Posted December 10, 2013 by Portland Live in Show Reviews

The Black Crowes // 12-6-13 // Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall


Friday, December 6th was a cold 20-something degree night in Portland. This fact was acknowledged by every concert goer that was packed into the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, as well as Chris Robinson, lead singer of the Black Crowes. But, as Robinson yelled into the crowd about the cold weather, he also said it was still “a good night for a Friday rock show!”

Not needing an opening band to start their set, the Black Crowes promptly walked on stage at 8:30pm, waving and smiling to their anticipating fans. Incense was  blowing from the stage as the set started with “Sting Me” from their 1992 chart-topping album The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. By the time they began playing their second song, “Twice as Hard ” from their debut album Shake Your Money Maker, the entire crowd was on their feet chanting and jumping. If you were still sitting, you wouldn’t have been able to see.

Many of the songs that followed featured an extension, showing off the power and skill of each band member. Everyone had their turn at a solo, while Robinson danced to the rhythm of the music, not able to stand still, just like much of the crowd.

Half-way through the set, Robinson grabbed a guitar of his own while his band-mate and brother, Rich Robinson took on lead vocals for the song, ‘Oh! Sweet Nuthin’,” a cover of The Velvet Underground. Other instruments to make an appearance at the show were a tambourine and a harmonica, both played by Chris. After his harmonica solo ended, he threw it into the crowd and one lucky fan got to take it home.

While many fans sang each lyric to each song, one song that all fans really connected to was the hit, “She Talks to Angels”. Most of the audience swayed with their eyes closed, some belting out the lyrics, while others just let it sink in.

Nearing the end of the night, they played the song “Hard to Handle,” allowing the crowd to chant the catchy chorus lyrics. For an electrifying ender, “Hard to Handle” blended with the next song, a Billy Joe Royal cover “Hush”. By this time, even people with an unobstructed view in the front row of the balcony were standing on their feet. The crowd was going crazy and the band members were laughing as they waved and walked off stage.

But the lights didn’t turn off…an inevitable sign of an encore.

As the Crowes came back out onto the stage, they started their encore with a Rolling Stones cover, “Torn and Frayed.” Pleased to get one more song, the audience roared, even with one fan giving Chris  a glittery feather and another fan throwing what looked to be undergarments toward the stage. To end the encore they sang one more cover by the Rolling Stones, “Happy.” The chorus and lyrics that ended the song said, “baby keep me happy” which was just what the Black Crowes did.

As they walked off the stage, the guitar players threw their picks into the crowd. Audience members chanted “encore” again, but this time the lights turned on and it was time for us happy fans to brave the cold outside once more.

Portland Live



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