The Black Crowes – Beacon Theatre, NYC: “The Break-Up Show” – 03/22/1995

The Black Crowes
03/22/95 The Beacon Theatre, NYC

Cursed Diamond*, She*, She Talks To Angels*, Waitin’ Guilty*, Thorn’s Progress Jam > Thorn In My Pride, My Morning Song, Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye, Sometimes Salvation, P.25 London, She Gave Good Sunflower, High Head Blues, Sting Me, Twice As Hard, Stare It Cold
Encore: Seeing Things, Could I’ve Been So Blind, Champagne N’ Reefer, Remedy
* Acoustic version

WHAT MAKES THIS SHOW ESSENTIAL: This show almost never happened as Chris and Rich came to blows before the show. They were ready to cancel the show, the rest of the tour, and were convinced to make this the last show of the band’s career (cooler heads prevailed afterwards and the tour went on). It has been said that the opening Cursed Diamond, featuring only Chris and Rich, was the song that saved the band. Add in the other 3 acoustic songs that began the show, including the overall quality of the entire performance from the first minute to the last, and this is an essential show for Black Crowes fans (or fans of good music, in general) to hear and cherish.

Find out more and enjoy a rare youtube of Sometimes Salvation from the show after the jump…

The Crowes have been known to break out acoustic mini-sets at various shows over the years, but this one undoubtedly ranks as one of their best. Besides the above comments about Cursed Diamond, you should know that perhaps no other performance of the song in it’s decade plus life matches the passion and pure soul that is in this one. If Chris is apologizing to Rich through this song, as it certainly sounds he is, it is one hell of an apology.

She Talks to Angels is introduced by the organ of Eddie Harsch, before Rich joins him with the simple chords on guitar. Much slower and more dreamy than the hit album version, this is another example of live performance blowing a studio creation out of the water. Not to be forgotten is the gorgeous job of coloring the song that Marc Ford does. His little bits of noodling are perfectly placed. The band picks up the pace a bit for Waitin Guilty before plugging back in.

The group has made a steady habit over the years of jamming for a few minutes before actually starting Thorn in My Pride, and some of these jams have even been given titles, becoming almost like songs themselves in some ways. The Thorn’s Progress Jam is a perfect intro to Thorn in My Pride. For those who love to hear Marc Ford wail on lead guitar, and Chris Robinson blow on the harp, this is a truly great performance.

The jamming continues on the quintessential Black Crowes “jam-happy” tune, My Morning Song, probably already the greatest song in the band’s catalog, made even better here in a twelve minute or so version. The bridge finds Chris improvising some great lines that fit well into the original theme of the song, and the buildup out of the bridge, already a tremendous thing on the studio version, is a monster as always.

Disc two plays out as a much more straight up disc. The jamming is kept to a minimum, mostly played out for only an extra couple of minutes at the most. This isn’t really surprising given the amount of straight up anthems found in the second half of the show (I’m looking at you Twice as Hard, Sting Me and Stare It Cold).

The other cool thing about this disc is that it helps you realize how badass a groove P 25 London really does have, even if the lyrics and Chris’ vocals are about as obnoxious as you can get. Add in excellent renditions of Sometimes Salvation and High Head Blues (a personal favorite), and disc two is a winner just as much as disc one, though for completely different reasons.

The encore features two songs from the band’s debut that don’t get enough play (Seeing Things and Could I’ve Been So Blind), before delving into Muddy Waters for a cover of Champagne N Reefer. This track once again finds Chris wailing on the harp, and gives yet more definitive proof that this band makes perfect choices in terms of cover songs.

The show ends in the hard rock groove known as Remedy. On their most recent tours, the song has become very sped up, and it has lost a lot of the luster that its groove held. A version like this, with a controlled yet rocking pace, reminds you why you fell in love with The Black Crowes in the first place…

Given the band’s recent rise from the ashes and the historical importance of this show, it only seems appropriate to post this for your enjoyment.


~ by cdowell4 on February 22, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Black Crowes – Beacon Theatre, NYC: “The Break-Up Show” – 03/22/1995”

  1. (early show) (late show)

    thought this would be appropriate to share considering the talk about acoustic jams from the epic break up show.

  2. I stumbled onto this through Panictream because I know there are quite a few Black Crowes to be streamed and or dl’d and I was wanting to find vinyls too. I live in New Orleans, so prob won’t b too hard bur if I coud get THIS one I MEAN THIS ONE on vinyl !!!! SHIT, IT This show bleeds rock, heart, soul and roll…….that’s all I have to say for now!

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