Blackberry Smoke – Palace Theater – St. Paul MN – September 26th 2019

Tommy Sommers Photography

Blackberry Smoke with special guest The Record Company @ The Palace Theatre, St. Paul, MN 9/26/19

The tour is named, Until The Wheels Come Off 2019 and it rolled into St. Paul last night. The Palace is a great venue to see a show because of the pitched floor and great sight lines. Its easy to get to the bar and the bathroom. The theatre goes all the way back to the early 1900’s. It was a vaudeville theatre and a movie theater through the years.

The opening band The Record Company was someone I had never heard of. Ironically, a friend mentioned them to me a few weeks back and that he was excited to see them. Doing reviews can sometimes be challenging especially when I have never heard the band before. Here are the things I can tell you. They had a lot of fans there that were delighted to see them.

The Record Company is a perfect opener for Blackberry Smoke. They are a very tight 3 piece with well written songs. The hard part is giving you a sense of their music because I don’t know who to compare them to. I will say this, they are very blues oriented with a touch of rock. If you like harmonica and slide guitar, you should like The Record Company.

I will come right out and say that Blackberry Smoke is one of my favorite bands. I was turned on to them by a friend about 7 years ago and try to see them every time they come to town. One of the things I like about them is their ability to write some amazing pop-oriented songs. What I don’t like is when they turn into a jam band, although they don’t do that too much. To me, the straight-ahead rock songs are their true strength.

Like Cheap Trick, you never know what the set list will be. That’s exciting to me because every time you see them it will be different. There was a fan in the front row holding a sign “Willin’”. Charlie Starr, the lead singer and guitar player acknowledged it and said “We have not played that in a while and we don’t want to mess it up” but they played it for her. That’s what makes this band so cool. I think the next time I will stand in the front row with a sign that has at least 10 songs I would love to hear, and have the sign say pick one please! Some day I hope to hear all my favorites in one show.

The highlight for me as always is “Waiting For The Thunder”, that song alone shows you how amazing this band is. They played a full set and reached all the way back to their first album. I would love to see them do a co-headline tour with Sheryl Crow. That would be a perfect tour to me. I could ramble on all night about how amazing they are, but you should see for yourself. It’s funny when I hear people complain that there is no new music that is good, my first thought is you are not looking very hard. If you were, Blackberry Smoke would be staring you right in the face!

photos and review – Tommy Sommers