CONCERT REVIEW: Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes exploded onto the music scene in 2011 with the release their first single “Hold On” and followed up the single with their highly anticipated debut album, Boys and Girls. Last night at the Electric Factory, the Shakes delivered everything the album promised and more. Launching into their set with “Party” and “Hang Loose,” they had the audience hooked from the get-go. Frontwoman Brittany Howard shifted effortlessly from a shy croon to a bombastic crescendo that made the hairs on the back of your neck sit up and take notice. Setting down her guitar for “Be Mine,” she stomped across the stage in fits of manic, soul-powered dance that would have put a spell on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. The band chugs like a locomotive, especially on the slow, throbbing groove of “You Ain’t Alone.” The audience swayed, mesmerized by the building energy of the rhythm section. By the time the chorus broke loose like a clap of thunder, the entire building was dancing. — MEREDITH KLEIBER