PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


Alabama Shakes + Questlove: MB Evolution Tour - Terminal 5, New York (Photos)

The free, traveling 'Evolution Tour' put together by Mercedes-Benz launched in New York with a performance from Alabama Shakes and some interactive art from Mr. Brainwash.


Mercedes-Benz Evolution Tour with Alabama Shakes + Questlove

City: New York
Venue: Terminal 5
Date: 2014-07-24

New York has been host to countless corporate-sponsored shows in just the past few months which in turn means there is an air of exclusivity to the event with the possibility of celebrity-spotting and obtaining giveaways (knowledge of the band isn't the primary draw). Mercedes-Benz's 'Evolution Tour' was one of the most recent but instead of a one-off, this invite-only series is touring and will head to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Washington D.C. following the NYC show. Although the specific acts for each date have not been announced what is known is the headliners would be either Alabama Shakes, Mayer Hawthorne or Young the Giant. Other DJ's and acts may be involved, with Questlove of the Roots gracing the decks in New York.

Perhaps the coolest part of the tour is the inclusion of Exit Through the Gift Shop star Mr. Brainwash, Thierry Guetta, who will be at each show creating art from one of the new model GLA automobiles. For the street artist, that interactivity involved throwing buckets of paint onto and around the pristine white car, leaving a colorful, and likely undriveable, mess that became a center point for the event. He also added his personal touch to one woman's black skirt. On top of that Mr. Brainwash also created a couple of designs, inspired by the MB brand and the evolution theme, to silk-screen onto shirts which were free for attendees (though there was quite a line) and a free poster as well. Guetta was seen exploring the venue otherwise and was happy to speak with fans and pose for pictures.

Following a party-friendly set by Questlove (which included Michael Jackson and many contemporary Top 40 tracks), Alabama Shakes geared up for their set. Brittany Howard has one of the most powerful voices in rock today and the Shakes have one of the strongest live performances so when they finally took the stage, they were immediately engaging. For the fans, this was a real treat because their set included new material from a sophomore album, the follow-up to their 2012 Boys & Girls, which is reportedly just about finished . A few songs in, Howard bellowed "Hold On" really grabbing the attention of the room and the people freeloading on drinks or snacks, though as she stomped around, the rest of the Shakes remained tucked further away from the front. Billboard got some info from Howard about the new album who described it to them as, ""I want to say like metal, I'm serious, and neo-soul. Scuzzy,"". Certainly there was an edgier sound to the new material, and, along with a non-album track "Gimme All Your Love", it helped propel their set to well over an hour in length (the free booze had stopped flowing by then). Hopefully the band will have that album out soon and hit the road again even sooner.


Mr. Brainwash:

Alabama Shakes:


The MB Evolution Tour is a "free, invite-only concert tour – invitations are extended to consumers by attending test driving events or via social media. A week prior to each concert, Mercedes-Benz will offer test drive events and attendees will receive two tickets to the upcoming show. Aside from the local market test drives, consumers can obtain tickets through social media by uploading a photo that captures the spirit of the tour or share a note about why they should attend for a chance to win tickets. All entries will be evaluated by different criteria and consumers will be notified a week prior to the show in each local market".

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.


Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.


'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.


The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.


15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.


'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.