Alabama Shakes @ Metro on 8.01.2012
On Wednesday night (8/1) Alabama Shakes, First Aid Kit, Dry the River, and Filligar played a pre-Lollapalooza, Nelarusky fundraiser at Metro.
It's 6:37 at the Metro and I'm copping a squat up on the balcony waiting for the magic to happen. Me...and the 57 other people who caught the early bird special to take advantage of this four band lineup - all to really check out the first Lollapalooza "after" show, the Alabama Shakes.
Filligar kicked off the night with some country-blooded rock 'n roll. The foursome hit the stage like the place was packed and managed to wrangle in a few stragglers waiting by the door.
...Time out momentarily to acknowledge this organization, Nelarusky. Had they not been around, this show wouldn't be possible. Check out their website and note their awesome charitable work. Tonight's show raised $40,000 to help support the Special Olympics. Special thanks to their Global Messenger, Christine Maxwell, for coming out to thank all of the supporters and promoting her own practice in 19 different competing sports...
Dry the River pulled together a huge range of styles (Fleet Foxes meet Elliot Smith-slash-male Warpaint in my mind) to create something cohesive and new.
I went into this show only having heard that First Aid Kit is "awkward live." Being an awkward female myself, I was intrigued by how strange this trio could really be. They did come off as being a bit lifeless in their body movements, but were far from awkward musically. Their upbeat folk-rock and powerful vocals sounded at home in the mid-sized venue, which they'll be headlining next month.
After a brief set changeover, headliners the Alabama Shakes took the stage. They blew through about twenty songs before their three song encore, including all of Boys and Girls and both sides of their Live At Third Man Records 7". Frontwoman Brittany Howard lead the roots rock team with Janis Joplin-like force, but it's only a vague likeness. To the fellow-concertgoer I spoke with, I shall see your Otis Redding and hold there. Her tones and temperament ranged from the softest whisper to raging screams, impressively displaying her raw sense of self. Inside every Shakes song there seems to be this personal struggle of insecurity and self-doubt, but then this convulsion of confidence comes over Brittany and she pushes through, not giving a shit what anyone says.
All in all? Four bands, one very strange tasting beer, two new friends, one new t-shirt, zero photo booth pics, and a helluva good night at the Metro. See? Good things do happen to those who give back. Thank you Nelarusky. And Christine Maxwell. And all the bands that made the evening possible. And the fans who donated to the cause...
More pictures from the 8/1 Metro show continue below...
Dry the River
First Aid Kit