In 1990, The Black Crowes released their smashing debut album “Shake Your Money Maker,” cementing their legacy in rock as it climbed to the tops of the charts. Thirty years and more than five million copies sold later, The Black Crowes announced the highly anticipated Shake Your Money Maker Tour after reforming in 2019, which would see the band perform the album in its entirety across the United States in an impressive 37-date run. This 30th Anniversary celebration was first announced in 2019, but after more than a year of uncertainty and devastating cancellations, the dates were finally solidified and the Crowes were set to hit stages in summer 2021.
Opening act for the cross-country trek is Dirty Honey, a rising star in the hard rock scene. Often likened to The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin at their heyday, their set was the perfect spark to set off an explosive night of rock ‘n’ roll, and offered support for their recently released debut album. These four talented musicians are far from novices: even as the supporting act, their energy was infectious and their presence entirely commanding over the audience. They played with not just swagger, but a hunger and ambition that caused the crowd to swell with excitement.
The on-stage chemistry Dirty Honey possesses is second to none. Guitarist John Notto relentlessly crossed the stage from left to right, not once faltering as he played through an electrifying set, while bassist Justin Smolian‘s engulfing bass presence, paired with drummer Corey Coverstone‘s solid and precise beats, laying down an impenetrable groove. Each musician got their chance to soak up the spotlight, with a short drum solo, an extended bass track introduction, and a star-studded guitar solo from Notto
Tying the act together is vocalist Marc LaBelle. His varying tone and impassioned delivery will echo the halls of rock stardom for years to come, with high notes that soar towards the heavens with cataclysmic force. I’m honestly reminded of Chris Cornell every time that I witness LaBelle‘s vocal delivery, he just keep getting better and better. There is little question he’s a front-man who lives for the art of performance: after even coming down during one song to sing from the photo pit, towards the last song he turned the microphone towards the audience and asked if they could play another. Of course, the answer was a resounding and enthusiastic “YES!”
If Dirty Honey is not in your radar, go and correct that mistake now, and if you love rock n’ roll, you know them and they are not in your list of favorite bands, you seriously need to get that taste checked.
Dirty Honey and The Black Crowes are a match made in heaven, and made for a perfect summer night soaked in smooth hard rock. The former set the scene for the Crowes’ arrival on stage, their performance leaving a vibration of anticipation in its wake. In a sea of lights and cheers The Black Crowes took their places, bringing with them the showmanship expected of a momentous 30th anniversary celebration. Including props and a stage littered with elements to enhance their delivery, it was clear that the recitation of “Shake Your Money Maker” was due to be much more than a simple play-through.
The Robinson brothers are still the backbone of the band, with other members having joined the ranks in their 2019 reformation. But it is Chris and Rich Robinson who truly stole the show, their flair and vibrancy igniting the venue with every verse and familiar melody. Chris began the set with an umbrella in hand, singing and dancing with overflowing charisma: if nothing else, his voice was a soulful beacon in the night. This dynamic fluidity carried across the set, and the stage was abound with dancing, playing, and rocking the night away. Even when Chris was fighting to keep all eyes on him, every member of the band showed off masterful command of their instruments, splashing melodies across a canvas of cheering fans with refinement and grace. It was simply impossible to pull one’s attention away from the stage.
The rawness to the delivery, coupled with the passion and importance of the night for both the band and many fans, was apparent in every passing song. Perhaps most impressive of all was the live rendition of “She Talks To Angels,” the band’s most touching and fabled ballad brought to life with resounding clarity. Not confining themselves to solely their debut, The Black Crowes dipped into their sophomore album “The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion” and a handful of cover songs. Even as the night stretched on, it was clear that no one wanted the celebration of talent and nostalgia to end.
Between both Dirty Honey and The Black Crowes, West Palm Beach was treated to a sample of pure, unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll. Both new faces and old fans alike were able to bask in the simple pleasures of performers who brought with them not just talent, but passion.
DIRTY HONEY Setlist
Gypsy / Break You / Scars / Girls Got Rhythm (cover) / Tied Up / Heartbreaker / Drum Solo / Down The Road / The Wire / Bass Solo / California Dreamin’ / Another Last Time / Guitar Solo / When I’m Gone / Rolling 7s
THE BLACK CROWES Setlist
Twice As Hard / Jealous Again /Sister Luck / Could I’ve Been So Blind / Seeing Things / Hard To Handle (cover) / Think N’ Thin / She Talks To Angels / Struttin’ Blues / Stare It Cold / No Speak No Slave / A Conspiracy / Soul Singing / Wiser Time / Thorn in My Pride / Remedy / Feelin’ Alright? (cover)
PICTURE GALLERY (Dirty Honey)
PICTURE GALLERY (The Black Crowes)