Say goodnight to the bad guys, Aspen

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenSeptember 6, 2010
Say goodnight to the bad guys, Aspen, because we don't know when we'll see The Black Crowes again.

The throw-back band that plays rock and roll in 2010 like it's stuck in a 1969 time warp is calling it quits — for the second time — at the end of this tour when it wraps a six-night stand at The Fillmore in San Francisco on Dec. 19.

On Sunday, Chris Robinson brought his band's farewell tour to ex-wife Kate Hudson's hometown of Snowmass Village where the couple once celebrated many a holiday at Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's nearby ranch.

The Black Crowes at Snowmass Town Park
Troy Hooper

Robinson, who has since remarried, didn't appear to be reminiscing about Hudson. The singer and the band were too busy reminiscing about the 20th anniversary of their multiplatinum debut Shake Your Money Maker. To commemorate the anniversary, The Black Crowes just launched the “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys” tour (officially they say they'll be taking an “indefinite hiatus” and suggest they might get back together years from now). And last month they released the double-disc Croweology, which showcases new acoustic renditions of old hits and obscure tracks from the Atlanta rockers' vault.

At Snowmass Town Park, The Black Crowes played some of the favorites from their debut album like “Jealous Again,” “Twice As Hard,” and “She Talks to Angels,” along with classics from later releases.

Robinson remarked on the divided seating arrangement at Jazz Aspen Snowmass that provides VIPS with half the stage and general admission ticket-holders with the other half. He called it “schizophrenic.” He's not the first singer to say so. Festival organizers removed VIP seating in front of the stage one year at Jack Johnson's request and John McCrea of Cake mocked the VIPs throughout much of a show in 2004 (one VIP tried to fight McCrea afterward).

Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes
Troy Hooper

But it was all good this year.

Robinson briefly joked about the seating arrangement and then went with it. The crowd ate up the performance, and some concertgoers wondered why the Crowes didn't headline.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, the headliner, has a few more years on The Black Crowes. Maybe that's why they received top billing. Formed in Jacksonville, Fla., back in 1964, they're also in the Hall of Fame.

Of course, unless it's the Rolling Stones, a band that's been around that long isn't likely to have many of its founding members. Three of the original bandmates, along with a crew member, died in a plane crash in 1977. The late lead singer Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny Van Zant, reformed Lynyrd Skynryd in 1987 and, today, guitarist Gary Rossington is the only founding member left.

The band opened Snowmass with “Working For MCA” followed by a steady stream of other classics like “That Smell” and “Gimme Back My Bullets.” Johnny Van Zant made a statement in support of American soldiers, before dedicating a rousing version of “Simple Man” to them. As you might have guessed, Lynyrd Skynyrd finished the festival with “Sweet Home Alabama” and, that's right, “Free Bird.”

Snowmass concluded Lynyrd Skynyrd's summer tour.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass opened with the headliner Wilco on Friday, and the Labor Day festival also showcased Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Glenn Frey & Joe Walsh of the Eagles on Saturday.

Organizers estimated about 17,000 concertgoers attended the three-day festival.


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