Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mud Island Amphitheater - Memphis, Tennessee - 9.30.10

The Black Crowes
Mud Island Amphitheater
Memphis, Tennessee
September 30, 2010

- acoustic -
Soul Singing
Hotel Illness
Thorn In My Pride
Garden Gate
Jealous Again
You Don't Miss Your Water
How Much For Your Wings >
Bring On Bring On                            
Ballad In Urgency >
Wiser Time
She Talks To Angels

- electric -
I Ain't Hiding
High Head Blues
Hard To Handle
My Morning Song
Oh Josephine
Sting Me
Been a Long Time (Waiting On Love)
- encore -
Oh Sweet Nuthin'
Boomer's Story

Writing about a band is kind of strange.  If you're an employed writer or critic of music who works for a paper, typically you're covering the revolving door of touring bands that roll through whatever town you live in.  If you write for a nationally published magazine, you probably review albums, the occasional live show and other various and miscellaneous music related news.  Each article, each column, each piece, becomes something new each time you write because the subject matter you're writing about is always changing.  But we – er, me – I'm not getting paid to write anything here.  I'm just some guy sitting in front of a keyboard typing...about the same band...over and over and over.  After a while, it all starts to feel repetitive and over-analytical.  The whole reason most people get into music or any artist or band in the first place is because you are a receptor, and you were moved by something.  A sound, a beat, a lyric, a song, the time, place and moment one comes along...all of those things are part of your absorption and intake of something and how it makes you feel.  Taken in that vein, it's pure and unfiltered.  But when you start dissecting it, studying it and picking it apart, you sodomize it to a point of reduction that defeats whatever it was that took you away in the first place. That's kind of what writing this blog does at times to its writer's perception of this band and the music.

In some sense, at times you almost start to feel like a creep for paying this much attention to someone.  When you're younger, you tend to put people you admire on a pedestal, some higher than others.  If you continue to do that as you age, you at least hope with each passing year of your life comes a growth in perspective.  We're all human beings, whether we make music or write about people who do.  As individuals, we're all doing our own thing each day - and when your thing becomes talking repeatedly about how somebody else does their thing, you start being something else: an inspector.  There might even be a loss of dignity issue in play here as well.  It's interesting what the blog has done to our view of things.

Having said all that, the evening in Memphis began with the band walking out on stage and the curious sight of Rich and Luther both headed away from their customary positions as they took up residence on opposite sides from where they normally play.  Luther on the right, Rich on the left.  In 20 years of band history, Rich has always stood to Chris' left.  Cease, Ford, Freed, Stacey and Luther...they've all been in the same place every night.  Until now.  Okay, there have been a handful of odd placements and positionings in certain situations before; one that comes to mind is the studio session from Holland '96, but that wasn't a gig in front of people; it was filmed for a Dutch tv show.  And sure, weirdness was abound in several varieties during A Night In The Life Of A Corkscrew and there was some unconventional band positioning that night but nobody should compare anything resembling reality to the things that went down on that occasion.  As far as we know, Memphis 2010 was a first.  The question on everyone's mind then is, why?  Why switch?  To once again quote the best damn cooler in the business, "Opinions vary."

Edit:  We've edited this blog entry from its original version because after further reflection we decided that we're not as into talking about non-music related shit as we thought we were.  Apologies.

Other than that, what to take away from about the nice weather?  Or that it's a special place for Luther, and only a half hour north of Hernando - you can check a map if you think we're lying.   Luther was laying it down tonight.  Great playing on Morning Song, some nasty leads on a nice sludgy version of Been A Long Time and the Hey Jude tease inside Oh Sweet Nuthin were all memorable moments. 

And now to clear up a few misconceptions...

No, we're not on the bus riding along from town to town with the band, we're not hanging out with Sven or Joe on their off days and no we're not a member of the crew.  We just go to as many shows as possible and have chosen to write about this one tour.  This one "last" tour. We don't know a damn thing about what's going on inside their four walls, what's going down behind the stage curtain or what the story is under the tour bus hood.  And even if we did, we probably wouldn't be cool airing shit like that for the world to read about; there's a respect here for these guys as people that we don't feel comfortable compressing anymore than we already do by picking apart solos and song tempos.  Depending on which Black Crowes messageboard you read though, you'll find varying degrees of people who have no problem chucking that respect out the window.  So goes the internet.  Still, as noble and gentlemanly as this blog writer fancies his intentions, there's a really, really good chance Chris, Rich or Steve would read this and say "Fuck you and your stupid blog.  You're an idiot."  And they'd probably be right.

Put a bow on it and call it a day.  Memphis 2010:  Interesting Night.


  1. dude - I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone when I say - this blog is awesome and don't change a thing.

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