When Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard goes for it, her mocha-colored face contorts into a pained, scrunched-up mass of lines, and her glasses hang on for dear life from the edge of her nose. Her massive tongue shows. And out … out explodes this booming, smoky howl that recalls an old soul dressed in a 23-year-old southerner’s skin.
Howard doesn’t care what she looks like when she’s singing. I respect her willingness to “get ugly with it.” All that matters is the sound, the emotion, the feeling.
My friend Matt and I had the pleasure of standing two rows from the stage Sunday when Howard and Co. blessed the Tom McCall Waterfront Park stage in Portland. I’ll be posting a review of the show shortly, but for now here are pictures I took while at the show.