Alabama Shakes @ The Greek Theatre

Remember the claw machine at the pizza parlor? Few things compared to the sheer joy of managing to snatch not one but two prizes with a single play. Well, the Alabama Shakes’ upcoming concert at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre may not cost a quarter, but the thrill of getting to see the Grammy-winning blues rockers paired with opener Kurt Vile is an amazing two-for-one. Much can be said about the band, which (naturally) hails from Alabama and has two raucous albums of soulful tunes to their name, but the real appeal here is lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard. Wielding a voice that finds its influence somewhere between the vast musical legacies of AC/DC’s Bon Scott and Aretha Franklin, Howard has dismissed claims that the Shakes are merely a revival act by proving they are something solely unto themselves. Opener Kurt Vile is touring behind b’lieve i’m goin down…, his sixth album and the latest example of his low-fi folk-rock mastery. Accompanied by his backing band, The Violators, Vile is a frizzy mane of brown hair with an endless array of inventive guitar lines and introspective lyrics. Together, Kurt Vile and the Alabama Shakes offer a bill of everything going right in indie rock at the moment.

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