The Crimson White

Shiver, Shakes and Shellfish: The Best Show in T-town 2011

Jake Smith

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What were you doing around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21? Perhaps you were washing clothes at the dorm laundry or trying to do homework but really just watching the first three seasons of Mad Men on Netflix.

What you should have been doing was forking over five bucks at Green Bar to see The Piss Shivers, The Alabama Shakes, and Shannon and the Clams.

The Piss Shivers came on like the B-52’s plus Vincent Price. Imagine “Rock Lobster” plus “Thriller,” but angrier. Front man David Allen swept across the stage in a flowing black cape, only to tire of this and run into the audience, all while the band (Joe Robertson, Tino Newman, Trevor Dane) kept the beat like they were trying to resuscitate Frankenstein’s monster. They just got off tour this summer, and it shows.

Then we have The Alabama Shakes, who were clearly crowd favorites in sheer numbers. I’ve never seen any bar that packed for a show. The Shakes came to play.

If there wasn’t so much sweat, Brittany Howard’s voice might have set the place on fire like a laser beam of pure soul. Some call it revivalist, and I think that speaks not to a nostalgic revamp of played out tropes. What The Shakes brought back to life was the sense of seeing something truly awesome, a rare feat in a culture all too ready to be unimpressed.

Finally, Shannon and the Clams boogied through a well-executed set of surf tunes that took all the dance we had left, turned around, and gave it back multiplied. It just kept coming, and we passed it around reverentially.

In all the furious getting down, I was knocked down and someone broke a glass. I did my part to clean up and got cut in the process.

So, with bruises on my knees, beer on my feet, boogie in my soul, and blood on my hands, I can safely say: Best Show of 2011.


Jake Smith is a senior in New College.



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Shiver, Shakes and Shellfish: The Best Show in T-town 2011