Blackberry Smoke Bring Full Throttle Rock ‘n’ Roll to Atlanta Drive-In Show

By Max Stewart

Blackberry Smoke is the musical equivalent of a plate of your favorite home-cooked meal after a long day of work. Supremely satisfying, hearty and comforting music that makes your soul feel warm. Oh, how we need a little comfort in 2020. As we wind down this mad year, there was something cathartic about pulling out a lawn chair next to your car and belting out some good timin’ rock ‘n’ roll on a beautiful Saturday night. Atlanta’s own Blackberry Smoke performed the unique show in a lawn parking lot at the Ameris Bank Ampitheatre in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, GA on a brisk mid-October evening. Everyone was safely distant and the crew did an amazing job of keeping things operating smoothly.

The setlist was a full dose of the powerful southern rock antidote that Blackberry Smoke has perfectly crafted throughout their career: equal parts twang, throttle, and melody. The song selection was a mix of some of their live staples (“Good One Comin’ On,” “Waiting for the Thunder,” “Ain’t Much Left in Me”) as well as some unexpected great renditions of “Lesson in a Bottle” and “I’ll Keep Ramblin'” (with a little “Turn Your Love Light” cover sprinkled in.) Oh yeah, the cover selection was a perfect butter to the evening’s biscuit. Always on point, especially in the breakdown of “Sleeping Dogs,” Charlie Starr and company paid tribute to some of the fallen greats with a scorching cover of Van Halen‘s “Drop Dead Legs” and a downtempo version of Tom Petty‘s “You Don’t Know How It Feels.” One of the most surreal moments that reminded everyone it was 2020 was the honking of car horns and flashing of lights for the encore, to which the band returned and did a stellar version of “Ain’t Much Left in Me.”

I think many can attest that there ‘ain’t much left’ in them throughout this letdown of a year, but be thankful for every musical moment. Especially the ones like these.

Setlist, 10/17/20 – Ameris Bank Ampitheater – Alpharetta, GA:

Six Ways Sunday
Payback’s a Bitch
Leave a Scar
Good One Comin’ On
Lord Strike Me Dead
Waiting for the Thunder
Crimson Moon
Let It Burn
Believe You Me
Pretty Little Lie
Sleeping Dogs >
Drop Dead Legs (Van Halen cover) >
You Don’t Know How It Feels (Tom Petty cover) >
Sleeping Dogs
Lesson in a Bottle
Run Away From It All
Restless
Everybody Knows She’s Mine
Ain’t Got the Blues
One Horse Town
I’ll Keep Ramblin’ / Turn On Your Lovelight (Bobby Bland cover)

Encore:
Southern Child (Little Richard cover)
Amazing Grace (>)
Ain’t Much Left of Me > Dixie Chicken (Little Feat cover) > Ain’t Much Left of Me

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