— by Jon Jackson
5/30/19 Effingham Performance Center
Hello Friends! Let me start off by telling you that Blackberry Smoke is my favorite band. This show is my 4th this year and we are barely half way through. Like I said, Favorite!
The house was packed and the Brothers and Sisters were in full force. The Brothers and Sisters are the very loyal fans of Blackberry Smoke and see them anytime they are close. Sometimes not so close. Even the opening band, The Matt Poss Band are members as well.
Matt Poss Band has also opened for this band 6 times. I have seen them twice myself. I highly recommend you check them out. They are all very talented musicians and put on a great show.
With the lights out and the stage blessed Blackberry Smoke walks out to a roar from the crowd. Ripping things of with a fan favorite “Six Ways to Sunday”. This up tempo number is a great way to start. It made me happy as I was talking about this song with a friend earlier in the day.
“Like I Am” was next and a great mid tempo song. Charlie Star (lead vocals / lead guitarist) and Paul Jackson (lead guitar / backing vocals) show off those guitar skills with a sweet harmonized solo.
“Nobody Gives a Damn” from the latest album “Find A Light” sandwiched another fan favorite “Good One Comin’ On”. Charlie wrote some alternative lyrics for the live version and the Brothers and Sisters are happy to sing them for him. He shows off his slide guitar skill on this one and others throughout the night.
“Waiting for the Thunder” demonstrates what a tight band this is. Charlie is singing his heart out with a blast of guitar, bass and drums to really make you feel the thunder. Rhythm handled by the Brothers Turner. Richard on bass and Britt on drums. Brandon Still gets to show his skills on the keyboards over the top of a tasty guitar riff. Whoo!
A Rolling Stones cover quickly kicked into “Rock n Roll Again”. This got the majority of the house to their feet and dancing along. They kept them dancing with “Let It Burn”. Both up tempo and easy to move along with.
Another song from the latest album “Medicate My Mind” slowed things down. It was a nice change of pace. There is a lot of merch for this song at the booth and in their online store. Even the bags they send you home with have it as well.
The Brothers and Sisters rose to their feet once again for “Pretty Little Lie”. You could also hear them singing almost as loud as the band. Something you will see at most every show when this is played.
“Lord Strike Me Dead” also from “Find A Light” bought us to one of my favorites “Sleeping Dog”. I like this because I know they are going to switch to a cover song. I have heard Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelin in the past. This time they had Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles. Well Done! They have been known to throw Sabbath (If you do not understand I am talking about Black Sabbath, I’m sorry!) in there as well.
“Run Away from it All” the 4th one from “Find a Light” transitions smoothly to another big one. As soon as Charlie starts playing the opening riff on the acoustic guitar, the Brothers and Sisters start the singing on “Ain’t Got the Blues”. I was doing my part and you can just feel the energy. It gives me chicken skin every time and one of the best parts of the show.
More from the latest album and of course some old ones, brought us to “One Horse Town”. Brother Paul starts this off with the acoustic guitar and the Brothers and Sisters are once again singing along. It is an experience that I rarely miss and love to be involved.
A heavy rhythm on “Flesh and Bone” redirects energy in the laid back previous song. You are headbanging to this one and Charlie sings his heart out on the chorus. This was the finish to the night and also the lead single from this current album.
Of course it was not the finish. It’s encore time. My least favorite part of every concert. However, they played my favorite cover from the album “Like An Arrow”, “Sunrise in Texas” (Michael Tolcher). It was an odd time to slow things down, but if you are going to do it, do it like this.
I know this is the last one as they begin playing “Amazing Grace”. They have done this for a few shows now. That brought us to “Ain’t Much Left of Me”, a song Charlie wrote while going through a divorce. That tidbit came from a show a few years back. Switching it up to throw some Skynyrd (see afterthought on Sabbath) at us. “Mississippi Kid”. Not a popular track, but fitting for this band. Rolling back in to the closing track everyone is on their feet and screaming the rest of their energy towards the band.
Blackberry Smoke always puts on a great show. You can count on the songs being played masterfully. They never disappoint and always throw in some goodies with their love of all music. If you have never seen them, or worse yet, never heard of them; run out and grab “Little Piece of Dixie”. When you are done, send me a message and I will give you some more suggestions. If you don’t care to listen to all the albums, at least find a playlist on any of the streaming services. It will be worth it.
Six Ways to Sunday
Like I Am
Nobody Gives a Damn
Good One Comin’ On
Waiting for the Thunder
It’s Only Rock n Roll (Rolling Stones Cover)/ Rock n Roll Again
Let It Burn
Medicate My Mind
Pretty Little Lie
Lord Strike Me Dead
Sleeping Dogs / Third Stone From The Sun (Jimi Hendrix cover) / Come Together (Beatles cover) / Sleeping Dogs
Run Away From It All
Ain’t Got the Blues
Til the Wheels Fall Off
One Horse Town
Flesh and Bone
Sunrise in Texas (Michael Tolcher cover)
Amazing Grace /Ain’t Much Left of Me / Mississippi Kid (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover) / Ain’t Much Left of Me