XFINITY Theatre                                                  Hartford, CT.  July 25, 2021

Photos By: Nancy Dagata

Setlist:

  1. Twice As Hard

  2. Jealous Again

  3. Sister Luck

  4. Could I've Been So Blind

  5. Seeing Things

  6. Hard To Handle (Otis Reading Cover)

  7. Thick N' Thin

  8. She Talks To Angels

  9. Struttin' Blues

10. Stare It Cold

11. No Speak No Slave

12. Kickin' My Heart Around

13. My Morning Song

14. By Your Side

15. Wiser Time

Band Introductions

16. Thorn In My Pride (W/ Extended Jam and Harmonica)

17. Sting Me

18. Remedy

 

Encore:

19. It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It) (The Rolling Stones Cover)

 

The reunited Black Crowes brought their 2021 “Shake Your Money Maker Tour” to the Xfinity Theater in Hartford on Sunday evening… In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of their 1990 debut release, the band performed the entirety of the album in sequence to start the show. The recently reconstituted lineup included brothers Chris and Rich Robinson, along with Black Crowes alum Sven Pipien on bass. Newcomers included Brian Griffin on drums, Joel Robinow on keys, and standout Isaiah Mitchell on lead guitar. Rounding out the lineup were Mackenzie Adams and Leslie Grant on backing vocals.

 

Very early in the set, it was evident that the band was performing with a renewed vigor and spirit, as the energy and vibe pouring from the stage was clearly tangible.

Arguably, Shake Your Money Maker is the purest rock n roll album recorded by the Black Crowes, and the spirit and the energy of that album was present throughout the entire 1 hour and 50-minute performance. In stark contrast to previous tours, the band eliminated many of the ethereal and psychedelic jams that were more reminiscent of Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers live experiences. There was no pre-show burning of sage, or the ever-present smell of incense in the air. This was a full-throttle, high-energy affair, driven by the high-volume twin-guitar attack of Rich Robinson and Isaiah Mitchell, along with Chris Robinson’s ever powerful vocals and stage presence.

 

Chris preened and strutted around the stage in a white suit and matching white fedora, clearly channeling Mick Jagger, and Faces-era Rod Stewart, where every movement and expression was animated. In contrast, Rich Robinson was a more stoic presence, dressed in a white shirt and black vest.

 

As longtime Crowes fans will attest, Rich travels with an incredible collection of guitars and the Hartford performance was no exception. Throughout the set, Rich utilized a variety of guitars, including the Gibson Les Paul Standard, Les Paul Junior, Firebird, SG, ES 335, the Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster, and Gretsch Black and White Falcons, among others. 

The second half of the performance included a selection of high-octane tracks, of which five appeared on their sophomore effort Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. Also represented in the set were three tracks from their Amorica and By Your Side releases. Standout songs of the evening included Sister Luck and Seeing Things in the first half of the set, and Wiser Time and Thorn In My Pride during the second half of the performance. The set concluded with the band paying homage to one of their biggest influences, The Rolling Stones, by playing a rousing version of It’s Only Rock n’ Roll But I Like It. 

The overall performance was outstanding, and Isaiah Mitchell is a seamless addition to the band’s touring lineup with his razor sharp and soaring fretwork on guitar. If you have an opportunity to catch a future date on this tour, it would be highly recommended.

 

Review By: Anthony Mastromarino

Photos By: Nancy Dagata

Setlist:

  1. Gypsy

  2. Break You

  3. No Warning

  4. The Wire

  5. Last Child (Aerosmith Cover)

  6. Heartbreaker

  7. Down The Road

  8. Tied Up

  9.California Dreamin'

10. Another Last Time

11. When I'm Gone

12. Rolling 7's

The opener on this tour is relative newcomers Dirty Honey, formed in Los Angeles California in 2017. The band consists of Marc Labelle on vocals, guitarist John Notto, bassist Justin Smolian, and drummer Corey Coverstone. The set included big riffs, memorable choruses, and searing leads reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and mid-70’s era Aerosmith. For good measure, the set included a blistering version of Aerosmith’s Last Child. 

 

The spotlight of the performance clearly belonged to lead singer Marc Labelle, whose vocal range is virtually limitless. All that is left to be said about the band’s performance was that they departed the stage to a standing ovation, which is not a common occurrence among relatively unknown opening acts. Dirty Honey is a band worthy of cutting the tailgate short and catching their full performance. 

 

Review By: Anthony Mastromarino

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