Riverbend Music Center
August 5, 2006
The Black Crowes landed on stage at Cincinnati, Ohio’s Riverbend Music Center on August 5, 2006. The legendary Southern band brought with them a sense of purpose in their musical direction and linear improvisational approach. Taking a cue from The Grateful Dead, the Crowes loosely began the evening, jamming several minutes before "Black Moon Creeping" off of 1992’s The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion began to take shape.
Keyboardist Ed Hawrysch set the tone and drummer Steve Gorman provided the glue with flashy cymbal and bass drum work, accented by the Hunter S. Thompson Gonzo symbol that is emblazoned on his kit. Propelling into the opening track, "Gone," off 1994’s Amorica release, lead singer Chris Robinson held the audience in rapt attention, flailing his arms and microphone stand as he twirled around in ecstasy, barking out the lyrics with defiant urgency.
"Hotel Illness" enabled guitarist Marc Ford to stretch his wings, and the band circled around "Soul Singing" off of the 2001 Lions disc. Bassist Sven Pipien anchored the bottom end as guitarist Rich Robinson bolstered BC’s arena style thunder with the electric leads of 1996’s Three Snakes and One Charm classic, "Nebakanezer." Mona Lisa Young and Charity White provided the boosting backing vocals for "Thorn in My Pride" and the gripping "Sometimes Salvation."
The Black Crowes indulged in their usual unabashed admiration for other artist’s songs, covering Pink Floyd’s "Fearless," Neil Young’s "Alabama," and the Otis Redding penned "Hard to Handle" before exiting the stage. A standing ovation returned the triumphant rock band to encore with a tight, yet greasy version of The Rolling Stones’ "Let It Bleed."