BLACKBERRY SMOKE at Bataclan, Paris, Friday , March 24, 2023
(+ Read Southall Band first Part)


Six years after the superb concert at La Maroquinerie and four years after their excellent performance at Hellfest, it is therefore with great pleasure that I find the Americans of Blackberry Smoke at the Bataclan... of a concert postponed due to the pandemic and therefore eagerly awaited by the band's fans! Evening placed under the sign of southern rock of good quality so...

We start with the Read Southall Band, originally from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Read Southall is the vocalist and he is surrounded by two guitarists, a keyboardist and the rhythm section. Six musicians who play relatively classic southern/country rock even if sometimes mixed with grunge due to the proximity of the singer's voice to that of Chris Cornell. The set, too short for my taste, sounds very Skynyrd and we feel that this group could well take over from the fact that Gary Rossington unfortunately left us recently and that the days of the legendary 70's combo seem numbered... Surprisingly, they play in almost half-light and it's hard to make out their faces but it sounds serious, especially the two guitarists who compete for inspiration in incandescent solos. Excellent idea to have programmed this RSB as the first part of Blackberry Smoke on the one hand because the styles of the two groups complement each other perfectly and on the other hand because they undoubtedly represent the future of southern rock.. .

But now it's the turn of Charlie Starr's gang to take the stage at the Bataclan. Nearly two hours of concert and a set list of more than twenty handpicked titles for this "You Hear Georgia" Tour that we have been waiting for since the release of the album of the same name two years ago. Charlie is surrounded by faithful Paul Jackson on guitar and Richard Turner on bass. Unfortunately the original drummer Brit Turner, who has been suffering from a malignant brain tumor for some time, had to leave the tour he had courageously tried to ensure behind the drums until the Belgian date the day before the Bataclan. He is therefore replaced by Kent Aberle for this evening and thereafter. We find Brandon Still on keyboards as well as second guitarist Benji Shanks and percussionist Preston Holcomb. The seven friends will deliver an extremely dense show of high musical quality. From "Six Ways To Sunday" to "Ain't Much Left Of Me" via the highly anticipated "One Horse Town", "Waiting For The Thunder" or "Good One Comin' On", Charlie Starr will revisit the finest pages of the seven studio albums that make up the rich discography of his group. He will communicate often with the public and will be sensitive to the warm welcome that this one will reserve for him throughout the concert. It must be said that the fans of Blackberry Smoke came in large numbers and it is a real fervor that these new heralds of southern rock trigger among them...

Excellent evening in the company of these two groups who will ensure the long-awaited succession of Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, Outlaws... for years to come! Let's hope there will be many more of this quality because southern rock needs it and so do we...

Thanks to Celine and Thierry

Translation : Y. Philippot-Degand

If there was one concert not to be missed for French southern rockers (and others!) it was Blackberry Smoke at the Bataclan. Concert planned 2 years ago and postponed by cause of Covid 19...
The opening act was provided by Read Southall Band, little advantaged by sound and light, to rediscover therefore in better conditions....

BBS came to Europe to present its new album "You Hear Georgia", but also its new line-up with the addition of Benji Shanks on third guitar and Preston Holcomb on percussion. If the musical contribution of the latter is not obvious, Benji's is very interesting, in fact it lightens Charlie Starr a lot who can concentrate a little more on his singing, and his precise and syrupy slide hits the mark with each intervention !

The concert was also marked by the absence of the original drummer Britt Turner who spent the evening at the Pompidou hospital following an illness the day before in Belgium. By the time of writing these lines, he has already found his drums to finish the tour. (Britt is being treated for a brain tumor, let's hope the rest will be more joyful for him. At the end of the concert we were able to talk with his brother Richard who reassured us about his state of health)
Britt is a warrior!

This concert was in my humble opinion one of the best, if not the best concert given by BBS in France. As if the group, certainly upset by the absence of Britt, wanted to prove to the public that they are indeed the new spearhead of southern rock.
The set-list will draw from all the albums except the very first. The sound, the lights, and above all the desire were at the top.
Only one thing to hope for: that they come back soon to feast our eardrums!

By Manu Aeschbach

Translation : Y. Philippot-Degand


Six Ways to Sunday
Let it burn
Live It Down
You Hear Georgia
Pretty Little Lie
Crimson Moon
Hey Delilah
Lucky Seven
Sleeping Dogs
Ain't Gonna Wait
The Whippoorwill
She's mine
Waiting for the Thunder
Ain't Got the Blues
Run Away From It All
One Horse Town
Old Scarecrow

encore :
Leave a Scar
Ain't Much Left of Me

Copyright © 2014 Road to Jacksonville
Webmaster : Patrice GROS
Tous droits reservés.
Design par
Zion pour