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Black crows | The Fillmore Auditorium | 4/8/2024

Last week, The Black Crows proved once again that rock ‘n’ roll is still alive and kicking The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver on Monday, April 8 to give avid fans a dose of Southern rhythm and blues style. To promote their latest album Lucky bastards, the octet gave it everything they had in front of a packed house, delivering iconic tunes from the past as well as the bulk of the new record. The Mile High City was the fifth stop of thirty-five international cities supporting their latest creative venture. This proved that not only is there still a dedicated fan base after forty years, but that The Brothers Robinson continue to produce new music rather than relying on the comfort of their hits.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

The show started with “Bedside Manner,” the standard opener so far on the tour and the first song on the new album. Chris Robinson picked up the mic stand like a baton and led the parade as drummer Cully Symington pounded the snare at the intro, the rest of the band jumped in and the room went completely electric. This new song has that heavy-handed Crowes feel: ballsy, deep and full throttle. Rich Robinson waved his blond Gibson, alternating between chords and slide, stone-faced with concentration as he let his guitar do the talking. Chris closed it out with a nice slip-sliding solo from Rich and welcomed the crowd: “Well, okay! What do you say Denver?”, the crowd was bursting at the seams to keep the energy going.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

Giving some perspective, Chris continued, “We’ve got some new songs and some old ones. This is another new one. We’re calling this ‘Dirty Old Sun.’ Even though it was a Monday, this upbeat rocker made everyone feel like it was a Monday was. On Friday, Chris and backup singers MacKenzie Adams and Leslie Grant delivered the lyrical soul of this new heavy hitter.

The familiar sounds of the classic “Twice As Hard” widened the grins of everyone in the house as Rich delivered the familiar intro on his black Tony Zemaitis beat. As expected, everyone sang along and the rock atmosphere of the room was fueled.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

To the delight of those hardcore fans, the deep blow of “Go Tell The Congregation” was next. This hasn’t been performed by the band since 2010, but Chris ran strong under the heavy-handed three-way connection of Rich, guitarist Nico Bereciarua and longtime Crowes bassist Sven Pipien. Erik Deutsch delivered the Hammond/Leslie combo and produced a dazzling solo that had many in the audience throwing their hands in the air.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

Sweeten the set with another new one Lucky bastards, the gentle intro to “Cross Your Fingers” put the Fillmore to sleep for only a moment before the power chords of Rich’s crimson Gibson ripped through the air. All too short, this addition certainly left the ears wanting more.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

Although early in the tour, the band made back-to-back tour debuts in “Oh Josephine” and “Hotel Illness”. Chris provided flawless harmonica playing for “Hotel Illness,” a feat in itself with the soaring height and his never-ending vocal enthusiasm.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

Returning to the latest version, “Wanting and Waiting” was warmly received and was followed by “Hard To Handle” by Otis Redding. Before jumping in, Chris asked the crowd, “Who is the greatest soul singer of all time?”, sending a wave of excitement through the room. Dissatisfied with the level of enthusiasm, Chris repeated himself loudly, this time getting everyone’s attention, as the crowd answered “Otis” at the top of their lungs. Satisfied with the audience’s recognition, Chris signaled to the group and began “Hard To Handle”.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

As one of the most iconic Crowes songs, “She Talks to Angels” certainly got attention and many listened intently and hugged their loved ones as the band delivered an amazing version of this classic.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

Chris introduced the next one by saying, “The sun feels good on our faces, but… midnight sometimes feels a lot better… and this is for anyone who follows the moon.” “Follow the Moonz’ has a gritty style with a seventies rock roots that certainly pleased both the band and the audience, Chris and Rich smile and look at each other throughout the song as the front row pumps their fists in the air .

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

The band pulled everyone back for the big closer and fired on all cylinders for a well-executed high of some of the biggest hits of their career. Starting with “Thorn In My Pride,” Chris prefaced: “My brother and I started this band. And really, the only thing a band is is a dream, and you know, we came up with this at some point because we love rock ‘n’ roll music. So we said: ‘we can do that too’. But we created this thing we call ‘The Black Crowes’ and this next song has been a part of that dream and will be a part of that dream as we dream on and on. As Chris drifted away, Rich pulled “Thorn in my Pride” from the airwaves, with the rest of the band following suit until the sum of its parts became a dynamic, unified force. Moving into “Jealous Again,” the band shook the room and came across as warm and tight as when they started the night, moving effortlessly through the honky tonk funk, with Chris leading the charge and causing a celebratory riot among public. “Remedy” closed the set and left the air crackling with energy and celebration as the crowd sang the end of the piece as Chris walked the stage from side to side, connecting with as many listeners as possible, grinning and staring as everyone thanked the band.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

Leaving the stage took less than a minute, the band was back for another minute and decided to do a cover to send everyone out into the warm spring night. Lou Reed’s “White Light, White Heat” was the final selection and kept the energy high. While the choice left some scratching their heads as they hoped for another Crowes creation, it once again seemed to show that the band chooses what to play and does so for the sake of rock ‘n’ roll, not the expectation.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

In the end, the band delivered a great set of sixteen songs, which never lost in energy and quality. Chris Robinson’s vocals were strong all night and as he walked every inch of the stage he never showed a sign of age or exhaustion. This proved once again that he loves what he does and he has the pipes to do it. Although Rich Robinson adopts a stoic demeanor on stage, his abilities are anything but laid back, which shines through throughout the set as he channels greatness from start to finish. With the exception of bassist Sven Pipien, everyone is relatively new to the band, having joined in recent years, and this new infusion certainly came across as a great thing as everyone was smiling, enthusiastic and giving top-notch performances. . Singers MacKenzie Adams and Leslie Grant provided Chris relentlessly throughout the evening, providing the gospel harmonies that make every room feel like a lively gathering. Nico Bereciartua’s rhythm was balanced and serious and the solos he created were just as exciting as Rich’s, making the two a tour de force with strings. Sven Pipien’s bass lines were anything but standard and flowed effortlessly, his soft gaze showing that he was more than comfortable in his place at the deep end. Erik Deutsch’s deft keys contributed to every tune, from organ to piano. The man often had a contorted face mid-solo as he dug deep, but always ended with a youthful grin when meeting his bandmates. Cully Symington was literally in the crow’s nest, center stage and nearly twenty feet above Chris, and this thunder machine performed with enthusiasm and precision at every turn. Whether it was heavy or riding lightly over the top, Symington was locked into the strings and the sound all night long.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

At the end of the show, The Black Crowes once again showed that they are still delivering a quality show, and their new material proved that they are not a nostalgia act. Given the energy on stage and the connection between Chris and Rich, no one would have ever guessed that there had been a day of bad blood between them. They shared a microphone several times, enjoyed a shoulder bump and exchanged genuine smiles of brotherly love. The world is now whole again and these winged warriors are doing what they were created to do.

The Black Crows |  The Fillmore Auditorium

The Black Crowes are deep into their Happiness Bastards ’24 Spring Tour and are next on the The Fillmore Detroit in Detroit, MI on April 20, 2024. Tickets are available here clutch. Visit them tour page for more dates on this exciting tour.

view more photos of the show!