A couple years ago, I saw a band I’d never heard of perform on Saturday Night Live that blew me away. The singer Brittany Howard’s voice and stage presence was so distinct and powerful that I was completely mesmerized by her.
This is the clip…
Tonight I’ll be seeing Alabama Shakes live at Edgefield, an outdoor venue outside of Portland. Joe and I got tickets a few months ago and will be joined by our good friend Sam and a couple other folks. The band released their second album, Sound & Color, in April, and are touring across North America. After watching these recent performances from Lollapooza, I’m even more excited — they’re incredible!
In an excellent New York Times profile, the writer Joe Rhodes describes Howard on stage:
“When she first steps in front of a crowd, there are moments when she seems like the awkward adolescent she used to be, all too aware of her size, her looks and her lumbering gait. But when she hits that first big unrestrained note — her face contorted as if possessed — or a thundering chord on her Gibson, stomping and quaking, preaching and confessing, her jaw jutting out like an angry, pouting child’s, everything changes. It becomes impossible to look anywhere else.”
In Howards’ words: “I don’t know where it comes from. But I know it when it’s there. It’s like — BOOM! — this thing comes through, and I know that this is my crowd. These people are mine, and I’m theirs.”
Are you a fan of this band? If you’re not yet familiar with them, I highly recommend checking them out. Their sound is sort of a bluesy/rock blend yet entirely their own.
We’ll be here in a few hours…waiting for show time.
Have a great weekend, everyone!