Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the Fillmore, by Carolyn McCoy
Chris Robinson Brotherhood (photo: Carolyn McCoy)

Words by Carolyn McCoy

The music of Chris Robinson Brotherhood has something to say. It tells us to shut the fuck up and listen; it begs us to forget our worries for a few hours; it asks us to smile at the people around us and sing as they sing; and lastly, it invites us to have fun while it encourages us to be buoyant and joyful. With the dueling guitars of Chris Robinson and Neal Casal, in addition to the thumping bass of Jeff Hill, the booming drums of Tony Leone and a constant cascade of sound from Adam MacDougall’s masterful keys, the Brotherhood takes us on a musical journey outside of ourselves. They allow us to have some time away from our regular reality as their music feeds our souls.

Saturday night’s show was filled with treasured songs from CRB’s backstock of tunes. Opening with the epicness of “Comin’ Around The Mountain” and “Oak Apple Day,” CRB fed us love and joy with each moment of the band’s amazing and deeply connected dynamic with each other and with the audience. The band specializes in long, psychedelic blues jams, with each member playing off the others like a giant game of sonic ping-pong. The 2 incredibly fun sets also included “She Shares My Blanket,” ”Try Rock and Roll,” “Let It Fall,” and Hoyt Axton’s “Never Been To Spain.” With “I Ain’t Hiding,” CRB tapped into a bit of the Black Crowes songbook and the night ended in an encore of the band’s first-time coverage of Free’s “Ride The Pony.”

For a few hours, the world as we know it ceased to exist. We relaxed, let go, danced, and sang. To all of us present at this amazing CRB show, we were only aware of the throbbing notes and chords wrapping us in a sonic blanket that was asking us to simply be present with joy while we listened and felt with our whole being.