The Black Crowes Delivered Hometown Happiness to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday, April 2, 2024

The Black Crowes Rock Historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta for Happiness Bastards Tour...

Words and Photos: Elliott Gordon

@PlacemarkPhoto

 

Hometown favorites The Black Crowes, with support from the Black Lips, were hosted by the historic Fox Theatre in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia, on a crisp Wednesday night for the second stop on their new Happiness Bastards Tour. This 4,665-capacity venue dates to 1929 when it was originally designed as the headquarters for a 5,000-member Shriners organization. Citing its architectural uniqueness, the Fox was also named a National Historic Landmark back in May 1976. The “Fabulous Fox” (as it is locally known) has a storied musical past, including hosting performances by Elvis Presley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Pearl Jam, Ray Charles, and James Brown.

Kicking off the night at precisely 8:00 p.m. in front of the already-built-out stage set for The Black Crowes was locally based Black Lips. Anchored by founding members Cole Alexander (guitar) and Jared Swilley (bass), the band’s eclectic brand of garage rock was rounded out by Oakley Munson (drums), Zumi Rosow (saxophone), and Jeff Clarke (guitar). I will admit I don’t typically frequent the indie-rock scene around Atlanta, but I am aware that the Black Lips generally engage in far more provocative stage antics (including nudity) when performing at more intimate clubs around town. While the Fox Theatre might have been a bit out of their normal performance element, the band blasted through an enjoyable 30-minute set, highlighting their unique songwriting style while surely delighting their dedicated neighborhood fans.

Following a 30-minute equipment turn, The Black Crowes took to the stage at 9:00 p.m. to the warm-up music of “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)” from AC/DC before a near-capacity crowd. Out on the road in celebration of their latest release (and first in 15 years), Happiness Bastards (March 2023), the band started off their night performing back-to-back tracks pulled from that new album in “Bedside Manners” and “Dirty Cold Sun.” With his guitarist brother Rich to his left, red-suited frontman Chris Robinson then brought the audience to a fevered, sing-along pitch when the band broke into the first track from their 1990 Shake Your Money Maker album, “Twice as Hard.” In fact, the last time I caught The Black Crowes live was back in June 2022 when they were out on the road acknowledging the 30th anniversary of that album’s release.

My expectations are always high that a band will give a special nod to their hometown fans, and The Black Crowes did not disappoint. To start, and I am not sure if it was by design, the setlist for Wednesday was surprisingly very different from the tour’s opening night in Nashville, Tennessee. The band performed both “Follow the Moon” and (as their encore later) “Kindred Friend” from Happiness Bastards, neither of which they played on Tuesday night. Chris Robinson also took a moment to dedicate the ballad “She Talks to Angels” to Brit Turner, the drummer from Atlanta-based band Blackberry Smoke who recently passed away following his lengthy battle with cancer.

What remained consistent between the first two nights of the tour was the band capping off their main set with the tunes “Sting Me” and “Thorn in My Pride,” which were then immediately followed by fan favorites “Jealous Again” and a resounding rendition of “Remedy” from 1992’s The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion album to close it out. The Black Crowes were as vocally and musically tight as ever, even if I was somewhat disappointed they neglected to squeeze in “Hard to Handle” (their Otis Redding cover) into the setlist.

Upon returning to the stage for their encore, the 57-year-old Chris Robinson reflected on his fond memories of being in the Fox Theatre audience with his brother and Sven Pipien when they were younger. He pointed out where they all sat around the venue for past performances by amazing artists such as Prince, The Rolling Stones, and Georgia’s own R.E.M. As noted earlier, the band then closed out their stellar evening by bookending their seemingly short 90-minute performance with “Kindred Friend,” concluding Wednesday night with an overall showcase of six new “Happiness Bastards” songs.

The Black Crowes are actively on the road for the next month, wrapping up their US dates on Tuesday, May 7th, at The Met Philadelphia, before kicking off their European leg a week later on Tuesday, May 14th, in Manchester, United Kingdom, at the O2 Apollo.

 

 

https://www.black-lips.com/

theblackcrowes.com

 

Black Lips

Cole Alexander – Vocals, guitar

Jared Swilley – Vocals, bass guitar

Oakley Munson – Drums, vocals

Zumi Rosow – Vocals, saxophone

Jeff Clarke – Guitar, vocals

 

Black Crowes

Chris Robinson – Lead vocals

Rich Robinson – Guitar, vocals

Sven Pipien – Bass, vocals

Cully Symington – Drums

Nico Bereciartua – Guitar, vocals

Erik Deutsch – Keyboards

Mackenzie Adams – Backing vocals

Lesley Grant – Backing vocals

 

Setlist

1.) Bedside Manners

2.) Dirty Cold Sun

3.) Twice as Hard

4.) Gone

5.) Nebakanezer

6.) Cross Your Fingers

7.) Then She Said My Name

8.) Wanting and Waiting

9.) She Talks to Angels

10.) Follow the Moon

11.) White Light/White Heat (The Velvet Underground cover)

12.) Sting Me

13.) Thorn in My Pride

14.) Jealous Again

15.) Remedy

Encore

16.) Kindred Friend

 

The Black Crowes “Happiness Bastards Tour”

April 2 – Nashville, TN – Grand Ole Opry House

April 3 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre

April 5 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall

April 6 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

April 8 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium

April 10 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre

April 12 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre

April 13 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater

April 15 – Seattle, WA – McCaw Hall

April 16 – Vancouver, BC – Queen Elizabeth Theatre

April 19 – Chicago, IL – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom

April 20 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit

April 23 – Montreal, QC – MTELUS

April 24 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall

April 27 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall

April 28 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway

April 30 – Washington, DC – The Anthem

May 1 – Charlotte, NC – Ovens Auditorium

May 3 – Bethlehem, PA – The Wind Creek Event Center

May 4 – Atlantic City, NJ – Ovation Hall at Ocean Casino Resort

May 7 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia

May 14 – Manchester, UK – O2 Apollo

May 15 – London, UK – Eventim Apollo

May 17 – Newcastle, UK – O2 City Hall

May 18 – Wolverhampton, UK – The Civic at The Halls

May 21 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique

May 22 – Amsterdam, NL – AFAS Live

May 24 – Paris, FR – L’Olympia

May 27 – Milan, IT – Teatro Arcimboldi Milano

May 29 – Frankfurt, DE – Alte Oper

May 30 – Stuttgart, DE – Liederhalle

June 1 – Berlin, DE – Verti Music Hall

June 4 – Copenhagen, DK – Falkonersalen

June 5-8 – Sôlvesborg, SE – Sweden Rock Festival

June 9 – Mérida, ES – STONE & MUSIC Festival

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