The Black Crowes 11.13.13

The Ogden Theatre
Denver, CO

Words By J-man

It was a normal Wednesday in Denver with thick weekday competition in town for the evening's music. As I prepared to head to Armoury for Funk Night, a call came through on my phone. It was Particle's Steve Molitz calling to invite me out to eat and to see The Black Crowes with him. It caught me off guard, but a short time later I was on my way to an Outback Steakhouse near the Denver Airport. Upon my arrival, we had a good laugh about meeting at an Outback. I ordered a glass of red and we were off to the races with humorous Particle stories and catching up. A short time later we were buzzing towards The Ogden for some Rock N Roll. Out front of the venue, lines were surprisingly short at the ticket window where folks were purchasing or picking up their $55.00 purchases. Inside the venue, fans found space to move for the headliner.

The Black Crowes took the stage around 10:00 PM for one sizable set that would end just prior to midnight. Through nearly two hours of straight ahead Rock N Roll, The Crowes impressed with fantastic instrumentation that included ripping guitar work between Rich Robinson and Jackie Greene. At times they sounded reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, at times The Allman Brothers. At no time did the sound stray from what would be considered American Rock. The vocals and demeanor of Chris Robinson exemplified the Rock front man and his raspy yet consistent vocals with his effeminate "hippie" dancing drew a lot of focus. At one point during a spacey/psychedelic jam, Steve leaned over to me and commented on how cool it was that the band was diving into such loose material within the first hour of the set. Though it was only 11:00 PM, it felt much later. Through deep cuts and some familiar material, the band didn't dive much into their more radio oriented material outside of "Hard To Handle," though each song was so well executed that almost any seemed to encompass a mainstream feel.

As the show approached its close, the band exited the stage and returned for a slower couple of selections for the encore. The crowd was appreciative and for many, drunk, as Steve and I made our way towards the backstage entrance. Steve knew a lot of the crew involved as he toured with Rich's band and played with Chris in Phil and Friends. As we turned and headed downstairs into the greenroom, I assumed there would be some sort of meet and greet with the band and fans. Instead it was myself, Steve and The Black Crowes winding down and shooting the shit. It was a sureal moment for me, as though I am not all that familiar with The Black Crowes' music, I was familiar with the personalities through other projects. The band was very kind, offering Steve and I beers and engaging us in conversation. Though I was in this unexpected scenario, all I could do was think about noshing on their spread of meats and cheeses. A short time later, full of beer and cheese, we said our good-byes to the band and crew, exiting the empty venue at about 1:00 AM. I dropped Steve off at his hotel knowing that our paths would cross a couple of nights later for his shows with The Everyone Orchestra in Denver. Driving home I scratched my head, reflecting on another interesting evening in Denver.

Set: Under A Mountain, Nebakanezer, Cypress Tree, No Use Lying, Nonfiction, Paint An Eight, Powerman, Ballad In Urgency, Wiser Time, Welcome To The Good Times, Whoa Mule, Remedy, Hard To Handle/Hush

Encore: Feathers, Willin'


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