When the Alabama Shakes slid on to the national scene last summer, with a slight EP and a handful of YouTube videos, pretty much everyone who heard them knew they were about to blow up — and they have. And you know what? Everything I’ve heard says that they’re amazing live, better than their staggering EP and upcoming debut full-length Boys & Girls, but that’s wrong: wrong, wrong, wrong.
The Alabama Shakes are better live than you’ve heard. Brittany Howard has a presence beyond anything I’ve seen in someone so young, and a voice, which you knew, but still that voice. Her band is funny and talented. They are phenomenal live. They are beyond phenomenal. Last night’s show was a pleasure.
Full set is here, including a whole bunch from openers Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, who have their own debut album, There Is A Bomb In Gilead, out in May. Lee told a great story about seeing the Shakes in a Tuscaloosa dive bar for the first time, the evening of the Iron Bowl two years ago. I like to think that he discovered them, while preening and wearing an Auburn cap in a ‘Bama bar the year that Cam Newton took apart Saban’s defense.
This is the shit I think about, you guys. Go look at the photos and buy Boys & Girls when it comes out this week. Highlight of the year.