By Kevin Rutherford
Don’t call it a sophomore slump. Not even close.
Alabama Shakes last showed up to Saturday Night Live for the April 2013 Christoph Waltz show, a fairly well-received episode not only for Waltz’s enthusiastic performance but also for the bluesy four-piece’s grooved-out renditions of “Hold On” and “Always Alright” from their debut album.
Nearly two years later, they were back again, tossing their name in early for GRAMMY consideration if the first taste of their upcoming new record is any indication.
They kicked off the show with first single “Don’t Wanna Fight,” leading lady Brittany Howard’s piercing screech pre-verse preceding a performance during which she was practically shaking at points, jerking, swooning, pointing into the audience amid an expanded band that included formidable backup singers. Vocals were on point of course, but it was the performer off whom eyes wouldn’t come. Props for the earrings of Prince’s face, too. Lots of double takes across America.