News Segment


March 24, 2006

The Black Crowes, “Freak ‘N’ Roll … Into the Fog” (Eagle Vision)

The Black Crowes latest concert DVD, “Freak ‘N’ Roll,” represents the cream of a five-day run at The Fillmore in San Francisco during a 2005 tour. The band was joined by Left Coast Horns, a four-piece brass ensemble that nicely fleshed out the show highlighted here.

As usual, the main instrument on stage rests in lead singer Chris Robinson’s throat, with his gritty and soulful vocals.39

The band launches into action with the life-affirming “(Only) Halfway To Everywhere,” with Robinson pouring in enough energy on the lengthy song to tire out most lesser frontmen.

It doesn’t take long for the enthusiastic crowd to realize they’re in for something special.

Obviously, Robinson handles the band’s hits easily, especially “Jealous Again” and the crowd-pleasing “She Talks To Angels.”

But when he gets to “Seeing Things,” he really turns on the soul afterburners, grabbing the microphone (which appears permanently affixed to the mic stand with black electrical tape) and lurching back and forth and the band pounds out the down-tempo tune behind him. It all comes together here. The back-up singers, the line of white candles on the speakers, the well-honed blues-rock band looking fresh – no one misses a beat.

The camera angles, always important in a good concert film, are steady and probing throughout. Viewers will enjoy seeing the giddy-as-school-kids Left Coast Horns boogie and shimmy to the rest of the band in between blows. When drummer Steve Gorman starts banging out the intro to “Hard To Handle” the crowd starts to nod in unison in anticipation of the bands signature song.

“Freak ‘N’ Roll” is a great look at a great band on a great night.

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