Yesterday, after teasing it a week earlier, the Black Crowes announced a big, ambitious reunion tour. Chris and Rich Robinson, the two brothers at the center the band, have been bitterly feuding with one another in recent years, but they’ve apparently patched things up enough to spend three months on the road together. Seems volatile! They’re celebrating the 30th anniversary their debut album Shake Your Money Maker, and they’re playing it in full every night, along with a greatest-hits set. And last night, we got some idea how that will look if they can keep it together.
When they unveiled the big reunion tour — set to kick f next June in Austin — the band also announced a couple warm-up gigs in smaller venues. The first those shows went down last night. The Black Crowes played New York’s Bowery Ballroom, knocking out an 11-song set that included all Shake Your Money Maker — everything except the bonus tracks, anyway — and an encore cover the Rolling Stones “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll.” It was their first show together since 2013.
According to JamBase, the Robinson brothers have a whole new backing band these days. Former drummer Steve Gorman, who recently wrote a juicy tell-all memoir about his time in the band, is not taking part. Instead, the rest the band includes a lineup people new to the band. Guitarist Isaiah Mitchell is from the psychedelic instrumental band Earthless. Bassist Tim Lefebvre plays in Tedeschi Trucks Band. Drummer Raj Ojha comes from the Once & Future Band, a prog rock group from Oakland. And keyboardist Joel Robinow has been playing with Chris Robinson in his band Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
It appears that the band did not discourage the fans at last night’s show from taping things on their phones, so there are a whole lot cellphone videos out there. It’s always hard to tell from these things, but it sure seems like the Black Crowes were in fine form last night, and the Robinson brothers made it through the show without breaking any bottles over each other’s heads. Watch some videos from the show below.