Always Alright – Alabama Shakes

 

I hate to force my readers into watching an ad at the behest of Vevo, but it was the highest quality video I could grab from YouTube.

Here’s a live version of Always Alright by the ‘Bama Shakes on SNL.  I thought it should get a little press, considering that these guys are way more than just “Hold On.”  Brittany Howard’s voice (goes without say) kicks ass.  She’s a relic from a simpler time.  A powerful female presence that absolutely kills it on “Rise to the Sun.” (See below; see also “Hang Loose.”)

I swear, you can hear her vocal cords being stretched on every last damn track.  They kill it live.

 

Can we talk about killing it live?

(Pardon the quality; CBS and the Grammy folks aren’t too keen on sharing their content.)

Though the whole tribute to Bob Marley was fantastic, Bruno Mars stole the show.  “Locked Out of Heaven” is a really interesting track in its own right, what with the classic Police-esque verse (Sting was the obvious choice to sit in) that flies into a modern-pop chorus and breakdown, but Mr. Mars et al are such damn showmen.

I first started really appreciating Bruno Mars when I saw his tribute to Amy Winehouse on the VMAs a few years back.  What a breath of fresh air it was to see classic showmanship on the stage.

It makes me smile to see a 20-something trombonist dancing in unison with his guitar player.  These guys look so dedicated to the art of music, like they actually care and want to be on stage.  In recent music (and I’m talking like at least the last 30 years,) it has become status quo to get on stage and act a little holier than thou when it comes to the audience.  It’s refreshing to see a group that wants to get up and put on a show.  I know that groups like Vintage Trouble do the clap-your-hands-let-me-hear-you-say-yeah thing to an absolute T, but to see a real prominent figure in the pop scene partake is reassuring.

Justin Timberlake at the 2013 Grammy Awards

To give credit where it’s due, I know that Justin Timberlake had a similar vibe going with his big band setup – JT and the Tennessee Kids – at the Grammys, but lets just mention that Bruno Mars wasn’t on hiatus for the past six years.

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