Becoming a fan of Alabama Shakes is a journey, and seeing them live is the final step.
This band, who’s a self-proclaimed genre enigma, is going on tour this Summer. Hitting only a few music festivals and venues in the North East, the tour may be small but it will be fierce. Most importantly, this is your chance to complete the three-step process, to break out of your cocoon and become a true Alabama Shakes Fan.
Step 1: Discover
For many (like me), It all started with a 2015 SNL performance. The first few notes of “Don’t Wanna Fight” were enough to discourage me from hitting the fast forward button. Then, front woman Brittany Howard kept my attention with her giant tattoo of Alabama and her Prince earrings–yes, Prince, as in “Purple Rain.” Her earrings were literally just Prince’s face.
During the SNL performance, the whole band had an amazing stage presence, they looked good, they sounded good, and they made you feel something, which, on the frantic, tiny, SNL stage is a feat.
Step 1A: Google, and download, and frantically listen to every single song they’ve released at least once, until you have found your favorites. This won’t take long.*
*it will take about 5 hours but time will fly by in a way that when you come out of it you will say “wait, what year is it?”
Step 2: Wait
It is a slow burn, I added my favorites to my playlist and sent the Artist link to my friend, who then later forgot who introduced her to Alabama Shakes and sent me a link to “Sound and Color,” and I listened to it again. The band will creep back into your life and back onto your playlists again and again, simply because it’s perfect for every occasion.
Step 3: See them live
This is the final and most crucial step. I saw them headline Boston Calling last year…
The whole day was a mess of comical proportions. There was some sort of historical reenactment on the only road the GPS could find for us to drive on. The T stop we needed was under construction. We were late. We sprinted over the concrete steps of Government Center to the sound of the bands we were missing. I lost everyone and tried to barter my way back into the crowd with bags of chips. It was textbook chaos.
…Then there was Alabama Shakes, there was a lunar eclipse, there was magic, and the journey to loyal fanhood was complete.
It was emotional for everyone in the crowd that night–not just those who were overly exhausted. The magic of the simultaneous lunar eclipse aside, that is just what Alabama Shakes can do: move a full crowd of people with their music. It’s raw, emotional, and written from the heart.
Alabama Shakes is all the best music of the 1960s and 70s combined into one. It’s exciting, it’s soulful, its rock ‘n’ roll, but it’s also a little bit modern. Many people have referred to Alabama Shakes as one of the last surviving true rock bands. All this is evident when you see them on tour.
If you’re ready to make your first move and experience the magic, start here.