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The Black Crowes Soar at The Anthem: The Happiness Bastards Tour

by Shannon Flack May 2, 2024

Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes at The Anthem in Washington, DC (Shannon Flack)

On April 30, 2024, The Anthem in Washington DC pulsated with anticipation as The Black Crowes took to the stage, igniting the venue with the raw energy that has defined their legacy. As part of their eagerly awaited Happiness Bastards Tour, in support of their latest album of the same name, the iconic rock band promised a night of unadulterated musical ecstasy. Opening for them was the ethereal soundscape of The Asteroid No. 4, setting the stage for an evening of sonic exploration. With the clock striking 7, the venue was already brimming with eager fans, ready to immerse themselves in a journey through the soul-stirring melodies and electrifying performances that have made The Black Crowes synonymous with rock 'n' roll excellence.

As The Black Crowes took the stage at The Anthem, lead singer Chris Robinson couldn't help but quip, "It's been a while between records—to say the least," referencing the staggering 14-year gap between the release of their latest album, "Happiness Bastard," and their 2010 offering, "Croweology." The band launched into the night with a fervent rendition of "Bedside Manners" and "Rats and Clowns," both tracks from their newest release. However, by the third song, they delved into their earlier repertoire, unleashing the gritty anthem "Twice As Hard" from their debut album, "Shake Your Money Maker."

The Black Crowes at The Anthem (Shannon Flack)

The stage was transformed into a whimsical homage to the nostalgic charm of boardwalk amusement parks, evoking the spirit of iconic destinations like Coney Island. Overhead, strings of lights mimicked the silhouette of a traditional circus tent, casting a warm glow across the scene. Center stage, a formidable wall of amplifiers loomed, flanked by a striking mirror framed by marquee lightbulbs. Positioned before this spectacle, a platform housed the ensemble of backup singers, drummer, and keyboardist, completing the vibrant tableau.

No Black Crowes performance would be complete without their beloved renditions of soul legend Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle," the haunting "She Talks To Angels," and the infectious "Remedy," which served as the fitting finale to their set. As the night drew to a close, the band treated the audience to an encore performance of "Rocks Off," leaving no doubt that their legacy of electrifying rock 'n' roll endures with every chord and every note.

As the final chords of "Rocks Off" reverberated through the air, The Black Crowes left the stage bathed in the glow of adoration from their fans. As The Black Crowes bid farewell to the stage, enveloped in the lingering applause of their devoted fans, the essence of their performance was encapsulated by a poignant moment from earlier in the set. Chris Robinson's words, spoken with heartfelt sincerity before, echoed the sentiment that defined the evening: "...we wrote some songs and the dream started there...the dream keeps going and the dream is happening tonight." This sentiment, woven into the fabric of their performance, symbolized not just a concert, but a celebration of the enduring power of music and the shared experience between artists and audience.  As the echoes of their performance faded into the night, The Black Crowes left behind an indelible memory, reigniting the eternal flame of rock 'n' roll once more.


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