Good afternoon, Everyone and a warm welcome to you. When I was in my youth, I used to go to many music concerts. This is something that I’ve missed in recent years. This past Sunday, we went to see the alt band, Alabama Shakes at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine, CA. If you haven’t heard of this band, read on as they are phenomenal. Come see why.
First of all, the venue itself was outdoors and required a lot of walking, both flat and uphill to get to our seats. The entire place was landscaped with tall trees and other foliage, giving it an enchanting feeling. By the time we got up there, we were ready for the show. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect; it was warm, but not hot.
The band itself consists of three guys (guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, drummer Steve Johnson.) In addition there were two touring keyboard players, Ben Tanner and Paul Horton who really created a masterpiece. Then there is the lead singer, Britanny Howard.
Below is a picture of Britanny in action off the stage. Look at her facial expressions. She is loving what she is doing and her poise boasts confidence. It’s no wonder that she was chosen as one of the Amazing American Woman for Glamour magazine!
“I feel like I’m capable of anything,” the singer responds. “It took a lot of patience to make this record (Sound and Color), and to communicate so well with each other. I know now we’re the kind of band that can do that.”
Before the show, the venue crew showed us live snapshots on the big screens next to the stage of guests mingling about in the stands. It was funny watching the look on some people’s faces when they realized they were on the big screen. I was hoping for the camera man to choose us, but maybe next time.
One thing that I’ve forgotten about large concerts is that people like to stand, even if you don’t. So we had to stretch our necks around the people who were in front of us so that at least we could see the big screens that were showing the live concert.. I remember back in the day, I would stand with the rest of the crowds and cheer on the bands. This time I was content, although I wasn’t able to view the entire stage.
Here is a picture of the venue before the concert started. As you can see, this was our view of the stage and it was excellent.
Britanny came out, strumming her bright lime green guitar, singing the tunes. Her voice is very powerful and carries. I felt the vibration in my heart. The music, itself penetrated the air, giving us a very strong vibe. It went in through the front of my chest and out my back. By the time the first song was over, I was already deep into the groove of the music. Her green patterned dress really shined under the lights and I felt like I was right up there in front watching her bring on the chords. It was obvious that she stole the show.
What I liked was the band also featured a few bass solo’s during the show. I love the bass guitar and feel that it needs more attention in songs. Zac Cockrell had gripping riffs that took me off into another world.
My favorite song was ‘Hold On,” which is also their most popular song and is on their first album, ‘Boys and Girls.’ Another song that they performed was ‘Sound and Color’, which is off of their new album, ‘Sound and Color.’ According to Brittany Howard in the interview featured on their website: (http://www.alabamashakes.com/about/), the band took their time writing this album, which is why we had to wait three years for it’s release.
This album really stretches the boundaries. In the same interview, Brittany Howard had to admit that when asked about what kind of band they were, she said, “I have no clue.” Their music has a lot of blues in it as well as folk tones in it. Whatever it is, it really tugged at my heartstrings. The songs really have a lot of depth to them and were thoroughly thought out. It was amazing how the band was able to put together this smash hit record during the breaks of their tight scheduled tour.
I didn’t recognize a few of the songs they performed, which leads me to believe that they played some new music. This was a real treat that added to their musical story. Maybe these songs will be on a future album. I will have to wait and see.
Now about the venue. Irvine meadows, sadly, is slated to be torn down next year. It was built in 1981 and since the beginning it has featured many performers over the years. This was our first time to the venue and we really loved it and felt it was perfect for a summer evening concert. The sky above boasted the stars and at one point I thought I saw a shooting star. By the time the evening was over, I was totally in bliss.
If you are looking for some real root music, this is the band to see. Like us, you will find yourself being lost in the music and calling out for a second encore when the show is over. I would love to see this band perform again.
For more information about the band, see http://www.alabamashakes.com/.
For the full interview, see http://www.alabamashakes.com/about/
Until Next Time,
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