The Black Crowes with Dirty Honey Rock The Crowd At The MidFlorida Credit Union September 8, 2021

 

 

Wednesday night, September 8, 2021 has been circled on the calendar for the past 4 months. The Black CrowesShake Your Money Maker Tour” was rescheduled from 2020 at The MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, Florida at The Florida State Fairgrounds. The cherry on top, was the addition of Dirty Honey as the opening band for the rescheduled date. The crowd was modest and rain was forecasted to be off and on all night. The temperatures were still in the high eighties at show time and the humidity felt like 100%.  It was an uncomfortable night.

Dirty Honey took the stage at 7:35pm. The band came out first, and Marc Lebelle joined them as they started the set with “Gypsy” off of their 2021 release self titled LP, “Dirty Honey.”  From there they went into the hard hitting “Break You.” The amphitheater woke up and realized they were now at a rock concert. The set list went through the new catalog and their previously released EP.  They even covered “Last Child” by Aerosmith. Marc Labelle explained it was to pay homage to the band’s friend Slash of Guns N’ Roses. The set included solos by each band member allowing them to give the audience an insight into how highly talented each member of the band is. Sure they were the opening band, but nobody left their seats for refreshments or the restrooms early as the set ended with the two monster hits off their introductory EP, “When I’m Gone” and “Rolling 7’s”. Talk about blasting onto the rock scene in strong fashion in 2019. “When I’m Gone” charted a Billboard number one hit. It was the first ever unsigned rock band to have a Billboard number one. Nobody has grabbed my attention with their first release in the past 40 years other than, oh yeah, The Black Crowes! This was a great night!

 

Band:

Marc Labelle – Vocals

John Notto – Guitar

Justin Smolian – Bass

Cory Coverstone – Drums

 

 

Setlist:

1.)  Gypsy
2.)  Break You
3.)  The Morning
4.)  Last Child   (Aerosmith cover) 
5.)  Tied Up 
6.)  Heartbreaker 
7.)  Drum Solo
8.)  Down the Road
9.)  The Wire 
10.)  Bass Solo
11.)  California Dreamin’
12.)  Another Last Time 
13.)  Guitar Solo
14.)  When I’m Gone
15.)  Rolling 7s
 
 
 
The Black Crowes stage setup resembled a bar. There was even a bartender standing behind the bar on stage right the entire show. it appeared there was a full wall of liquor bottles displayed with back lighting. Over the stage, it looked like about 100 single bulb lights hung from single cords. Stage left there was a porch and with a screen door. As it turned out, it was the small stage for the two backup singers. The porch had a roof overhang and two chairs. Once the stage was set and the lights still dim,  someone with a Black Crowes umbrella came out to center stage and sat on the drum riser. It was dark and the identity of the individual was concealed. When the band came on stage, it was reveled who the person with the umbrella was Chris Robinson. He rose and strode to the microphone to the crowds delight. The Crowes opened with “Twice As Hard”, a fitting song if related to the Robinson brother’s six year feud when they were not speaking. Rain started to fall on the stage which made the umbrella look as if it was choreographed into the show.  But, it was just another Central Florida summer evening. As a fan, i was happy cooler heads prevailed and we all could enjoy the fruits of this bands success just one more night.
 
After the bands split it 2013, fans were elated when the 30th anniversary tour was announced in 2019, six years later. The prayers were answered after the tour was postponed in 2020 and rescheduled. From the look on the faces of the audience, nobody was disappointed in having to wait for the performance. This crowd was on their feet the entire show! And the band, their chemistry appeared to be restored as Rich was all smiles while sharing the mic with brother Chris on a song or two. The Black Crowes had caught lightning in a bottle in 1990 with “Shake Your Money Maker”.  The album went on to sell over 5,000,000 copies. I bought the cassette that year, and it didn’t last six months in my car. I played it over and over again until it clogged my cassette player when it came apart. Quickly I went out and replaced the tape. There, I can account for two of the five million. At the time, I was sure it was the second coming of The Rolling Stones.  I couldn’t have been happier. It was a heavily blues influenced rock and roll band, just what the genre needed after disco and the glam metal 1980’s which had left me behind. Then by 1992, the ride appeared over.  Well my connection with the band was over anyway. I saw them in the early 2000’s, but the magic wasn’t there as the songs were remixed with a slower tempo. On this rainy night in September, the show was better than I had imagined.  In the back of my mind, I wondered if the band could go forward a few more years or was this just the anniversary tour and that’s all we get? Only time will tell.
 

The epic show covered the entire “Shake Your Money Maker” album. The Black Crowes began the set with the first track and played each in the order of the recording on the album. In my head I knew the next song without the aid of a setlist which made me smile behind my Covid mask.. Fitting that the final song was “Remedy”from the 1992 album “The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion”. It is probably my favorite song of the band’s after everything on “Shake Your Money Maker” and the band highest charting single in the UK at 24. Here in the US it topped out at 48.

Both bands had a really great night rocking out the Florida crowd.  They will be welcome anytime they want to return!

 
 

Band:

Chris Robinson – Vocals

Rich Robinson – Guitar/Vocals

Sven Pipien – Bass/Vocals

Raj Ojha – Drums

Joel Robinow – Keyboards/Vocals

Isaiah Mitchell – Guitar

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SetList:

1.)  Twice as Hard  1990
2.)  Jealous Again  1990
3.)  Sister Luck  1990
4.)  Could I’ve Been So Blind  1990
5.)  Seeing Things  1990
6.)  Hard to Handle    (Otis Redding cover)  1990
7.)  Thick N’ Thin  1990
8.)  She Talks to Angels  1990
9.)  Struttin’ Blues 1990
10.)  Stare It Cold  1990
11.)  Sting Me  1992
12.)  Kickin’ My Heart Around  1999
13.)  Lay it All On Me  2001
14.)  Wiser Time  1994
15.)  Thorn in My Pride    (Extended Jam / Band Introductions)  1992
16.)  Remedy  1992

Encore

17.)  It’s Only Rock and Roll  (Rolling Stones cover)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Freelance Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.

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