DETROIT -- It may be a day of rest for some, but the Black Crowes had what frontman Chris Robinson called "a rock 'n' roll Sunday service for rock 'n' roll people" in mind on Sunday night, April 14, at the Fillmore Detroit.
Rock was indeed the order of the night for this stop on the sextet's Lay Down With Number 13 Tour stop, part of its first road trek in three years. And unlike 2010's three-hour marathon with both acoustic and electric sets, Sunday's show was comparatively compact and muscular two-hour affair, with bare bones staging and a high-volume, high-octane performance that reclaimed the Crowes' stature as a fierce, music-first live act.
The group certainly didn't shirk on its hits this time out much to the pleasure of a particularly vocal sold-out crowd, opening the 17-song set with "Twice As Hard" and touching on favorites such as "She Talks to Angel," "Jealous Again," "Remedy" and an encore rendition of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" that morphed into Deep Purple's "Hush." But the show also featured plenty of deep cuts such as "Good Morning Captain," "Cold Boy Smile" and "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution," along with a cover of Traffic's "Medicated Goo."
The Crowes' penchant for lengthy jams and expansive improvisations, meanwhile, was aired out in epic takes on "Another Roadside Tragedy," "Wiser Time" and "Thorn in My Pride," all of which left plenty of room for guitar interplay between Rich Robinson and new member Jackie Greene -- a seamless replacement for Luther Dickinson -- as well as keyboard excursions by Adam MacDougall.
It was certainly the kind of Sunday "service" that fortified the group's already formidable reputation -- and will certainly whet appetites for the Crowes next visit to the metro area. And that will be sooner rather than later; the group returns Aug. 15 to play the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the Oakland University campus in Rochester Hills with the Tedeschi Trucks band and London Souls. Tickets are $85 and $49.50 pavilion, $35 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
Sunday's show, meanwhile, will be available for download at www.liveblackcrowes.com within a couple of weeks.
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