The Black Crowes Manchester Academy 24th March 2013

The Black Crowes Manchester Academy 24th March 2013
blackcrowes This was the first night of the Black Crowes’ “Lay Down with No 13” world tour which sees them taking to the road again after a short hiatus. I’ve only seen the Crowes once before, when they appeared low down the bill at a Donington Monsters of Rock festival (which was headlined by AC/DC) in 1991. My friend John is a massive Crowes fan and goes to see them regularly in the USA, where he lives, and I figured it was about time that I went to see what all the fuss was about. I must admit to being a little nervous about driving to Manchester again, after the difficult drive that Laura and I had across the M62 when we went to see Johnny Marr at Manchester Ritz on Friday. And two long night drives in three days is a bit much for me now. But hey I had a ticket and really wanted to see this band, so I set off around 4pm to make sure that I arrived on time. As it happened the roads were clear and the drive was problem and event free, so I arrived at the venue early at 6.45pm after a short stop off at a service station. I joined a massive queue outside the Academy which is situated in the heart of the University quarter of Manchester. After a short and very cold wait I was in the venue which soon filled to capacity. The Academy is an all standing venue with no public balcony. I made my way to the front of the hall and got myself a spot pretty close to the stage. There was no support act and the Black Crowes came on stage, to a great roar from the crowd, around 8.15pm; shortly after the advertised time of 8pm. I must admit to knowing very little of their material although John gave me a DVD which I’ve watched and enjoyed. The fist number was Jealous Again, which seemed familiar, and I recognised some of the better known songs such as She Talks to Angels and Thorn in My Pride. Apart from that much of the rest of the set was unfamiliar to me, but pretty enjoyable none the less. I lasted the first few songs in my spot near the front before I decided to have a coke and take in the view from the back of the hall. Black Crowes’ music shows lots of 70s influences; I could see shades of the Faces, the Stones, Humble Pie, the Allmans and Free in there, which can’t be bad. The band were on great form, with some great guitar work from Rich Robinson and newcomer Jackie Greene (this was his first gig with the band). Singer Chris Robinson has a wonderful soulful rock voice and seemed genuinely pleased to be back in the UK. The crowd, who were a mix of old hippy types and heavy rock fans lapped it up and sang along to many of the songs. There was a short acoustic set in the middle of the show. I enjoyed them as I knew I would, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen an American rock n roll act like this, but I would have liked to know more of the material. I was pleased to see Hard to Handle (which I remember seeing them play in 1991) and Hush as part of the encore. The set was around 2 hours, finishing at approx 10.15pm. I picked up a setlist online this morning, and see that the fourth song was Traffic’s Medicated Goo. To my shame I didn’t recognise it last night. A great gig. Thanks go to John for alerting me to the Black Crowes. The drive back was also uneventful; I got home around 1am. Setlist: Jealous Again; Thick N’ Thin; Hotel Illness; Medicated Goo; Sister Luck; Wiser Time; She Talks to Angels; The Last Place That Love Lives; Whoa Mule; My Morning Song; High Head Blues; By Your Side; Thorn in My Pride; Remedy; Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution; Soul Singing. Encore: Descending; Hard to Handle; Hush; Willin’

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stuart Alexander on May 23, 2014 at 11:36 am

    This was the four time Ive seen the Black Crowes and they always give value for money, and a great rock band. First got into them when they supported Page & Plant in 1995. Seeing the Chris Robinson Brotherhood band supporting Bob Weir & Rat Dog (ex Grateful Dead) in LA in July at the Greek cant wait.


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