distinctly remember Ballad-->Wiser from the first time I saw this band, when they opened for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and I knew maybe two songs max, and since then I've been praying to see it again. I got Wiser Time back in March and finally got the full Ballad-->Wiser on Saturday, and man was it great. The jam between the two was very good, and they completely caught me off guard by kicking up the tempo and turning it into a more rocking jam. They then slowed it back down and handed it off to Adam for the bridge into Wiser Time. Rich on a cream-colored custom shop Strat.
WISER TIME- While I fully enjoyed belting the lyrics to one of my all time favorite songs, these guys lost me in the jams. Adam MacDougall is still playing a sub-par piano solo, and this song is not even close to being at a comfortable tempo, they've been playing it very slow lately. They need to go back to the standard 7 or 8 minute version of this song at the right tempo, with the correct solo order (Luther in between verses, then Rich on slide, Adam, Luther, Luther + Rich). Whatever, I'll be happy with a Ballad-->Wiser any time I see it, regardless of the flaws. Rich was using a Zemaitis for this one
SHE TALKS TO ANGELS- Rich's tech brought out an acoustic before the show and was tuning it and whatnot, and I realized it was tuned to open E. My first thought was Whoa Mule, but then when Rich brought this out during the show and I got a chance to see where his left hand was on the neck, plus the fact that Steve Gorman was still behind the drum kit and not out front with the djembe, I knew what was coming. Did I sing along? Yes. Could I do without seeing this song live ever again? Yep. Unless it's the piano-driven acoustic B-side version.
POOR ELIJAH/TRIBUTE TO JOHNSON- Chris brought out an acoustic, and since Rich was on the white strat (which I knew was tuned to standard because of Ballad), I knew this was next (when Chris brings out an acoustic I always pray for Waiting Guilty). They jammed the hell out of this one, and it was a pretty damn decent jam.
COLD BOY SMILE- Rich was handed an acoustic capoed at the 5th fret, and there is only one Black Crowes song I know of with a capo at the fifth fret, and this is it. Very, very cool to see again, this is a nice fit for Mr. Slidey McSlideslide, Luther Dickinson.
WHOA MULE- Rich brought out the 12-string, and as soon as Steve Gorman came out front, I knew this was coming. I really love this song, and I finally took the time to figure out what the hell Rich is playing during the verses.
LAY IT ALL ON ME- This is not my first choice for hearing something from Lions (sorry Mike ), but it was surprisingly good live. One of the best moments of the show came during this song- Rich started on an acoustic, then during the piano break picked up an electric (not sure of the brand or anything, but this is the one), and came back in really hard and loud for the outro jam. It was awesome.
WEE WHO SEE THE DEEP- Alright, here's where things got interesting. This song is a nice rocker, and when Chris picked up his beautiful ES-335, I could tell it was coming. Chris had a solo somewhere in the middle, and while he was nowhere near the best guitarist on that stage, it was great watching him and his brother go at it, trading licks, and totally enjoying themselves in the process. As expected, they went into a jam at the end, and I spotted Rich's tech preparing a Tele capoed at the 4th fret backstage, so I knew it would eventually lead into Thorn In My Pride, but first, a few words on the jam. This thing turned into a complete psychodelic freakout. Rich's sound was drenched in delay, Chris was playing slide with his harmonica around the pickups of his guitar, getting those really high pitched squeals, and the lighting was very trippy. I've never seen them do anything like that before. Eventually, Rich was handed the Tele I saw before, and I expected to hear another typical Thorn intro jam, but man, was I wrong...
THORN IN MY PRIDE- They started this one off with a new jam, which was very refreshing after what they've been doing for the past few years, but by far the best part of the entire song was as they were bringing the jam back down into what would eventually be Thorn, Rich started playing around with some familiar sounding chords high up on the neck. It started off loose, but then got more structured, and when I realized what was happening, my jaw hit the floor. I literally stood there with my mouth wide open saying to myself "NO. FUCKING. WAY. It can't be!" It was Spider in the Sugar Bowl Blues. Chris and Rich played this twice in '06, but it hasn't been played by the full band since '97. The band eventually went into Thorn as I expected, but the Spider in the Sugar Bowl Blues tease makes it totally possible that the full song will show up at Town Hall on November 3 or 4. Thorn still had the same format as usual (Thorn-->Jam-->Drum solo-->Harp-->Jam-->Thorn), but the harp solo/jam after the drum solo was different, and included some Sugar Bee lyrics, so that was, again, refreshing.
FEATHERS- Rich pulled out his white Gretsch, and my first thought was Walk Believer Walk, but I was obviously wrong. This song was mesmerizing and spooky. I took a look around the room at the rest of the crowd and no one seemed to be into it, besides the group of people I mentioned before who were standing in front of me. Their loss, this song is a treat to see live.
REMEDY- Rich had a clear guitar capoed at the third fret, and once I saw the capo, I knew what was coming (No Speak No Slave is capoed at the third fret as well, but given the fact that they haven't played that one with Luther very often and I'd think Rich would use a different guitar for it, I knew it was Remedy). This was the first time I've seen this one live, and it was pretty cool. The crowd was very into it, and I obliged and sang along as well.
WOUNDED BIRD- Rich on the ES-335 again, it was obvious that this was next. Another good rocker from Warpaint, but they've sure been playing it a lot on this tour. Whatever, I still sang along and enjoyed it.
DON'T DO IT- During the encore break, Chris' ES-335 was taken off stage and replaced with an acoustic, so, like I said earlier, I hoped for Waiting Guilty, but Rich came out with his white strat (I think? I know they do this in a different tuning, and his strat was in standard the whole show), so I knew that was out, but what they did play was even better. When Mr. Gorman started up the drums and Sven played the intro bass riff I lost it. Don't Do It just brought the house down. Everyone around me was singing along, and I used whatever was left of my voice to join in. It was great.
Before the Crowes went on, one of the people in the group in front of me mentioned they needed to get the girl next to me a drum stick, it being
her second Crowes show and everything, and I mentioned that this'll be
my sixth show and I haven't gotten a setlist sheet yet, so I'd love to get one of those. Well, after the show, I stuck around the stage as I usually do, to try and grab a setlist, and while I was unsuccessful at getting one of those, the women in front of me grabbed some drum sticks and remembering what was said earlier, she gave one to the girl next to me and one to me. I said goodbye to the friendly people I'd met (this band has some great fans, even if they're on shrooms. One woman I was talking to before the show just out of nowhere goes "I'm going to be honest with you. I ate some mushrooms earlier". That explained a lot I also found out that most of them would be at the Town Hall shows, both of which I'm going to, as well), walked out and went back to my uncle's house.
The story doesn't end there though. I got up the next morning, took the metro into DC with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and headed to the National Museum of Natural History for a few hours. I like that kinda stuff, so that was cool to see. We then took a cab to Union Station, where I was to catch the Amtrak back to college, and when we got out of the car, we walked past a guy with glasses, a full beard, and reddish hair with his family taking their bags out of a cab. As we were walking by, I turned to my uncle and said "Is that...?" and he went "yeah, I think it is". So once we got into the station, we stopped for a second until he walked in behind us, and sure enough, it was who we thought it was. Who was this mystery man? Trey Anastasio, the lead vocalist and guitarist from Phish. We walked behind him over to the Quik-Traks (the machines where you can buy train tickets or pick up pre-bought ones) and I ended up using the one next to him.
So that's the end of my story. While the Black Crowes show might not have been the best I've seen from them, it was a great one overall, and I still enjoyed it. Plus, I walked out with a drum stick, met some great people, spent some time in the nation's capital, and saw Trey Anastasio on the streets. Worth the $130 something dollars it cost me when all was said and done (train to DC, show ticket, train back to Delaware)? Absolutely, I'm glad I went.
I also took a ton of pictures, so I'll see if I can get some of those up on the site somewhere.
Now I've got a shitload of homework to do, so until next time, - Matt
After months of waiting and speculation for this tour, my first stop on the Black Crowes' 2008 Euphoria or Bust tour (and 5th Crowes show total) finally arrived- July 2nd at the Fillmore at TLA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I had been checking the setlists for the past three nights and had been pleased with the variation (and a bit angry at some of the great stuff played the night before the show I saw. They rarely repeat songs on back to back nights, so I had to forget about a few things I would have liked to have seen), and last night did not disappoint. Left the house at 5:40, got to Philly at about 10 after 7 and got my place in line in some back alley around the corner from the venue. Doors opened at 8 and my friend and I found a nice spot about 5 rows of people back directly in line with Chris Robinson's mic stand. This place was tiny. The capacity was a mere 800 people. A group of shorter people were in front of me, so I had a great view of the entire stage (with the exception of maybe keyboard player Adam MacDougall, but that didn't really bother me). I saw Luther and Sven walking around backstage before the show, and later got into a discussion with the guy behind me about the band, the new members, the recent setlists, etc. and the guy seemed to know his stuff. It was cool to have a conversation like that with someone face to face. We started guessing opening songs as it got closer and closer to 9...his friend said Black Moon Creeping, he wanted No Speak No Slave, and I said judging by the recent setlists, Movin' On Down The Line- which was not likely since they played it the night before -or Wounded Bird. All three of us were wrong. Here's the set:
Midnight From The Inside Out
Walk Believer Walk
Another Roadside Tragedy
Never Ending Song of Love
Girl From the North Country
Wee Who See the Deep
High Head Blues
My Morning Song-->Catfish Blues-->My Morning Song
She Gave Good Sunflower
Wounded Bird ---ENCORE--- Darling of the Underground Press Let's Go Get Stoned
MIDNIGHT FROM THE INSIDE OUT- The band walked on at 9:03 (ticket said 9 PM...that's the closest I've ever seen a band come to being on time), and I thought to myself what some of the opening possibilities could be just from the guitar Rich brought out. He had a Les Paul that I hadn't seen before, so I was a little thrown off, until he hit the first notes of the night. The thought went through my head "...it can't be!" and I turned to the guy behind me and yelled "MIDNIGHT FROM THE INSIDE OUT!!!" This was only played 5 times live since the end of the 2001 tour, and all five were in 2005. It's not the rarest of songs (90 total live plays since its debut on 2001-02-03), but the first play since 2005-10-31 was pretty special, and on top of that, it's my absolute favorite from the hit or miss Lions album (I'd even go so far as to say one of my favorite Crowes songs) so I was pretty floored by this one. Especially as an opener. I really could not believe what they were playing.
EVERGREEN- Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Sven Pipien show. This is a nice rocker from the new album, and Sven threw it down on bass.
A CONSPIRACY- A personal forgotten classic in my mind (seriously, I often forget that this song is so good), and it didn't disappoint here. I believe Rich was playing a see-through guitar with Luther on an SG.
WALK BELIEVER WALK- I called this one as soon as Rich picked up the Gretsch. This was my favorite song on Warpaint all the way back when I saw them do it at the first "One Night Only" show two days before the album's US release, and it's still remains a favorite four months later to the day. This song is just downright dirty. I love it.
ANOTHER ROADSIDE TRAGEDY- I first saw the Crowes play this on 2005-06-22, when they opened for Tom Petty. Only problem was, I didn't know a single Black Crowes song other then Twice As Hard and Hard to Handle when I saw that show. I later learned that that performance was only the 16th ever of that song, and grew to love it. I'd really wanted to hear this one again live after not realizing what was going on back in '05 and got my chance tonight. Freaking awesome. Luther and Rich really went at it in the middle jam.
LOCUST STREET- This not even close to my favorite song from Warpaint, but that doesn't mean that I don't like it. After the furious five that preceded it, this was a nice change of pace. Plus, Luther played mandolin (I saw his tech preparing it during Another Roadside Tragedy and knew this was next).
NEVER ENDING SONG OF LOVE- This was the only misstep of the show. This song might work for an acoustic show/set, but I think this disrupted the flow of this show. Chris and Rich on acoustics for this one.
GOOD FRIDAY- The Black Crowes need to play more from Three Snakes and One Charm. Great, great album, and Good Friday is a nice selection from it. Would have loved Under A Mountain or One Mirror Too Many, or even another Evil Eye, but hey, Good Friday is still a pleasure to hear, so I can't complain.
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY- Very nice laid back Dylan cover. I love Rich's vocals on this one. Chris was on acoustic guitar, Rich on a strat.
WEE WHO SEE THE DEEP- Another Warpaint track. This one sounded surprisingly heavy (Rich on a Les Paul). It also had a nice spacey jam added on to the end of it.
HIGH HEAD BLUES- Very cool. The chorus was heavy as hell, and while I normally don't like the outro jam on all the other shows I've heard, I enjoyed this one. Maybe you just have to be there to appreciate it.
MY MORNING SONG- Sure it's been played 536 times since its debut on 1991-06-05, but this song never ceases to disappoint. The crowd went nuts when they launched (and I do mean launched) into this. The buildup into the final chorus wasn't as fierce as the 2006-11-08 Starland show I was at, but the jam in the middle (including the Catfish Blues section) was great. I'd also like to note that this was the first appearance during this show of Rich's beautiful red ES-335.
OH JOSEPHINE- This one has always reminded me of Girl From A Pawnshop, though not as epic. Still a great song (the Crowes really know how to write a ballad), with a great Pawnshop-like outro. Rich on a strat for this.
SHE GAVE GOOD SUNFLOWER- Rich walked out with a Zemaitis and my first thought (which was echoed by a guy somewhere in the back of the venue) was Soul Singing. While that's a good song, I'm a little tired of it. Instead, much to my surprise, Adam started up the chords to Sunflower. I personally love this song (great guitar work throughout), so I was ecstatic to finally hear it live.
WOUNDED BIRD- I had a feeling this was coming after Rich brought back the ES-335 (tuned to open G for this song, not standard like I expected). I have a feeling this one will be a Black Crowes live standard for years to come, and it works well as an opener and closer. Nice end to a great set.
DARLING OF THE UNDERGROUND PRESS- Not my first choice for an unreleased back wall song (WHERE IS EXIT OR NEVER FORGET THIS SONG?!), but hey, it's a good bluesy song regardless.
LETS GO GET STONED- I actually liked this a lot as the final encore. It finished the night on a high (olololol pun) note. Chris on electric guitar here.
My final thoughts: I wish I was going back for the last of three shows at the Fillmore at TLA in Philly tomorrow. These guys just flat out kicked ass, and I highly recommend seeing them on this tour. Right after Darling of the Underground Press I heard the guy in front of me turn to his friend and say "play something I know!" then he went and yelled "Remedy!" before the band started the final encore. My point in mentioning this is that if you go see this band, know that you're not going to get a greatest hits setlist. These guys have played 43 different original songs over the course of four shows. You're going to get variety. You're going to get extended jams. You're going to get a great rock and roll show.
Oh yeah, Luther should use a pick more often when playing lead (he sounds great on slide, but when he goes for a straight lead, he should use a pick) and Sven Pipien is fucking awesome.
It's 3 AM and I'm dead tired, but I couldn't be more satisfied with the show I saw on July 2nd, 2008.