This Sunday evening I took my wife to Columbus, Ohio to see the Black Crowes play a live show. Outdoor venues are my favorite way to experience a concert. Outside the music just seems crisper and lacks the reverberations that often muddy up the sound during an indoor performance. The atmosphere inside some of the old concert halls is indeed magical but keep in mind that many of these historic buildings were designed around orchestra and vocal performances before amplified PA systems even existed. In other words with rock and roll a little volume goes a long way. How the audio sounds at an indoor venue depends a lot on where one sits in relation to the loudspeakers. The same holds true at outdoor shows too but for me being out under an open sky and enjoying the music without it bouncing around off four walls and a ceiling is tops.
The afternoon was beautiful and the band took the stage as the sun set behind the back wall of the amphitheater. The Crowes played two long sets without an opening act. The current tour celebrates the band's 20 year anniversary. This show was significant for me because I saw them play during their first tour in support of Shake Your Money Maker. I'll keep this review short and sweet: They Rocked! With 20 years of practice I can say without a doubt the Black Crowes have their sound dialed in.