Last night we saw Chris & Rich Robinson (of Black Crowes fame) at the Texas Union Ballroom, and they were absolutely phenomenal. I’ve seen the Black Crowes a couple of times in the past, and have always enjoyed them. But, tonight, they were just incredible.
First, it was just the two brothers, playing an acoustic set, in a small venue. We sat on the fourth row, directly in front of them, so we were close enough to see them well. And because there were seats, it wasn’t crowded at all. We sat comfortably just a few feet away from them.
They opened with a powerful version of Jealous Again. I was first struck by Chris’ voice. I didn’t remember how powerful his voice is, but man can he really belt out a song!
Then, Rich got my attention with his guitar work. For the second song he switched to a 12-string and played the an awesome intro to Wiser Time. I didn’t recognize the song until a couple of seconds before they started singing. And, he did some lead work on an acoustic 12-string. That just blows my mind.
By then the entire crowd was into the show, and there was a fun banter between Chris and the audience. He gave people a hard time about requesting songs, saying “You don’t know what you’re going to get, we play what we play. We could play some John Denver, you don’t know what’s coming.”
His funniest line of the evening, by far, was a comment about football. He congratulated UT on beating USC. The crowd went nuts, so he said a little more, then closed the topic with “See, you think its all LSD and the occult with us. But no, there’s football, too.” I lost it. Given their history, that’s hilarious.
And the great songs just kept coming. Nonfiction was fantastic, as was She Talks To Angels. They also threw in several new originals that I hadn’t heard before. My favorite was a dirty blues song called Magical Rooster Blues which Rich played on an electric. There were a couple of other new songs that I liked, but I didn’t catch the names of them.
They played for just over an hour. And, in typical Black Crowes fashion, they did an encore. After a couple of minutes they came back out and closed the evening with a cover of Little Feat’s Willin’. It was just awesome.
The Black Crowes have been one of my favorite bands since I first heard Hard To Handle back in 1991. I feel pretty fortunate to have gotten to see the brothers in such an intimate setting.