By Kory Thibeault //
Chris Robinson Brotherhood, otherwise known as CRB, wrapped up a spectacular run at the Great American Music Hall, the obvious venue of choice for the Los Angeles-based band.
I was fortunate enough to catch two nights of what I can only assume were four spectacular nights in SF. Rather than attempt to create some “new” sound, CRB root themselves deep in psych-rock while exploring the genre with their own flair. Is there a better place to do so than right here in the San Francisco Bay?
Frankly, there may not be. Our venues were so often graced by the likes of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, groups that redefined the concert experience. In that same tradition, CRB pushes the boundaries of the very songs they pen, inviting their audience along for the aural journey that seems to flow out of them so effortlessly. Is this why they are called the Brotherhood rather than the Chris Robinson Band? I certainly believe so.
A brotherhood conjures notions of connectedness and growth. After enjoying CRB’s music upwards of eight hours this weekend, I feel confident when I say that is exactly what this band is doing: growing together. The kinship of Neal Casal and Chris Robinson’s guitar is certainly telling of this, but the congruence does not end there.
Keyboardist Adam McDougall crafts an ethereal layer of sound, which infuses CRB with the psychedelia needed to push the group into those outer dimensions of space. This group is undoubtedly the sum of its parts.
Currently on tour promoting their third full-length album Phosphorescent Harvest, CRB has fortified lead singer Chris Robinson’s claim of being “a farm-to-table psychedelic band,” a self-defining statement that plays well off this concept of a “Phosphorescent Harvest.” The palpable excitement of their audience cultivated more-than-noteworthy performances that radiated throughout the weekend. And so it seems that CRB have a far greater idea of who they are and where they are heading than even the most prudent of fans.