Crowes rock Aspen
Vail, CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” “Would you two like better seats?” an older gentleman asked me, four songs into The Black Crowes rocking, hour and a half set Sunday night at Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ June Festival. The answer was obviously yes, and just like that he pushed two patron tickets into my hand, walked off and my friend and I found ourselves three rows from the stage ” only in Aspen.
The band, fronted by lead singer Chris Robinson and his brother Rich Robinson (lead guita and rhythm) put on an energetic show from start to finish and hit on most of their famous hits.
The crown jewel was a 10-minute plus version of “Soul Singing,” which allowed the band behind the singer to really shine with an extended jam session. This allowed Rich to show his chops, which he did with gusto. Placed about halfway through the show, the hyped up crowd was into it and couldn’t get enough.
“Jealous Again,” helped get the energy up; everyone was singing along, and most of the crowd was up and dancing. They stayed like that for the rest of the night.
Another crowd favorite was “She Talks to Angels” which ” thanks to Robinson’s vocals ” was sweet, soulful and passionate all in one. I am pretty sure every woman in the house melted a little. I know I did.
“Hard to Handle,” arguably one of the band’s most well-known songs, was conspicuously absent from an otherwise stellar set list. Despite this oversight, the crowd was with the band from start to finish and in a relatively intimate setting (less than 4,000 seats in the tent by my estimation), and there wasn’t a bad seat in the house, just better seats. And while the sound was spot on, the vocals, on occasion, were hard to hear, but most of the crowd sang along anyway.
The only slightly odd part of the concert was the seemingly complete lack of chemistry or interaction between the two brothers. Chris was all over the stage dancing and singing, while in comparison Rich was much more reserved, barely letting a smile slip through during the entire show.
The opening act, Marcus Miller, was amazing, and ” unfortunately for most concert goers ” those who showed up late missed a great show, which included a stellar instrumental cover of The Beatles’ “Come together” and Miles Davis’ “Tutu,” where his flawless back-up-band members got to strut their stuff. The little musical tangent that the band went on was enjoyable in itself and how they looped it back together was enjoyable, too.
Miller plays a mean bass and baritone saxophone. Couple that with an irrepressible keyboardist (big ‘fro, Batman T-shirt and huge gold hoops), an on-point trumpet player, banging drums and a quirky harmonica and it was one good time.
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