Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review- The Black Crowes w/ Tedeschi Trucks Band and The London Souls @Meadowbrook Music Festival in Rochester Hills, MI on August 15, 2013

The Black Crowes w/ Tedeschi Trucks Band and The London Souls @Meadowbrook Music Festival in Rochester Hills, MI on August 15, 2013. 

I love how the lawn wraps all the way around to the side of the stage.
We have been having a wet, mild summer here in Metro Detroit. Tons of rain but mellow temperatures, the day of this show being no exception. The high was in the high 70s but by the time that The Crowes came on the temperature had dropped into the mid 60s. I love outdoor shows when they are like this, as it is warm enough to enjoy but no so hot that you're dripping with sweat. 
This is only the second time that the band has played at this venue, the first time being in July of 1996. Like that show, they opened with Under A Mountain, which was at that time off of the then as-yet-unreleased Three Snakes And One Charm but is now an old favorite. Meadowbrook is a perfect sized venue for The Crowes, not so huge that it sucks anywhere in it and not so small that you are herded like cattle. It has a chill vibe to it that I like a lot. The roof of the pavilion looks like a barn. 
Everyone loves Soul Singing. Everyone sings and dances along to it. My wife loves it. I am the only person on Earth who cringes every time the band plays it live, and they do it almost every time I see them. I am cool with that after all of these years. I have accepted that they will play this song every show until either they or I die of old age and have moved on. Twice As Hard was next. The band has been playing a lot of the earlier singles on this tour. It's like they have rediscovered their catalog after their two year hiatus. The band also seems to be having a helluva lot of fun on this tour, especially Chris Robinson. He is more animated and smiles more than I've ever seen him in the 14 Crowes shows or 4 solos shows that I've been lucky enough to see. 
Remedy was played early, being in the fourth spot of the night. I've seen it be an opener before so it wasn't a complete shock, but my wife was accustomed to it being an encore, or close to it. I am accustomed to not being accustomed to anything at a Crowes gig. Except for Soul Singing, which I can't seem to get away from. Sister Luck was the deep Crowes cut of the night, being the first time that the band has played it in the Detroit area in at least 20 years.
Wiser Time is a live staple that I enjoy. I love the song, and I love the jams, as they serve as a piss break/ grab a drink interlude. The jams were tight and on instead of some of the loose, sprawling, sloppy ones that the band has done in the past. The band has been great both times that I've seen them this year. Being a Detroitian, I miss Eddie, but Alan MacDougall is just as good on the keys.
She Talks To Angels is one that folks like to hear. I like it well enough but would have preferred to hear Go Faster or something else. Thorn In My Pride began with a long jam which actually had a point. So many jams just seem to meander along but the guys seemed like they knew where they wanted to go with it tonight. The song has always been home to plenty of sprawling jams. Jealous Again rounded out the main set. Lots of singles tonight. Like I said, the band seems like they have rediscovered their earlier stuff, with only one song being post 1996 and four songs from the first album played tonight. 
After a brief break for extra stuff being brought out, the members of the Tedeschi Trucks Band and The London Souls came out and played some covers for the five song encore. Don't Know Why is an Eric Clapton song that the band does live a lot. It was also on the 2009 release Warpaint Live. Space Captain is a Joe Cocker cover also familiar to The Crowes faithful, as it was on the 2006 live album Freak And Roll...Into The Fog. Let's Go Get Stoned was another cover, but the band hardly had to suggest this to the crowd who already had their buzz on for quite a while by this point. Chris Robinson and Susan Tedeschi clearly had some chemistry going on there during all of these songs. Show Me and Turn On Your Love Light, both covers, rounded out the show. By this point the band was a mob, with everyone being up there from all of the bands. 

We were walking out as they were winding it down and saying goodbye. This is the view from the back of the pavilion.
I have to say that this show was really cool. The bands seemed to dig it, the crowd was cool and dickhead free, and the weather was perfect. The band has just announced that they are taking 2014 off to do other stuff, which is fine. I always enjoy the side gigs, and if the time off makes future Crowes gigs this much fun then I can wait a year or three. While I wish they were coming back to the Detroit area on the final leg of the tour this fall, I can't whine. We've had two Crowes shows here this year and I'm not greedy. My wife and I are celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary this October, and we have set a weekend to celebrate it. We couldn't figure out where to go, but have decided to try and get tickets for The Black Crowes in New York and fly out for the show. They have always been our thing, so it all sort of fits together perfectly.

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