An Intimate Evening with Alabama Shakes

Words by Gabrielle Duhon

 Courtesy of Free Press Houston

Courtesy of Free Press Houston

Alabama Shakes, or the story of how a late Tuesday night of procrastination and curiosity ended up becoming a last minute decision that I will forever cherish.

Just a few days before Alabama Shakes were coming to my hometown of Houston, I decided to check out which seats were available if any. To my surprise, there were three seats right in the middle of the third row from the stage, as if someone had just resold it minutes before. Without hesitation, I bought a ticket for me, my mother and my sister.

The concert was at the Cynthia Woods Pavilion Center in the Woodlands, Texas. I personally hate this venue because, one, it is outdoors and, two, Houston humidity. My love for Alabama Shakes surpassed this dilemma, and this love was truly tested on this hot, sticky night. It is very easy for bands to lose energy in this large, amphitheater but Alabama Shakes did everything but that.

Unlike most bands that start off the show with a hit song, Alabama Shakes strutted onto the stage to the sound of blaring old school hip-hop. They introduced themselves and began to talk about the night. “Now I’m only gonna give back what y’all give me,” lead woman Brittany Howard exclaimed. An excited, roaring applause from the audience countered that statement, confirming that there would be a lot in store for the night.

This show was the last show supporting their album Sound & Color. With that being said, Alabama Shakes left it all on the stage that night. The band played almost every song off both of their albums, 20 in total.

Even though there were probably 11,000 people also at the venue, this concert was the most intimate concert I have ever attended. The combination of mesmerizing colors, soulful singing, and my third-row seats had me feeling as if I were living in a dream. Bigger bands often stick to their setlists and just play the music but Alabama Shakes made sure to stop every other song to just talk and connect with the audience. To me, that truly made the experience worthwhile. It was as if I was there to see my friends, not a band.

It was such a hot, sweaty night that no one could distinguish my aggressive crying from my sweat, thankfully. I felt so connected and at home with Alabama Shakes that I could not help but sing my heart out to every song. I was just so blown away by the entire performance. Instead of ending off the show with a big, bold hit like most bands will do, the band decided to do the opposite and end the show with “Over My Head”. This soft song of heartbreak truly made my separation with the band even more bittersweet.
Overall, this concert was one I will always remember. Alabama Shakes is the perfect artist to see live with your family or close friends. I felt so happy and at home in their company and would definitely recommend seeing them live to anyone looking for a good night.