Early this year, at SXSW, I stumbled into a day party at the Red-Eyed Fly and while waiting for the band I wanted to see (I think it was Rumspringa) play on the indoor stage, I made my way towards the back doors to the outside stage where I caught the last song of Alberta Cross’s set. You ever get those moments where you hear something for the first time or you see a band live for the first time and you get chills? I swore I was looking at Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon) as I watched Petter Ericson Stakee swing his head back and forth and the voice … not only did he look like Hoon, but he sounded like Hoon too!
Veterans of Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, and Glastonbury, Alberta Cross released the amazing Broken Side of Time (listen to it in full at the end of this preview) – a swirling and noisy blend of dark, gothic southern-rock and psychedelic-tinged grunge evoking comparisons to the already-mentioned Blind Melon, Dead Confederate, Mother Love Bone, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Kings of Leon among others.
Like Blind Melon was back in the day, Alberta Cross has been on some questionable bills, opening for artists that don’t pack nearly the wallop that these guys do (The Dave Matthews Band, Oasis) and Sunday night they’ll be opening for … Pete Yorn (whu? huh?) and, undoubtedly, blowing him off the stage.
I can’t recommend this band enough (Broken Side of Time will end up near – or at – the top of my “Favorites of 2009″ list) so make sure you’re settled into the Newport Music Hall by 8pm to witness what I guarantee will be a memorable performance.