Alabama Shakes and My Ticket Home

Alabama Shakes Fox Theatre

Last Saturday (the 4th) provided a memorable concert, even though I’ll remember the day for something else.

I have revolving standards when judging concerts. Sometimes when I go to concerts, I judge by the mood they put me in (e.g. Miami Horror was fun). Other times, it’s just the opportunity to be there (e.g. Mumford and Sons, favorite concert of 2011), or it’s by the synergy with my mood (e.g. Cass McCombs matched it), or it’s the performance of my favorite song of theirs (e.g. Fleet Foxes’s ‘Mykonos’ let me down), or it’s the set closer (or end-cap of the encore) (e.g. on the other hand, the maybe twelve other people that were there with me for Hosannas’s ‘People I Know’ will never forget the greatness of that closer). But enough with the “or’s.” Sometimes it’s all or none of those reasons. Yet, by any standard, Alabama Shakes is probably going to end up as my favorite concert of 2012. The sheer quality of the Athens, Alabama band oozed out in Boulder that night. Brittany Howard might be the closest my generation will ever get to see of Janis Joplin.

I’ve attached You Ain’t Alone as the featured song because it just so happens You Ain’t Alone is my favorite Alabama Shakes song. The recording is just short of 5 minutes and I estimate that it ran over at least 6 minutes live. There was probably a minute’s worth of applause after they played (the longest in-concert applause I’ve ever seen) and knowing the Joshua Bell story, I’m glad people were able to appreciate this beauty in musical form. As I tend to do, I’ll attach sentimental value to this song going forward and carry it with me as a reminder.

While outstanding, the recording doesn’t do them justice. Go see them live, it was one of those ‘I was there’ concerts, and quite frankly, I doubt any show in 2012 is going to top it.

You ain’t alone, so why you lonely?
there you go on the dark end of the street
are you scared to tell somebody how you feel about

somebody? are you scared what somebody’s gon think?
are you scared to wear your heart out on your sleeve?
are you scared me?

cause I’m scared the bomb gonna take me away…
oh, but I really don’t know what I got to say…

1-2-3, are you to scared to dance for me?
bite the bullet or tug my sleeve?
or are you scared out on your own two feet?

we really aint that different, you and me.
cause I’m scared the storm gonna take me away..

but I really don’t know what I got to say…
hold on….hold on…

cry, if you gonna cry
come on, cry wit me.

you ain’t alone,
just let me be your ticket home…