Jerry Lee Lewis once said â€œthere’s nothin’ like tearing up a good club now and then,â€ and Alabama Shakes definitely have the ability to rip through a venue. Already breathy with visible beads of sweat on her forehead and neck just two songs into the bandâ€™s 15-song set at Brooklyn Bowl, singer Brittany Howard instantly set the tone for the remainder of the night. The first of three New York shows, including a secret show on Dec. 10 at the Lakeside Lounge, the Athens, Ala. quartet sold out each night. â€œThereâ€™s an awful lot of you,â€ said singer Brittany Howard. The band pounded through an hour-plus setâ€”even distracting some serious bowlers from their timed game. One second Howard is melodically screeching like a reincarnated Janis Joplin, the next sheâ€™s rotating the stage more than the boys ripping through her Gibson like Chuck Berry.
Moving through songs from their EP and upcoming debut album, Boys & Girls, the band played heavy blues and more Motown flashbacks in â€œHold Onâ€ and â€œYou Ainâ€™t Aloneâ€ with Howard evoking James Brown from her grunts down to the cool whip of her sweaty nose and brown. Midway through, Howard glossed over a popped G string on her guitar, and the band played on. Howard, along with guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell and drummer Steve Johnson, have indeed come a long way since their cover days two years ago from raved CMJ shows, a successful tour with Drive By Truckers and their upcoming gigs at this yearâ€™s SXSW. Even if Howard and co. emit a bounty of legends, thereâ€™s not an ounce of evidence that shows she, or they, fake any of it.
Photo by Tina Benitez. Check out more of Tina’s work at http://tinabenitez.wordpress.com/