Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Alabama Shakes Are Full Of Soul

It's still possible: to surprise the music world without a thought through marketing plan or record company's concept. Alabama Shakes came out of nowhere and by a combination of good music, talent, hard work and a bit of luck, knew to find their way into the spot lights. I loved their album Boys & Girls and definitely wanted to see this sensational band with my own eyes. I already got a bit of foretaste on Rock Werchter and was ready for more.

Alabama Shakes at Tivoli Utrecht, July 11 2012

First we get the Mozes And The Firstborn to warm us up. The excited boys go full at it and do a good job with their catchy rock songs. A few more years of experience and their own sound could get them a long way.

The sold out venue has warmed up to tropical temperatures while monsoon rains are gushing down outside, when the band from Alabama make their appearance. Of course it's singer Brittany Howard who draws all the attention. She's walking onto the stage as if she just came out of the kitchen and strapped on a guitar. But oh boy when she starts singing. It is giving me the shivers all over. It's so intense and straight from her soul. It is turning all their songs into a personal story. All the heartbreak, all the sorrow and all the hope. It is as if she's telling them for the first time and we're looking straight into her heart.

The rest of the band may not be that special, but they also play with all their heart. And that's what's making this band so good and special. Of course Howard's voice is impressive, but I think that the fact that they are still so honest about their music and truly play it from their heart is what makes this band so good. All the band members are totally into it, enjoying their music, often with their eyes closed. Especially bass player Zac Cockrell's face is totally living the music.

It's great to see a full show by this blues and soul band. They don't need a lot of words to win the crowd over. Occasionally Howard will say a short thank you. We don't need more tonight. Especially when the ultimate appreciation is shown at the end of the show in the last encore when they play 'Heat Lightning'. Howard is singing "I'm so awfully glad you came" and "thank you" full of passion. I totally believe her. And so once again they let their music speak.

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