Let me just open my review by stating that calling The Chris Robinson Brotherhood a psychedelic rock band or a jam band is really selling this band short. I was first introduced to the lead man as he fronted The Black Crowes, a band which I fell in love with because of their balance of blues tones, high energy rhythms and most of all a lyrical performance second to none. I was really bummed when The Crowes announced their break up and I have to admit I was a little scheptical when my husband and long time Grateful Dead aficionado told me Chris Robinson started a new “jam band.” I couldn’t see it, it just seemed so out of place and I didn’t know what to expect…I wondered how such a powerful voice would do in a mellower setting. I was worried the blues element would be lost completely…and I have to say I was happily surprised by what I saw. Yes the similarities between them and the Grateful Dead were noticeable and definitely appreciated by many of the fans who showed up in Dead tshirts and were more than happy sharing their Dead experiences along side their CRB tour experiences. I have always believed fans are a reflection of the bands they follow and I couldn’t have been happier with the people I met waiting in line that night. People in their twenties as well as people in their sixties all willing to share their amazing musical journey all grateful to be there as one fan put it, “to experience a new era of Jam music”…Needless to say I entered the venue with high expectations based on fan praises and I was not disappointed.
The unity and chemistry among the 5 members were evident and overwhelming through out the night. As soon as they started playing you could see them having fun on stage, an element that often gets lost as music becomes a career and a job. There was not a minute wasted in small talk and unimportant fillers so to speak. Incense was lit and the music started…..and kept on going. The band played two entire sets that were delivered flawlessly to adoring fans who danced along to each tune. The setlist was impeccable although many fans were looking for the Grateful Dead’s “They Love Each Other.” They opened with “ There’s A Good Rocking Tonight” and ended the first set with “Big River.” The band kicked off the second set with “Boppin’ the Blues” and played amongst many more “ Get Out Of My Life Woman,” “Hard to Handle,” and “Catfish John.”
It is always hard for a photographer to have to put down his or her camera after the
allocated songs, but in this case I couldn’t have been happier to put the camera down…even if I needed a little help doing so by the stage manager. It gave me a chance to move to the back of the venue and just dance my shoes off, and really experience an amazing show. If you haven’t had the opportunity to catch CRB live do so the next time they are in town, you will be in for an amazing night. Track the band’s upcoming events here.