Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at First Avenue, 5/18/13
A slow-burning, poignant version of "Lullaby" blossomed gradually, as the vulnerable emotions of the song swept over the entire club. But that proved to be the last hushed moment of the show, as the main set ended with a blustery trio of tracks, beginning with an incendiary take on "White Palms," which featured an unruly coda of John Lennon's "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier, Mama" tagged to the end of the spirited number, driving home the defiant stance of both tracks. "Six Barrel Shotgun" kept up the breathless finish to the set, with Hayes taking a brief moment to say, "Thank you, guys," before the main set closed with a towering, edgy version of "Spread Your Love" that saw the band off to a massive ovation.
A feedback-laden, strobe light-drenched take on "Sell It" confidently kicked off the encore, with Been taking a moment to sincerely thank the crowd. "You guys have always been so nice to us. We've been coming here to Minneapolis and First Ave for over 10 years now, and each and every time you've always been so good to us. Thanks for supporting us all these years." And with that, the band left us with a moody and meaningful take on "Lose Yourself," which found Hayes needing a cigarette just to make it through the emotional number. It was the perfect ending for a band who have made their way through some dark times as of late, but still managed to make something sincere and significant out of their sorrow, while bolstering all of us in the process.
Personal Bias: I've been a fan of BRMC since their 2001 debut, but I've fallen off with their recent albums. Specter at the Feast drew me back in, and their live shows have never disappointed me.
The Crowd: A packed house full of Saturday-night revelers.
Overheard In The Crowd: "This song makes me want to learn how to play guitar," during the soaring middle section of "Lullaby."
Random Notebook Dump: I'd like to thank First Avenue for having a great show planned for my birthday, and for the complimentary bottle of champagne. And, my friend won the Tweet-table, so the entire night was a smashing success.
Let the Day Begin (The Call)
Red Eyes and Tears
Hate the Taste
Beat the Devil's Tattoo
Whatever Happened to My Rock 'N' Roll
Ain't No Easy Way
Promise (Robert solo on piano)
Fault Line (Peter solo)
Some Kind of Ghost (Peter solo)
In Like the Rose
White Palms/I Don't Want to Be a Soldier, Mama (John Lennon)
Six Barrel Shotgun
Spread Your Love
Sell It (Encore)
Lose Yourself (Encore)