Friday, February 3, 2012

alabama shakes

On Tuesday night Chelsea and I found our way down to the Croc to catch Alabama Shakes. Being the thoughtful friend that Chelsea is, she had given me a pair of tickets for Christmas which, if you know me at all, is always a perfect gift. I'll gladly take concert tickets any day.

We got there early enough to catch half of Quiet Life's set. I went in with low expectations and it's a good thing. At best they were a solid weekend bar band. At worst they were a set of Portlanders trying too hard to capitalize on the already tired fascination with revitalized americana. The songs were a bit bland, their sound wavering from singer-writer to blues to country. I never really got a handle on their "thing" and took it as a sign of self-doubt.

After QL finished their set, Chels and I tried to manuever our way to a spot where the tallest guy in the house wasn't standing - I swear, I frequently find myself with the worst luck when it comes to venue geography. A couple of lovely ladies helped usher us towards the front. Not after long Alabama Shakes took the stage, and by took the stage I mean STOLE it.

Brittany Howard knows how to command a crowd. With her powerfully scruffy, soul-rumbling tone you can't not believe in what she's singing. Standing there saddled with her Gibson SG she is nothing short of a bad-ass. The guys in the band have their own quirks and when brought together you can't help but wonder how they all came together.

Seeing their live set was a nice preview of their yet-to-be-released LP. And while I enjoyed the show to the very end, "Hold On" remains my favorite tune of the night. So check them out, their EP is free to stream on their bandcamp : .

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