Welcome Explorers to another trek deep into the collective Freak consciousness. Tonight’s call to this glorious ceremony of sound takes us to the Brotherhood’s second home state, Colorado. This beaming message from the Boulder mothership is also the Almanac’s second Colorado entry. A show from the Fox Theater is always cause to buckle up tight in the cockpit. September 15th, 2012 was a cosmik one for sure, a psychedelic soul packet with folky funk at every stop. Go ahead and start your download now at the link in the bio and come along. A mind blown is a mind shown….follow me!!!

Breathing the fine Colorado air sure suits these guys well, as they take the stage already in rare form. A few fairy dust sprinkled taps on the ride cymbal from George and we are off with Tomorrow Blues. Adam laying in thick right with CR’s highlighting rhythm. Setting the stage for the first of many galactic solos from Neal and his trusty “Raisin”. We are in the outer reaches of the solar system early and often. I’ll take this opportunity to go ahead and say that, to me, this is best sounding mix of all Ravens. And with the outstanding quality throughout the years tours, that’s saying a lot. They jam this opening Tomorrow with a weight usually found deep in the second set. A driving drum breakdown that dances and boarders on a “The Other One” jam, transitions us into what a lot of us already call the best Mother Of Stone ever captured. “Black smoke burnin off the hills, as twilight begins within.” Muddy pushing this one hard. Crystal and floating. A spooky echo/reverb on the vocal gives the song an ominous feel, matching George’s tom roll rhythm. In a “best ever version” of course we have all the pieces, including Neal absolutely destroying the solo. Hard to even wrap your skull around the sounds they deliver here. “War is not over” and they let this one explode in hyper color. The crowd taking any crack in this wall of sound to scream their approval.

CR greets the surely lifted and slightly dazed with “We’ve been having some frontier adventures. It’s nice to get around the campfire so we can tell you our musical tales”. And tell them they did. They roll into Dylan’s Tough Mama. You can really tell CR is into this from the vocal stylings he brings. And this has a little extra freak funk in it. “I’m crestfallen the world of illusion at my door.” The guys drop into a really tight groovy tonal jam with Adam sitting like a beautiful psychedelic cherry on top. Listen to this ride out. A throbbing rhythm from CR and Muddy. Neal soloing in and out and all around the jam. What a trip to take. We absolutely needed a breather after that and we get one in the STUNNING Big Moon rarity, Beware. “The Poet a poison throne, to rule his kingdom alone.” Not just one of the best performances of the song, one this lineups best performances period! CR Strums us into the first verse and instantly all the feeling of this song hits you. “Watch it slowly fade away.” Neal takes flight in the back half with an escalating solo ramping off the full band harmony, and into the stars we fly. We take quick spin through Tornado and sway, eyes still closed, or at least with slight Colorado squint, threatening to “disappear into the ether.”

The Bramlett/Davis, Hello L.A. Goodbye Birmingham picks the pace back up. George keeping the song moving throughout. Another traveling song that our heroes do so well. Chris is quoted as saying, “this is classic going to Hollywood to make it big mythology. That the singer in the song is southern makes it hit home even harder.” With the often mentioned Supplick shuffle in full effect, I defy you to not turn this one up and boogie. This is a night with several big beautiful ballads in it and Appaloosa is next in that slot. This Before The Frost standout has all the layers of Levon’s barn it was recorded in initially. “Sometimes the sun makes beggars believers, and sometimes a shrine is built to deceive her.” Neal has constructed one of his most unique and fitting solos here. Just sit back, listen and soak this in. You are floating gracefully in the middle of one of the nights glorious highlights. The transition into Tulsa Yesterday is so perfect and delicate, hard to grasp from a band with this much power. So much so that you may not even notice it’s there. “Let the sounds take you all the way” and the next thing we realize we are in the swamp of a BIG intro Jam. Swirling sounds from all over the stage meeting in the middle and exploding into a chorus of dance and delight. The band in lock step throughout until it dissolves into this spacey glee filled groove that the entire theater rides smoothly into the setbreak.

The fine Colorado hospitality at the pause allowed the guys to emerge refreshed and refueled. George give us a beat to greet the dancing feet and the Tony Joe White classic, Saturday Night in Oak Grove Louisiana fires all the rockets at once!! “You don’t care if it all hangs out!!” George laying the rock and roll rhythm down. The crowd is back and filling any and all extra space with hoots and hollers that only Colorado can create. “A comet shoots across the sky” as they jump and reach for a Star Or Stone. Another flawless performance by everyone. Not a single path left untraveled. The harmony break slows us a little but Neal swoops in and leads us back with a precision solo, riding George and Muddy’s rhythm into deep space orbit. CR and Adam signal the landing with block chord style bursts, Neal giving us a fly by and taking another lap around the cosmos before easing the full band back into the second verse. This is one of my must hear Star/Stones.

Suddenly we emerge from our exploration and see signs reading “Loves Here”. That means it’s time for our Hallucination Nations anthem Sunday Sound. Lucky for our crack crew “we got our vaccine” so we set the ships cruise and begin to dance around the cabin “as the band plays on”. Some extra psychedelic paint has been applied all over. Greens, blues, purples, reds, oranges and yellows, with every member wielding the brush like a master. A Califreakornia opus if ever one existed.

As the Muddy induced golden shore earthquake begins to settle, we trickle south into the City of Angels, West L.A. to be exact. It’s always a joy to hear the boys tackle any Grateful Dead song and dress it up in CRB clothing. This Fadeaway stands out from the ones that would follow through the years, with Neal playing the lead a little differently, but in a GREAT way! The entire feel of the song is a departure from later Brotherhood versions, and this uniqueness makes it one of my favorites. Neal with some dirty jams for the dirty deeds of the character. We leave that “old mistake” quickly behind as they begin transmissions of a love letter to vibration and light. We are truly floating in the freak in this Suite. The Wizards sounds ranging from a phaser to a flute and everything in between. Never the same twice, we have to manually maneuver the charts here, dodging asteroid fields of funk and several pulsating bass line UFO’s. “To lose your wisdom, to lose your way”. But love lights our path and guides us home as the band tears into Lizzie Mae with that Supplick swing. They barrel through the song in double and even triple time at the end. I had never heard them do this crazy section and it always makes me smile. Mr Adam MacDougall with some stone cold gospel organ here as “the Raven has taken wings” for sure. A big rave up at the end threatens to derail the journey but we land softly in another heartbreaking ballad, Sorrow Of A Blue Eyed Liar. One of my all time favorite CR songs. “So sing to me blackbird”, “thread bare down to my soul”. Come on guys. That’s not even fair!! Not much I can say about this song except that it has to be in your music collection. A CRBallad at it’s best.

Our set ends where the sun settles each evening, out west with Miss Rosalee. They take this song all up and down the coast eventually landing “down at the county seat”. With the celebration in full swing we turn to our neighbors who “brought something to share and it’s right here”. Together we breathe in deeply the space aged smoke of the unicorn united. “It’s all down hill to the beach from here.”

The purple smoke never leaves the stage and the Brotherhood return to melt us all into a tasty Hot Buttered Biscuit Jam!! This funky piece had the Boulder Fox in full trot not wanting to let the evening end. We get one last amazing soulful call with Otis Redding’s, That’s How Strong My Love Is. another one of those covers that CR was just seemingly born to sing or is it the other way around? Listen to Neal lead them in, bending the pain out of every note as the rhythm section keeps us warm, wrapped in love. Stonewall Jackson’s – I Washed My Hands in the Muddy Water, gives the show one last honky tonk rock and roll romp. Recorded by Johnny Rivers and Elvis, this one could pass for a Brotherhood original any day. Neal sounding like early Chuck Berry at every break. I can hardly write this because I can’t stop moving. CR laying into lines like “I was born in Macon Georgia”. This song, like this show, could have gone on for another 20 minutes and I don’t think anyone would have complained.

From the setlist to the mix, the vibe to the performance, the crowd to the city, you couldn’t ask for better show to add your collection. No fan of this band should be without this set. It’s got a whole lot of something for any situation under the sun or stars and moon. When I need a quick recommendation this is one of the dates I always recall. Something in the air or the veins of CRBeings on stage and off made this evening very special. Grab it from the link and make your Saturday a groovy and grateful one! Tune in turn on and peace out! ✌️️See ya soon for number 10, Freak On brothers and sisters!!


Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Fox Theater
Boulder, CO

Tomorrow Blues
Mother Of Stone
Tough Mama
Hello L.A. Bye Bye Birmingham
Tulsa Yesterday
Saturday Night In Oak Grove Louisiana
Star Or Stone
Sunday Sound
West L.A. Fadeaway
Vibration & Light Suite
Little Lizzie Mae
Sorrows Of A Blue Eyed Liar Rosalee
Hot Buttered Biscuit
That’s How Strong My Love Is
Muddy Water

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