07 July 2006

Robert Randolph - Black Crowes

WoooHooooo! We had a great time checking out Robert Randolph & The Family Band and The Black Crowes at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mt. View on June 18th. Tough to sell out a show on a Sunday and on Father's Day, but the faithful were there.

The Drive By Truckers opened the show with a wall of guitars and some great rhythm. Have to admit, we didn't catch their entire set from our first row 202 section seats.

RR's "starting the show" signal to the fans ambling about the commerce area of Shoreline was this rolling thunder of a get-up-and-go, kinda funk-slam that lasted nearly seven minutes. I loved it. A great soundtrack tune. Crib Jam? (I'll confirm the title later) By the time the band crescendoed into a closure on this opening tune, the seats were as full as they would be at the end of their smokin' last song. Pedal steel guitar from House of God Church outta New Jersey with a primary influence by SRV? You betcha. This guy's hot. Catch RRFB when you can.

The Black Crowes took the stage about an hour later and the crowd in the 100 sections rose to their feet and never sat again. They really had everyone drawn into their set. By their third song, I really thought their sound man passed out, because their sound became muddy every time the band got up to full throttle and it never got better. Each time, they would start a new song, then carry a rhythm, then kick out the jams, and then Blammo! Every time. Low volume: no problem. Drum solo: no problem. Full-on band: . . .problem.

Weeks later, we were at a baby's baptism, talking to a couple from SacTown who caught the same show at SleepTrain Amphitheatre and the guy said the same thing -- before I mentioned anything. If that isn't confirmation of my hearing gone right, I don't know what is. I was so glad to hear this guy relating a similar experience. After all, they had flipped us some free tix to Madonna the last day of May.
Don't get me wrong, it was a great effing show! They've returned to their roots. Endless energy. Great catalog range. Everything we expected from the Crowes.


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