Black Crowes at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

And then there was lead singer Chris Robinson, trading in his subdued Mick Jagger cock-strut for an acoustic guitar and a haunting rendition of the William Bell stone soul classic "You Don't Miss Your Water," which the band countrified much like The Byrds did on their pioneering 1968 country-rock masterpiece  Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Those two modes of operation - the rocking and soul stirring Black Crowes — had the room on its feet and in a euphoric frenzy.


But then there was the Crowes' third musicial style - THE LONG JAM - which left me and many others flat. Luckily, Dickinson's gorgeous guitar work goosed the snooze numbers. However, many were lost in the haze of copious incense and musical meandering emanating from the stage.


Come to think of it, most of the night's highlights were covers. In addition to a stellar "You Don't Miss Your Water," the group had the house rocking with a jubilant rendition of Bob Dylan's weird-folk feel-good number "Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)." Unfortunately, every time a momentum was forged, a long jam largely smoked out the mojo in the place. Luckily, Ruth Eckerd Hall's cozy confines and superior acoustics made it the ideal venue for some noodling — and for as many people who wanted to rock, there were those content to soak up the mellow, sonic excursions.


Complete setlist:



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2008


RUTH ECKERD HALL - CLEARWATER, FL


MOVIN ON DOWN THE LINE


GOODBYE DAUGHTERS OF THE REVOLUTION


WISER TIME


PAINT AN 8


BRING ON BRING ON


WHOA MULE


YOU DON'T MISS YOUR WATER


LOCUST STREET


MIGHTY QUINN


WELCOME TO THE GOODTIMES


(ONLY) HALFWAY TO EVERYWHERE


SHARE THE RIDE


HIGH HEAD BLUES


JEALOUS AGAIN


WOUNDED BIRD


- encore -


SHAPE I'M IN


The Black Crowes performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall last night, in front of a packed house of roughly 2,000, showed the band operating in several modes. There was the Hot ‘Lanta hoodlums Southern rocking the joint in taut, greasy fashion on "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution" - the first cut/debut single off the band's sizzling new record Warpaint. The song, the second of the evening, found all eight persons on stage cranking out a thick slice of purposeful rock 'n' roll gloriously punctuated by the slide (and standard) guitar heroics of secret weapon Luther Dickinson, the North Mississippi Allstar recruited for the Crowes' latest album and tour.

Photo of Chris Robinson By Jayson Matteucci.

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