Concert Review: Chris Robinson Brotherhood (November 3, 2015)

November 12, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

ARTIST:  Chris Robinson Brotherhood

VENUE:  The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC

DATE:  November 3, 2015

Review By:  Hannah Bober

Photos By:  David Simchock

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2015-11-03 (Asheville, NC)The Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2015-11-03 (Asheville, NC)© Copyright David J. Simchock There was no opening act for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood when they played at the Orange Peel on Tuesday night.  Nor did they give an introduction to their set, or start with the typical plucking of the instruments accompanied by short, conversational banter.  Or, to put it as it appeared to this concert-goer:  no opener, no intro, no problem.  Patience never being a virtue I've possessed, I was actually rather relieved with the lack of leading music and introductory pleasantries in my eagerness to see the headlining CRB come onstage. 

My impatience did not go unrewarded, as the band was equally ready to get down with some Southern rock.  The CRB played to a full house, and yet the venue was not so packed that fans couldn't move freely about the floor.  Such an atmosphere is a testimonial to the Orange Peel's capacity to accommodate a substantial volume of patrons, while remaining an intimate bar at which one can sit and enjoy an evening of music. 

So distinctly casual and comfortable was the atmosphere, I was at first unable to put my finger on what, in addition to the laid-back nature of the music itself, I was enjoying so thoroughly about the show.  Then it hit me:  I can't remember the last concert I attended where the room wasn't lit up with the bright, blinking screens of recording cell phones.  Somehow, this band was able to rally an entire crowd of people down for experiencing the night and the music with the people around them, instead of making poor-quality videos of the performance to later post on YouTube and Facebook.  Undoubtedly a bond between the CRB and their fans, it was a scene I could definitely get used to.

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2015-11-03 (Asheville, NC)The Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2015-11-03 (Asheville, NC)© Copyright David J. Simchock Robinson and his crew, including members Adam MacDougall (keyboard), Neal Casal (guitar), Tony Leone (drums) and Mark Dutton (bass) dished out a helping of blues-rock in their jam band style, with songs like "Oak Apple Day" and "Clear Blue Sky & The Good Doctor".  I never cease to be amazed at the underlying intensity of jam music, which in this case was complemented perfectly by the ease in which the band delivered.  A hint of incense filled the air while Casal took it away on guitar, and the stage lights gave nothing short of an intergalactic show.

"Little Lizzie May" threw out a bright and upbeat kick for the audience, before the band slowed things down a bit with "Tumbleweed In Eden".  Evidently not ones to let the languid linger, the CRB quickly took the smooth, spacey sound and turned it into another lively hit with the crowd.  The fluidity with which the band transitioned between sounds was certainly impressive, but above all simply made for a fun and lighthearted experience.

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2015-11-03 (Asheville, NC)The Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2015-11-03 (Asheville, NC)© Copyright David J. Simchock

An incredibly skilled harmonica player, Robinson broke out his for "I'm A Hog For You".  Hailing from the 1950s when it was performed by The Coasters, the tune was popularized for a different crowd by fellow jam rock band and CRB inspiration The Grateful Dead several decades later.  Performed with a nod to the Dead's version and the exceptional talent of the CRB themselves, the band gave "Hog" an incredible tribute. The cover was followed by the sweet, melodic "Wheel Don't Roll", as well as powerful instrumentals like those in "Train Robbers".

CRB wrapped up the show with "Beggars Moon" from their album Phosphorescent Harvest.  The catchy beat headed up a perfect finale, and was actually one of my first introductions to the band's music.  Certainly not to be lumped together solely with the jam band genre, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood blends blues and Southern rock with a psychedelic punch, and delivers a  thoroughly enjoyable show.

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2015-11-03 (Asheville, NC)The Chris Robinson Brotherhood 2015-11-03 (Asheville, NC)© Copyright David J. Simchock

CHECK OUT THE CRB  GALLERY HERE

 

 


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