Alabama Shakes After the Purple Rain (Charlotte NC 4-22-16)

Alabama Shakes After the Purple Rain

Temperance League (6)

“At least the rain stopped…the Purple Rain” announced The Temperance League’s Bruce Hazel just before the start of their opening set for headliners Alabama Shakes at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre. The local Charlotte rockers found themselves in the enviable position of opening for one of the most popular, and critically acclaimed, rock groups now touring.

Temperance League (24)

Hazel’s reference to the passing of Prince just the day before was poignant as the loss of one of music’s great talents was still fresh on everyone’s mind. Significantly though, it would be one of the few direct references to the Purple One’s passing, in spite of Alabama Shake’s virile front woman Brittany Howard’s admiration for the singer/songwriter/instrumentalist. As the rain did indeed stop, so did any lingering sadness over Prince’s untimely death that was reinvoked by Hazel’s remarks, as the joy and life that emanated from Alabama Shakes that night was more than reflected back at them by the crowd.

Temperance League (20)

This elevated everyone in attendance to the levels of joy that only the greatest music can. Prince would have been proud of all of his admirers, both onstage and in the crowd, that night.

Alabama Shakes (15)

Love was the theme of the night as Howard elaborated upon her love for the Alabama Shakes fans in the audience several times throughout the show. “I don’t give a damn, I love you. And we’re very happy to get to know all of you. So let’s start thinking like that,” announced Brittany just before the band launched into a rousing live version of “Future People” off Sound and Color. Brittany’s comments obliquely addressed the current controversy surrounding the passage of North Carolina’s HB2, which has ended up costing the state some significant revenues which recently included the cancellations of concerts by both Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen. “We are going to play the show. We couldn’t just say ‘No, we’re not showing up and I’m sorry your government is behaving this way.’ That’s not the right thing to do,” stated Howard in a podcast interview for CRN International in reference to Alabama Shakes decision to go forward with the show in Charlotte. Howard did emphatically deride the law itself though. “I think it’s wrong what the lawmakers did…wrong to take their tax money, turn around and then disbar them from living with their identity that they fought so hard to understand and develop.” (see Rolling Stone for the full story here).

Alabama Shakes (43)

Howard and Alabama Shakes’ performance was about the all inclusiveness of their music, and music in general, so nothing really more needed to be said on HB2 from the stage that night. The crowd was a widely diverse cross section of music fans. There were hard core Alabama Shakes fans in attendance of every race, color and gender you can imagine. Amongst the Millennials fresh out of college, who only stopped making out long enough to dance and shake to songs they particularly remembered making out to in their dorms and fraternity houses, were entire families of fans which spanned generations. Such is the powerful appeal of Alabama Shakes’ music.The love took a particular romantic and intimate turn, for one couple at least, when Howard asked from the stage, “Where’s Sabrina?” and once finding her in the crowd, continued with “Jonathan has something to say.” How awesome, and memorable, and just downright beautiful is it that the band took the time to allow a couple to get engaged to riotous cheers during one of their shows? Alabama Shakes is more than just a great bunch of musicians. They’re a great bunch of human beings.

Alabama Shakes (5)

The diversity in Alabama Shakes’ music is as powerfully and ironically inclusive as their fans’ diversity is. This is strikingly apparent in the Alabama Shakes live experience. They are already on as good live as some of the greatest acts in rock, soul, and blues, and they are only two full length albums in on their career. The breakneck pace of “The Greatest” rests just a comfortably next to the pop sheen of “Shoegaze” and the psychedelica of “Sound and Color” in a live setting as they do on vinyl, plastic, or digital download as they stream through your headphones. Perhaps, the most striking and moving performance of the night was the set proper closer “Gemini.” With the band and stage bathed in a purple glow as the slow beat and ripping guitar loped along, one could almost feel the departed Prince’s spirit gliding on the sound waves emanating from the amphitheatre’s sound system. It was definitely a purple moment that paid tribute to the spirit of Prince’s music, even if nary a word from the band denoted it as such.

Alabama Shakes (13)“To David Bowie. To Prince. How about to YOU!” exclaimed Hazel near the end of Temperance League’s opening set, but here’s to Alabama Shakes for delivering a unique and diverse experience to a city that has rapidly come to define itself upon its diversity and inclusiveness. Performances such as these are moments to celebrate their happening, not that they were threatened with not happening because of the intolerance of others. Love was the theme of Alabama Shakes show, in all its forms, and love is what was felt. Love for those with us. Love for those who are no longer with us, and love for each other in spite of our differences.

Alabama Shakes (20)

See full gallery of the night.

Related article: http://shutter16.com/hb2-vs-music/ | http://shutter16.com/goodnight-sweet-prince/

See them on tour:

Date Venue City
Mon 25 Apr 2016 Track 29 Chattanooga, TN, US Sold Out
Tue 26 Apr 2016 Exploreasheville.com Arena Asheville, NC, US Tickets
Wed 27 Apr 2016 The Classic Center Athens, GA, US Tickets
Wed 27 Apr 2016 —
Sun 01 May 2016
SunFest 2016 West Palm Beach, FL, US Tickets
Fri 29 Apr 2016 Cuban Club Ybor City, FL, US Sold Out
Sat 30 Apr 2016 St. Augustine Amphitheatre Saint Augustine, FL, US Sold Out
Fri 20 May 2016 Hangout Music Festival 2016 Gulf Shores, AL, US Tickets
Fri 27 May 2016 Les Schwab Amphitheater Bend, OR, US Sold Out
Sat 28 May 2016 Deer Lake Park Burnaby, BC, Canada Sold Out
Sun 29 May 2016 Sasquatch! Music Festival 2016 George, WA, US Tickets
Sat 02 Jul 2016 Marcus Amphitheater Milwaukee, WI, US Tickets
Sat 02 Jul 2016 SummerFest 2016 Milwaukee, WI, US Tickets
Fri 08 Jul 2016 Barclaycard British Summer Time 2016 London, UK Tickets
Fri 08 Jul 2016 —
Sun 10 Jul 2016
Festival Cruilla Barcelona 2016 Barcelona, Spain Tickets
Sat 09 Jul 2016 Cruilla Barcelona Summer Festival 2016 Barcelona, Spain Tickets
Fri 15 Jul 2016 Mud Island Amphitheatre Memphis, TN, US Tickets
Sat 16 Jul 2016 Waterfront Park Great Lawn Louisville, KY, US Tickets
Sat 16 Jul 2016 Children’s Mercy Park Kansas City, KS, US Tickets
Sat 16 Jul 2016 The Forecastle Festival 2016 Louisville, KY, US Tickets
Sun 17 Jul 2016 Buzz Beach Ball 2016 Kansas City, KS, US Tickets
Tue 19 Jul 2016 Civic Opera House Chicago, IL, US Sold Out
Wed 20 Jul 2016 Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL, US Sold Out
Fri 22 Jul 2016 —
Sun 24 Jul 2016
XPoNential Music Festival (Camden, NJ) 2016 Camden, NJ, US Tickets
Fri 22 Jul 2016 —
Sun 24 Jul 2016
Panorama Festival 2016 New York, NY, US Tickets
Sat 23 Jul 2016 BB&T Pavilion Camden, NJ, US Tickets
Fri 05 Aug 2016 —
Sun 07 Aug 2016
Vertex 2016 Buena Vista, CO, US Tickets
Sat 06 Aug 2016 Kit Carson State Park Taos, NM, US Tickets
Sun 07 Aug 2016 Comerica Theatre Phoenix, AZ, US Tickets
Tue 09 Aug 2016 Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA, US Sold Out
Wed 10 Aug 2016 Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA, US Sold Out
Fri 12 Aug 2016 Greek Theatre Berkeley, CA, US Sold Out
Sat 13 Aug 2016 Greek Theatre Berkeley, CA, US Sold Out
Sun 14 Aug 2016 Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre Irvine, CA, US Tickets

Alabama Shakes

Temperance League

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