Chris Robinson Brotherhood have been making their way along the east coast this week as part of a big and strong summer tour. Tuesday night brought the five-piece, psych-boogie rockers to Rhode Island’s Fete Music Hall for an energetic, enthusiastic performance that was met with huge gratitude from a wholly satisfied Providence crowd.
“Forever Moon,” from the band’s Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, kicked off the night at Fete with a nice energy that would stay and expand for the rest of the evening. This show also enjoyed the recently added talents of drummer Tony Leone, who has been fitting into the CRB world perfectly. A very cool version of “Rare Birds” followed the opener, and the tune displayed the band’s unique feel for that modern psychedelic, classic rock mix.
Guitarist Neal Casal and keyboardist Adam McDougall were the reining soloists for this Providence stop, and the two went back to back with inspired moments of improv for the entire reach of the show. McDougall took the Brotherhood original “Roan County Banjo” up a couple notches with a great piano break, whereas Casal took full charge on the set one ender, a rocking version of Blue Cheer’s “Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham.” As the the apex of this 60’s rock cover was striding Casal’s frenetic, trilling solo, Fete Ballroom was replete with dancing, screaming bodies and a beautiful and buoyant energy.
Robinson and gang came back for a proper set two that climbed further ahead of the first half’s musical steam. The song bank from the which the band is able to draw, combined with their heady style of grooving, seems to ensure that setlist flow will be great no matter what. The lush and more subdued original “Some Gardens Green,” for instance, nestled nicely within the more floor-stomping rockers, and didn’t wall the energy in any way—perhaps due to the band’s flair for spacier rock and colorful, improvisational touches.
Robinson himself was visibly entertained for the night, happy and gleeful most likely towards his band whom were playing with such gusto and tenacity all night. The Brotherhood seems to be a great outfit for the man to be leading right now. He was smiling big most of the night, and his own performance was affected positively as such as well. “Ride,” the second New Earth Mud number of the night, featured some particularly stinging vocals from Robinson, really bringing out the soul element within his wheelhouse, and was also fleshed out fully from the band in regards to its sharply funky disco capabilities. For the encore to a terrific night, the band offered “After Midnight” which is always live treat no matter the band or circumstance, and they rocked it pretty hard for an encore.
Chris Robinson Brotherhood finish up in the northeast this week, with a show tonight at Patchogue, NY’s Stereo Garden, The Cabot in Beverly, MA on Saturday, and The Flying Monkey Movie House in Plymouth, NH on Sunday.
7/24/18 — Fete Music Hall — Providence, RI
Forever as the Moon, Rare Birds*, Wheel Don’t Roll, Train Robbers, Meanwhile in the Gods, California Hymn, Roan County Banjo, Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham#
Leave My Guitar Alone, Venus in Chrome, Some Gardens in Green, Loose Lips^, Tomorrow Blues, Ride, I Ain’t Hiding@, Shore Power
E: After Midnight$
* Jonathan Wilson
# Blue Cheer
^ Percy Mayfield
@ The Black Crows
$ J.J. Cale