Alabama Shakes Bring ‘Sound and Color’ to New York City’s Beacon Theatre
The Brittany Howard-fronted blues rock outfit has been making its rounds, recently appearing on Saturday Night Live to perform two of their new tracks, "Don't Wanna Fight" and "Gimme All Your Love." Both new songs found their way to the setlist last night -- and they sounded as glorious as ever.
Although the band mostly focused on the new album -- leaving out some of the best songs from their debut album Boys and Girls, like opening track "Hold On" -- there was nothing that could possibly disappoint the electric crowd. Everyone swayed to Howard's seductive, soulful vocals, cheering loudly after each song. The band opened with one of their oldest tracks to date, "Rise to the Sun," to which the fans exploded in applause.
Howard is a woman of very few words, but when she spoke during the gig, she seemed utterly grateful to be performing in front of the sold-out Beacon, a monumental step up from where they were when they first joined forces nearly six years ago. When she sang, her voice was pristine; no pitch issues, no scratchiness, no squeaking. She made it look easy and it was obvious her heart was in it the entire time.
When the main set came to a close, Howard retired her guitar for a few songs and just let her vocal chops go, flying all over the front edge of the stage, singing to the crowd with all the passion she could muster. No fans were in their seats at this point, and in fact, it had been that way since nearly the beginning of the evening.
During the encore opener, "I Still Ain't Got What I Want," Howard was jaw-dropping, and with "You Ain't Alone," the spotlight was focused squarely on the band's newly-enlisted backup singers.
It may be obvious at this point in the Shakes' career, but their live show should not be missed. Sound and Color is due out on April 21 via ATO Records, and you can grab details -- and their full tour itinerary, including a stop at Mountain Jam -- here.