The Black Crowes, despite the recent publicity over front man Chris Robinson’s separation from Kate Hudson, continued strong on their summer tour.

I received a call from my buddy John the Saturday before, asking me if I would like a free ticket to see The Black Crowes the next day. I accepted of course and picked up my ticket as soon as possible. The next day I arrived late to the tailgate and was the last to join my friends in the summer concert celebration. After jump starting John’s truck and watching him throw up a couple of times, my other friends and I headed in.

We had lawn seats which, as you will know if you have ever been to the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA, meant that we were watching the show on large screens most on the night.

The Black Crowes kicked off their set with “Cursed Diamond;” always an excellent opener. Next was their version of John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” and despite an early flub from keyboardist Eddie Harsch, the song ended strong and served as a great energy builder for the rest of their set. From there they segued into “Stare It Cold” which introduced the crowd to the tearing blues of Marc Ford’s lead guitar skills.

Between songs, lead singer Chris Robinson spoke out to the crowd saying, “Welcome to the Sunday Service groove.”

After a cover of the Joe Cocker famed “Space Captain” and their own “Seeing Things,” the boys unleashed one of their newest songs, “It Takes One To Know One.” This was a fantastic song and I was happy to see that The Crowes had not given up on writing great tunes.

Next was an uninspired version of “Soul Singing.” This song is always better when they jam it out but the group stuck to a fairly basic version. However, the band picked up the energy with a great cover of “Up On Cripple Creek” featuring younger brother Rich Robinson on lead vocals. Following the cover, an excellently performed “Ballad In Urgency” led into “Wiser Time” and then they rocked out during “Thorn In My Side”. “Thorn” included a rather extensive drum solo from Steve Gorman during which the rest of the band left the stage for a bath room and/or illegal activities break.

Unfortunately for us fans, before this show both Marc Ford and Ed Harsch have left the band.

I’m not worried though, The Black Crowes have gone through more changes than a Fairfield University female freshman dressing for her first party, and the band is still touring.

If the past 16 years has been any indication of their future, they will remain here for a long time playing exceptional music and drawing fans in with captivating and thrilling performances.

I sure hope so at least because seeing this band has been, for me, a religious experience.

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