AK Airlines Center debut concert: Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes_ Joshua Black Wilkins2Get ready for the blues and southern rock group Alabama Shakes, performing live at the Alaska Airlines Center as part of a series of grand opening celebrations. The Alabama Shakes will take the stage Sept. 13 at the newly finished Alaska Airlines Center. The concert opens with The Whipsaws at 7:30 p.m.

The Alabama Shakes consist of members Brittany Howard, Zac Cockrell, Heath Fogg, Steve Johnson and Ben Tanner. Brittany Howard’s smooth yet rough and raspy voice gives the group’s music a true blues rock sound. Their music is bass-heavy and has real feeling to it. They have even been compared to the Black Keys.

“The sound of the Alabama Shakes is loose and evolving,” said NPR’s Ann Powers, but it has a “rockfish edge.”

Ann Powers isn’t the only one digging the Alabama Shakes’ sound though.

“I really like how the Alabama Shakes provide a sound that sends me into a whirlwind of nostalgia. They put a contemporary twist on their classic rock ‘n’ roll roots, and the result feels refreshing and honest. The best way I can describe their genre is true Americana — a brilliant merger of folk, rock ‘n’ roll, bluegrass and the blues,” said Sophie Leshan, early childhood education major.

The Alabama Shakes were nominated for Grammy Awards in 2013 for best new artist, best rock performance for their song “Hold On” and best recording package. Alabama Shakes have also got commercial attention. Alabama Shakes’ song “Always Alright” has been featured in the movie “Silver Linings Playbook,” and their song “You Ain’t Alone” was used for a Zales jewelry ad.

In addition to their nominations and commercial success, the Alabama Shakes have played at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival as well as the Newport Folk Festival. Their one and only album, “Boys and Girls,” has also gone gold.

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General admission tickets are $49.50 and available online at http://alaskaairlinescenter.com/.  Student tickets are $28 and will be available Aug. 20 for purchase at the Alaska Airlines Center Box Office. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the event and other grand opening events visit http://alaskaairlinescenter.com/.