There have only been a few select voices that have given me shivers up, down, and around my spine. Voices so strong and so good that they’re on the verge of superhuman powers. Alabama Shakes’ lead singer, Brittany Howard, sure as hell has one superhuman larynx. I was very privileged to catch Alabama Shakes as well as Antibalas last night at The Fox Theater in Pomona, and boy do these two bands know how to put on a good show.
“I wrote this song for a friend of mine. He was a little boy and I was a little girl. He was like a brother to me. We grew older and people said we were too old to be friends. I said ‘That’s some bullshit.’” – Brittany Howard (referring to “Boys & Girls”)
Alabama Shakes: Seriously, the music gods were literally shaking me last night. They were yelling, screaming, telling me that I was listening to one of the greatest voices I would ever hear in my lifetime. Aside from my joyful spastic convulsions, I gladly surrendered to their will. We stood towards the back of the room and I’m relieved that we did because we got to avoid the loud, unruly crowd. I was free to listen to the band’s fantastically soulful, southern rock tunes completely undisturbed by sweaty drunk bodies (trust me, this is one band you’re gonna want to really listen to live). I could feel (or rather believe) every note they played and sung, and my hips swayed in consensus to their heartfelt and honest lyrics. Thank you Alabama Shakes, for reinstilling my belief in the power of music.
Favorite track of the night: “You Ain’t Alone” because Howard’s voice alone made me feel like merrily weeping.
Antibalas: Once I saw 10+ instruments grace the stage, I knew I was in for a good show. What can only be described as a battalion of sound, Antibalas was armed with enough instrumental weaponry (percussion, organ, sax, trombone, trumpet, guitar, bass, and more) to conquer the aural world. With my limbs grooving around like nobody’s business, I had no choice but to concede to their funky afrobeat jams. Every song was a dance party and the band’s energy was beyond nuclear. Their entire set felt like one giant jam sesh between good friends and the rowdy, drunken crowd ate it all up like a bloodhound to a pile of raw t bone steaks.
Antibalas trombone/sax/trumpet players joining AS for “Rise to the Sun”
Click images for source.
Come on, cry with me,