UPDATED: Last Night: The Black Crowes at House of Blues

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And while diehards might have cringed a bit -- no rarities or obscurities along the line of, say, "Paint an 8" or "Pimper's Paradise" or "Darling of the Underground Press" -- the band did tinker a'la Dylan on some of the tunes. Adding Greene's Pipien's mandolin to "She Talks to Angels" or a hard-rock break on "Hard to Handle," for instance. And their jams -- which sometimes can go on too long -- were focused and meaty.

Other highlights included "Good Friday" a passionate "Ballad In Urgency," and acoustic spin on the originally brassy "Welcome to the Goodtimes," and an extended, forceful "Remedy."

Early in their career, the Black Crowes were often compared -- too quickly -- to similarly jammy/hirsute bands like the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band. These were bands with a legacy, a knack for following their own muse, whose listeners didn't need to hear their songs on the radio or seen them in magazines to love them. They only needed to hear "they're coming to town" as impetus to get a ticket.

Well, the Black Crowes have finally, fully grown into that comparison. Hallelujah. Come join the jubilee.

Personal Bias: Big, big fan who has seen the band eight times over 20 years, including the legendary 1993 gig at the Sam Houston Coliseum which was broadcast live on radio and bootlegged as "High in Houston." (Then, as now, brother Classic Rock Jamie was with me. The backstage press conference was also the first time I'd ever seen Red Stripe beer). Once considered getting the group's drunk/stoned Heckle and Jeckle early graphic as a tattoo.

The Crowd: Thirty- and fortysomethings, many with old Crowes concert shirts (though my one from the 1999 Souled Out Tour was the most vintage I saw). A surprising number of thick-necked frat boys/bros who knew lyrics and danced with abandon.

Random Notebook Dump: "Why won't anybody pass me one of the joints going around? Maybe I'm standing too close to the door."

Overheard In the Crowd: (By a highly inebriated woman -- evidently -- in a white tank top holding a beer at 7:30 p.m.). "HEY, ONLY A HALF AN HOUR TO THE SHOW! WHOOOO! HALF AN HOUR! ROCK AND ROLL!!!"

Special Classic Rock Bob Note: Thanks to the band themselves for taking heed from their number "Wiser Time." Sunday night shows can be a bitch for fans who have to work the next morning (or come home and write a review past midnight). The ticket for tonight said "8 p.m." So when the band strolled onstage at 8:13 to the shock of many, they nonetheless put on a high-energy performance just shy of two hours. No lame/drawn-out opening act, no delayed start time. Nice.

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Under a Mountain
Sting Me
Hotel Illness
Good Friday
Medicated Goo (Traffic Cover)
Ballad in Urgency
Jam > Wiser Time
She Talks to Angels
Welcome to the Goodtimes
Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution
Thorn in My Pride
Soul Singing
Jealous Again
Been a Long Time


Hard to Handle/Hush (Deep Purple cover)/Hard to Handle

Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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I've been a fan since the beginning and there is no band better or as timeless as The Black Crowes! My son and I met the band and they were kind, professional and genuine. The show was awesome from the first note to the last!! Perfect Memory!


Wow, I wish I could have gone.


Decent review. One thing though, the song "Hush" is actually written by Joe South. A very underrated composer famous for penning songs like "Walk a mile in my shoes", Rose garden" and "Games people play". As a huge fan of the Black Crowes myself, I'll see the band in Karlstad in July. It will be their first gig in Sweden since 2001 when they supported Neil Young.

First TBC show: Hultsfred festival 1991 Last TBC show: London Forum X2, Easter 2013


lonianderson1979 topcommenter

sounds like a great night with the best rock n roll band around!


That's Jackie on mandolin during Angels, not Sven. Otherwise, great review.

Mont Hoyt
Mont Hoyt

good times but too may "hits" played last night. I know Jackie is still learning the songs so they are keeping it pretty basic this tour. Always a fun time though

MadMac topcommenter

Fun review, Mr. R. I've never seen the Crowes owing to the rep for late start times and, ~ahem~ pot-rowdie fans, (I'm old folks) but I wish I could've made this show.


@slugger52Thanks, slugger. I am aware that Joe South was the songwriter (and he is a great one), but most people know the song via Deep Purple, and it was a cover of their version (though Billie Joe Royal did the original).

I liked how they made all the lights "deep purple" as well for this song. And now that Rush is finally in the Hall of Fame, I think the Purps are at the top of the list for "Why the fuck aren't they already in??"


@MadMac It ain't 'pot-rowdie'. It's more calming. You're looking for 'drunk-rowdie' - those guys are dangerous.

MadMac topcommenter

No offense intended, I assure you. I've seen folk sending smoke signals get "rowdie" when security comes to boot them out the door. Agreed on the drunks, though.

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