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LIB recap: Alabama Shakes starts strong, but can’t keep the momentum going

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Alabama Shakes performs during day one of the Life is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas
Jason Harris

Obviously, Alabama Shakes, you have the potential to create a slew of hits. That southern rock gospel thing you got going, when it hits, it hits hard. “Hang Loose” is a good one. “Always Alright” was featured in the excellent film Silver Linings Playbook, I know, I know. But freaking aye, Alabama Shakes, you do not yet have the cadre of singles necessary to do what you did.

What you have is a very good band, an intensely powerful lead singer in Brittany Howard, and one of the best songs of the last few years in “Hold On.” So, Alabama Shakes, while I appreciate your desire to show the crowd what else you are capable of, don’t put your clear-cut closer at the beginning of your act until the rest of your act can hold up to the strength of that track. It was a good start, but with “Hold On” clocking in at song 3, the one thing the crowd couldn’t hold on to after that was their energy. And darn it, Alabama Shakes, the rest of the set was fine. But it was like foreplay after sex--a nice thought until you try it.

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