REVIEW: The Black Crowes at Summerfest

Now famed classic rockers Black Crowes took to the Generac stage on Friday night to a packed crowd of old and new fans alike for a raucous old-fashioned rock show that was sure to please everyone involved. The Black Crowes, now going on 40 years of being a band took to the Summerfest stage in the traditional fashion of greeting the crowd and jumping right into the show with loud southern rock with a tinge of the blues that was exactly what everyone was there for. 

While the crowd skewed heavily towards the older crowd who had discovered them in their hay day of the early 90s, that didn’t stop anyone from leaving anytime soon by keeping the stands absolutely packed. The Robinson Brothers, Chirs and Rich, made sure to keep everyone moving and grooving to all the tasty licks that they are so well known for. It’s always a welcome treat to see a band that has mastered their craft in every sense of the matter. Everything about this show was so dialed in and not a beat was missed.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I can safely say that last night’s show was one of the best-sounding free stages I’ve heard in quite literally years. Every instrument stood out when it was its time to shine. From wailing guitar solos to crunchy drum breaks I was constantly impressed by the show’s ability to bring out each sound to perfection. I do have to mention that there was some show competition with Miller Lite’s headliner Cordae, which was pointed out by frontman Chris Robinson after performing their famous ballad She Talks To Angels. A beautiful song slightly marred by the thumping bass of Cordae’s show. “Well it’s hard to compete a ballad to a rap show next door,” Robinson said in a joking manner before jumping right into their Otis Reading cover Hard To Handle.

Throughout the show The Black Crowes did not miss, they could not miss. This was a show that has been curated after years of performing. Each song blasted louder and more boisterous than the last. Giving the audience exactly what they asked for, some down-home, dirty-sounding rock with screaming guitars and outstanding vocals. A special shoutout to their backup singers who came in on a number of tracks, adding beauty and grace to a number of songs that really rounded out the music in a way that is unmatched. 

I personally find that Summerfest shows lack a certain pazazz that seeing a band outside of a festival possesses. Mostly because they just aren’t set up for that but last night’s show was different. It hit on every note, without missing a beat or losing the energy that I feel that The Black Crowes have mastered over their years of touring. It felt exactly what the Summerfest’s of my youth were about. Just a damn good time. 

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