Monday 24 June 2013

At The Centre Of The Cosmos With The Black Crowes

After a two year absence The Black Crowes are back where they started their indefinite hiatus, Paradiso Amsterdam. Or the centre of the cosmos as the band from Atlanta calls the Dutch rock temple. They always had a special relationship with this venue and seeing them play here is a real treat.

The Black Crowes at Paradiso Amsterdam, June 19 2013

Brothers Chris and Rich Robinson have a complicated love-hate relationship and need some time away from each other now and then. Chris released another Chris Robinson Brotherhood record and Rich toured in support of his second solo album during this last hiatus. It gave them enough time to recharge and pick up The Black Crowes where they left off.

It's good to see how well the band came out of their hibernation. With the scent of incense they take us on a trip through time and space, that can be considered one of their finest. They prove tonight, still to be one of the top live bands around. As if we needed that proof. The combination of blues, soul and Southern rock has been perfected in numerous live shows. Their set list can be different every night, backed up by an impressive collection of wonderful and strong songs. Tonight they lean more heavily towards blues and soul.

Next to big hits 'Jealous Again' and the always wonderful 'Soul Singing', more quiet, soulful gems like 'Thorn In My Pride' and 'Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye' make it into the set. It's one big build up to the epic part of the performance, a fifteen minute jam of 'Wiser Time'. It sums up the whole history and quality of the band in one song. The tight groove machine, driven by drummer Steve Gorman and bass player Sven Pipien. Adam MacDougall's swinging organ, that garnishes the music with some extra spice. The duelling guitars, taking solos by turn that finally lead into a climax where Rich Robinson and new guitarist Jackie Greene go the whole nine yards. And of course the mighty voice of Chris Robinson, who can sing any blues, rock and soul song seemingly effortlessly. His relaxed hippie-like stage performance, with the characteristic dances and moves, is showing that he's totally into it like always. Even a troubling monitor speaker can't put him off.

A two hours and fifteen minutes performance without a weak moment shows The Black Crowes are still at their peak after more than twenty-five years. And with an occasional break now and then the band is nowhere near retirement. And that's very good news for anyone that is fond of this style of music and who should get a chance to see The Black Crowes at least once in their life.

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01. Under a Mountain
02. Good Morning Captain
03. Hotel Illness
04. Black Moon Creeping
05. Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye
06. Magic Rooster Blues
07. Medicated Goo (Traffic cover)
08. Wiser Time
09. She Talks to Angels
10. Whoa Mule
11. By Your Side
12. Soul Singing
13. Sometimes Salvation
14. Jealous Again
15. Thorn in My Pride
16. Oh Josephine
17. Oh! Sweet Nuthin' (The Velvet Underground cover)
18. Willin' (Little Feat cover)

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