Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea Concert Review

Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea concert on Monday, June 20, 2011
at the Milestone Club in Charlotte, NC

This was a fantastic show. I didn't really know what to expect going in, since I'd never been to the Milestone Club before and I'd never seen Nicole Atkins before (so I didn't know what the draw would be). Stephen Warwick and the Secondhand Stories opened up, and man, what a fun band. If I hadn't been short on cash, I would've picked up their disk, Talking Machine. I don't know what all they played since I'm not familiar with their material, but I do know they played the song "Keep On," which is the last track on their album. They had a drummer, guitarist, stand up bass, and a trumpet player. Considering the only musical instrument I've ever played is a trumpet, I guess I have a special appreciation for it. I really enjoyed watching this band. I believe they're local out of Charlotte.  

Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea didn't come on until 11:00pm or so. 


1. Heavy Boots
2. Cry Cry Cry
3. Vitamin C (Can cover)
4. Party's Over
5. This Is For Love
6. Hotel Plaster
7. Maybe Tonight
8. Brooklyn's On Fire
9. You Come to Me
10. You Were The Devil
11. The Way it Is
12. Monterrey Honey (Cotton Matthew cover)
13. My Baby Don't Lie
14. Vultures
15. The Tower


16. Neptune City

Nicole and her band were absolutely fantastic.  She's very entertaining, and has a witty and personable sense of humor.  The venue was near insufferably hot, thus the focus of a lot of humor (and discord). Seriously though, everyone in the audience was sweating, so you can imagine what the band looked like.  I was afraid Nicole was going to pass out from a heat stroke.  Regardless, she sounded great, and put her heart and soul into her performance.  
She dedicated "Maybe Tonight" to a pregnant woman in the audience, "Neptune City" to Clarence Clemons, and "Brooklyn's On Fire" to the Milestone Club - saying they should rename it "The Milestone Club's on Fire."  The merch girl played a tambourine, I believe, in a few songs, so Nicole introduced her.  She said the merch girl actually made (hand crafted) the gold plated mirrors they had for sale, and called her "gildfinger," and sung "gildfinger" in the same pitch as "Goldfinger" (the James Bond theme song), and there for about a minute or so I had a deep yearning for Nicole to sing "Goldfinger" in its entirety; when she sang "gildfinger" I swear she sounded just like Shirley Bassey.   

I was perfectly happy with the set.  Granted, I think Neptune City is better than Mondo Amore, but I realize this tour is mostly meant to promote Mondo Amore, so I'm just happy they played as much off Neptune City as they did.  "Heavy Boots," "Hotel Plaster," "Maybe Tonight," "Brooklyn's On fire," "The Way It Is," and "Vultures" are among my favorite tunes.    

The tour poster I bought.  I guess these were left over from the previous tour, because it says "wintertime" on it.  Still, I like the design of it.