Alabama Shakes (311th new thing).

April 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

Patrick had seen the Alabama Shakes at the EARL months earlier, but my first time seeing the band was on Day Three Hundred Eleven, when they opened up a benefit show at Athens’s 40 Watt club. I had streamed songs from their website (since updated) and really enjoyed their bluesy rock and unique vocals. Patrick was super excited about seeing them live again, telling me they were going to blow up. And he was pretty spot on.

We headed to Athens straight after I got off work on a Friday night. It was only a day (or evening) trip for us, and we planned to head back to Atlanta after the opening act played, maybe catching a couple of songs from the headlining Drive By Truckers.

The show was amazing, one of the best live performances I had ever seen. The band had soul, the lead singer a riveting voice, and I was enchanted with her facial expressions as she sang, mouth opened wide at an angle as she belted out lines, her glasses slipping down her nose a little. Mostly, I was impressed with how fresh and unique their sound was. The rock and blues influences were obvious, but the sound itself was certainly their own.

We stood next to a couple of out-of-town Englishmen who made it a vacation to travel to Athens, GA and see the Drive By Truckers every year for the benefit performance for Nuci’s Space. After the Shakes, I overheard them gushing that the opening act was one of their new favorite performers, decided spur of the moment, from listening to that one show.

We weren’t alone in our delight with the Alabama Shakes. As Patrick predicted, the band has indeed exploded on the music scene with a full length album, a stint on Letterman, and a sold out European tour. Pretty good for a few young things from Alabama.

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