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.
metalfan#3 wrote on Sep 7th, 2009 at 10:20am : My favorite part was this: 'This was the logical next after Ozone Mama step given the recent setlist history.'
I want to let it be known that I correctly called 8 of the 18 songs played (Captain, Make Glad, Houston, Wiser, Hiding, Train, Remedy, and Been A Long Time), and had a feeling we'd be getting an Oh! Sweet Nuthin' as well.
Stonerock94 wrote on Oct 31st, 2009 at 1:39pm : Did you post every single Crowes tab or something?
Not every single one, but I'm close. I've got some holes to fill on By Your Side, Lions, and Shake Your Money Maker.
Stonerock94 wrote on Oct 31st, 2009 at 1:58pm : Rich actually HEARD you over all that noise?! That's sweet!
No, but I have a feeling he saw me mouthing the words.
Stonerock94 wrote on Oct 31st, 2009 at 2:05pm : By the way, Why'd you decide to call yourself BrainDamage? Is that a band? Is it one you're part of?
Brain Damage is track number 8 or 9 (depending on the way your CD is split up) on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I love Pink Floyd, and thought that the song would have a nice ring to it as a username.
And please, can you condense your comments to one or two posts?