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Review: The Black Crowes at Riverbend Music Center

Photo Cred: Michael Gabbard Photography

The Black Crowes are the first rock band to grace the stage of Riverbend Music Center since before the pandemic with their "Shake Your Money Maker" tour. The audience was giddy in anticipation knowing that the 1990 album of the same name that skyrocketed the Georgia band to fame would be played from start to finish.

 The Black Crowes however did more than grace that stage. They owned that stage. Chris sauntered, danced and knew exactly how to deliver to the audience. Rich was mostly stoic, but did crack a smile here and there - oh and he rocked out so hard the power went out towards the end of the night (per Chris). I'm not kidding.

Guitarist Rich Robinson took the stage with bassist Sven Pipien along with Brian Griffin on drums, Joel Robinow on keyboards and Isaiah Mitchell on guitar, plus backup singers Mackenzie Adams and Leslie Grant. In the middle of the stage under an umbrella donning the Shake Your Money Maker's famous logo sat  Lead singer Chris Robinson. The band went into "Twice as Hard" and once the first verse started, Chris jumped up, waving the umbrella like a parasol in the air and set the show off with a burst of energy that would last for the entire show.

 The stage was set up as if an old time bar - complete with a bartender in a blue tuxedo jacket that stayed behind the bar for the duration of the show. How does one get that gig? Sign me up.

Since breaking on the scene in 1990, The Black Crowes have released eight studio and four live albums, they sold out shows around the world; had legendary guitarist Jimmy Page join as a member; got kicked off a tour with ZZ Top for insulting the sponsor; got screwed by bad record deals; got married and divorced, fought amongst themselves and against the rest of the world. In other words, they’ve done everything a legendary rock group should do.

"Hard to Handle" was one of the many crowd favorites and Chris dedicated to the original songwriter, the “Big O,” Otis Redding. It seemed everyone in attendance remembered every word and sang along.

"She Talks to Angels" was my personal favorite. Upon the first notes of the song, the crowd hushed and then broke out in frenzy when the full band started up in the second verse. The ballad about a heroin addict still brings tears to my eyes.

Chris Robinson sure knows how to shake his money maker and his voice seems to be timeless - perhaps even better with age. The "Shake Your Money Maker" tour did not dissapoint. Chock full of nostalgia, soul, and still feels as fresh as that first time you heard Shake Your Money Maker, all those years ago.

The Black Crowes

Open Album

Setlist:
  Twice as Hard
 Jealous Again
  Sister Luck
 Could I've Been So Blind
 Seeing Things
 Hard to Handle
  Thick N' Thin
  She Talks to Angels
 Struttin' Blues
 Stare It Cold
 No Speak No Slave
 Black Moon Creeping
 A Conspiracy
 Soul Singing
 Wiser Time
  Thorn in My Pride
 Sting Me
  Remedy
  Encore:
  Rock & Roll

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