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Concert Review: Rich Robinson

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The other day I got a call from an old friend of mine. Turns out, she had come into possession of a pair of tickets to see Rich Robinson in concert. I had known the show was coming, but was kind of waffling as to whether or not I was going to go. Funny how a free ticket makes up one’s mind rather quickly. But moreso than that, it was a great opportunity to catch up with a friend. Anyway, we went to the show and had a great time.

We got there about 9:00 and walked in just as the opening act was hitting the stage. I was a little disappointed by the small crowd, I would have thought that the guitar player from the Black Crowes would have drawn a larger crowd. Fortunately, he didn’t let the small crowd deter him from putting on a great set.

Antigone Rising. This all female band took the stage shortly after 9:00pm and set the pace for the rest of the evening. They came right out of the gate playing hard rock with a southern flavor. I had never heard of them before, but after tonight, would definitely go see them again. They played for about 45 minutes getting great an enthusiastic response from the small crowd. Playing a mix of driving rock and slower paced thoughtful fare, they git the crowd ready for what was yet to come. The five piece band came together as a single unit onstage. None of them stood out as great individual musicians, but together they combined to play some good rock and roll. They don’t fall within my typical realm of music, but I am glad to have had the chance to see them.

Rich Robinson. Here’s the reason we were there. Rich Robinson, the co-founder of The Black Crowes with his brother Chris, took the stage at approximately 10:23pm to little fan fare, that is not to say his arrival on stage, wasn’t enthusiastically received. I generally go to metal shows where there is usually some sort of music or darkening of the lights hearkening their imminent arrival. Rich took the stage, no rock and roll cliche here, very intimate. Before going any further, I should say that I am not familiar with any of Rich’s solo music and I am only familiar with The Black Crowes bigger hits. That being said, I was very impressed with Rich’s latest work. Over the course of the 90 minute set they played many of the songs off of the the album, Paper, as well as some songs that didn’t make the cut, also mixed in were a couple of cover songs and Black Crowes tunes. I can honestly say that this was a first time listen for virtually all of the songs that they performed. Rich’s music can best be described as southern flavored rock and roll. For the most part it is straight forward, not terribly experimental, but great music to sit back and groove to. Rich, in addition to playing the guitar, sings lead. The good thing is that he knows the limits of his vocal ability, which isn’t terribly extensive, so he relies on his guitar to do his talking for him. That is not to say he is a bad singer, he isn’t, it’s just that his singing is the weaker portion of his game. In the end his voice isn’t the focus here, it’s his guitar playing which is excellent. Playing hard driving riffs, solos, or slide, he has a great sound which just infects the listener, you can’t help but have fun. The rest of the band was excellent as well, a steady drummer, who was playing his fist night with Rich, and steady bass keeping the beat. Rich seemed at home up onstage, doing his thing, having full control of his music. The performance was electric. All I can really say is if you have the opportunity to see him perform, take it, you won’t be disappointed.

Setlist: 9/16/04 Poughkeespie, NY The Chance
Jam>>Know Me
Enemy Veil
Walking By Myself
Leave It Alone
It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry (first time played)

Words of the Chosen>>Song of Love
Yesterday I Saw You
Oh No
It’s Over (a.k.a Goodbye)
Don’t Do It
Memos From Turner

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