The energy was high as fans of Alabama Shakes and July Talk shuffled into the ACC. Peter Dreimanis‘ raspy Tom Waits-like voice started the party as July Talk launched into their discography. Leah Fay swayed beside him, her smooth, soft voice a beautiful counterpart to Peter’s raspy vocals.
The two knew exactly how to captivate the audience and played off each other with perfect chemistry. Their bands mates were never forgotten, the drums of Danny Miles, bass licks from Josh Warburton and slick guitar from Ian Docherty created a booming rhythm that could be felt throughout the floor of the ACC.
July Talk’s no nonsense set gave way to the headliners Alabama Shakes. The quartet opened their set to the cheers of many in the audience with their song “Future People”.
Alabama Shakes does an effective job of blending the power of lead singer Britanny Howard’s vocals with nuanced and accessible melodies. On “Rise to the Sun,” a dreamy, throwback groove, Howard exhibited her vocal range by hitting low sullen notes then quickly transitioning into her signature Janis Joplin like wails. The Grammy-nominated “Hold On,” nominated for Best Rock Performance, was a full on sing-along.
Alabama Shakes then ended the set with the ultra-trippy “Gemini,” the band awash in green light, as heavy drums, bass and psychedelic guitar chords vibrated through the room.
The band left the stage as the fan cheered for more. Their cheers were rewarded as Howard and her band mates graced the stage once more to play a three song encore which left everyone in attendance star struck long after the night was over.