Alabama Shakes, Live In Concert: SXSW 2012
A staple of "Bands To Watch" lists far and wide, Alabama Shakes sure didn't shrink under the open Texas skies during NPR Music's 2012 SXSW showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday night. Armed with a bright new batch of songs from the forthcoming Boys & Girls — not to mention booming, shout-along standbys like "Hold On" — lead singer Brittany Howard seemed to feed off a crowd 2,000 strong and packed to the exits. Commanding the spotlight with a generous set worthy of a headliner, Alabama Shakes ought to get used to playing for this many people in years to come.
Soul music comes in countless iterations, from retro revivalism to smooth seduction; the musicians of Alabama Shakes focus mostly on the genre's gritty, sinewy side. The group (once known as The Shakes) enjoyed an auspicious breakthrough with a self-titled EP last year. But this is a full, tight, ridiculously proficient band with remarkable live chemistry. As polished and accomplished as Alabama Shakes' members sound in the studio, the stage is where these songs sizzle, seethe and slam.
Producers: Amy Schriefer, Robin Hilton; Video by: XI Media; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait
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