Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Park West / Chicago

Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Chris Robinson, Park West Chicago
Chris Robinson, Photo by Mandy Pichler

If perception is reality, then Chicago must be the Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s home away from home and the Park West their living room. So relaxed and comfortable was everything exuding from the stage: the band, the stage production (or lack thereof) and the music played.

The music, an amalgamation of real rock ‘n’ roll with a psychedelic twist entangled with the blues (with a slight country twang tossed in this night), was the only thing proving that perception is not reality. Once considered the bastard child of the Black Crowes, CRB has, through the wizardry of their layered sound, established themselves as one the finest bands in their genre. While the show was relaxed and comfortable in tempo and groove, the band’s energy was anything but as they performed two pitch-perfect sets of originals and covers.

The complexity of the musicianship, played with such seemingly little effort, is a testament to the fact that this band is incredibly tight; the music is the show, played by a baggy jeans and t-shirt-clad, scruffy-bearded band in front of the freak nation flag and with a handful of burning incense sticks front and center stage. If you’re eager to experience accomplished music with glitz and depth and hue, go see CRB—and close your eyes for a few hours.

So what musical genre exactly does CRB fit into? That’s a great question—but it’s the inability to pigeonhole CRB into a lone category that makes the band relevant and consequential.

Thankfully, CRB shows no signs of slowing down as they begin to conclude their extensive tour through the Midwest and Northeast before becoming a music festival staple in the warmer months.

– Mandy Pichler

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