Armed with an array of Fender guitars and ten o'clock shadows, the members of blues-rock outfit Alberta Cross showed impressive stage polish and maturity during their June 2 show at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg, one of the final stops on the band's first headlining U.S. tour.
The Brooklyn-based group -- which has previously opened for Dave Matthews Band, Them Crooked Vultures, the Shins and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -- boasts a gritty indie-rock sound that belies its Swedish and English origins, remaining unflinchingly rooted in Americana. It's tight and raw at the same time, a frenzied meld of crashing guitars, whining slide, bluesy prog-rock drums, and piercing vocals that suggest influence by Robert Plant, Jim James, and Neil Young.
Alberta Cross kicked off its 12-song set with the rootsy "Old Man Chicago," one of the more folk-inspired tracks from its full-length debut, "The Broken Side of Time." "Taking Control" followed, with shimmering, overdriven guitars and whirling keys giving it a '90s alt-rock sound. The band also revived fan favorites from its early EP releases, including "Lucy Rider", "Ramblin' Home" and "Low Man," and an anthemic performance of "The Thief and the Heartbreaker" saw bobbing heads meet in a collective nod of approval.