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Best of Sasquatch 2012: Alabama Shakes

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Alabama Shakes, Photo by Kyle Johnson

 

You should probably be prepared to hear the name Alabama Shakes more and more, starting now. This was one of the hands down best performances of the Sasquatch weekend and had everyone dancing and swaying in front of the Bigfoot stage Saturday afternoon.

If the sun wasn’t sending beads of sweat down your back, this set was sending shivers down your spines. Lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard taught us all a thing about soul and rock and roll, as she strummed her red guitar and pleaded into the microphone during songs like ‘I Found You’ and ‘Be Mine.’ This is a group of musicians that does something special- they take something familiar and make it completely their own. They may sound similar to other soul and rock and roll acts from years past,  but in today’s popular music scene they’re something true and beautiful to behold. The seem to bleed passion and heart on stage during each song, winning over the audience with every surprising note they hit.

Sometimes when a band plays their current radio single, it sounds a little tired. That was anything but the case when Howard and her band of men busted out ‘Hold On’ as their third song. I didn’t know it was possible, but they’re even more robust and soulful live than on their album. It was evident that she was giving each note of that song everything in her; she wasn’t holding back and neither was the crowd when they went nuts after the song was finished.

There’s been a lot of hype around the debut album from Alabama Shakes, titled Boys and Girls. When you listen, it’s gritty and classic, and that’s exactly what they are live. They live up the hype live, and they’re a band that people are excited to see and hear for a reason. The Sasquatch crowd was a little dazed after their set, and it wasn’t from the sun beating down on them.