Watch The Black Crowes Perform ‘Wiser Time’ Over The Years
Sep 22, 2020
11:30 am PDT
2020 was supposed to be a huge year for The Black Crowes, who were originally scheduled to embark on a massive world tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut studio album — Shake Your Money Maker. Unfortunately, the run has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While fans won’t be able to see the band live in 2020, there’s over 200 Black Crowes videos to enjoy on the JamBase Live Video Archive (JBLVA). The footage includes dozens of full shows dating all the way back to 1990 many of which have been tagged with start times for ease of viewing.
In 1994, The Black Crowes released their iconic Amorica album. One of the songs featured on the LP is “Wiser Time,” which was first played live by the group on July 31, 1994 as per CrowesBase. “Wiser Time” has been a staple of The Black Crowes’ repertoire ever since its debut. Here’s a look at six versions from the past 25+ years via the JBLVA:
October 31, 1994
The earliest performance of “Wiser Time” on the JBLVA was filmed at the Mean Fiddler in London on October 31, 1994 — exactly three months to the date after its live debut. Amorica was released the next day, making this version one of only five played before the LP dropped. The Black Crowes were billed as “Blessed Chloroform” for their Halloween 1994 concert, a “secret show” at the intimate venue.
The Black Crowes brought an extensive tour of Europe to the Palalido in Milan, Italy on February 4, 1997. By this time, the band had nearly 100 performances of “Wiser Time” under their belts. The group’s rendition in Milan spanned close to 10 minutes and featured an impressive duel between guitarists Rich Robinson and Marc Ford.
Oasis teamed up with The Black Crowes and Spacehog for “The Tour Of Brotherly Love” in 2001. The third stop of the run was a two-night stand at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on May 14 and 15. Pro-shot video featuring a portion of the second night that includes “Wiser Time” can be viewed above. Ford had parted ways with the band by this time and was replaced by Audley Freed. This version of “Wiser Time” is more truncated than most on this list but does show off what Freed brought to the table.
The Black Crowes took a hiatus after a Halloween 2001 performance that ended with their return to the stage on March 14, 2005. “Wiser Time” was still in regular rotation when the band came back. A busy 2005 concluded with a New Year’s Run that included a December 30, 2005 concert at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence. The lineup at the time featured vocalist Chris Robinson, guitarists Rich Robinson and Paul Stacey, bassist Sven Pipien, keyboardist Eddie Harsch and drummer Steve Gorman. Stellar interplay between Paul, Rich and Eddie is on display during this “Wiser Time” from The Black Crowes’ penultimate concert of the year.
On August 2, 2008, The Black Crowes performed for the first and only time at the famed Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams Park in Newport, Rhode Island. The band’s lineup had gone through a few changes since 2005 with Luther Dickinson replacing Paul Stacey and Adam MacDougall handling keyboard duties. “Wiser Time” was a highlight of the Crowes’ Newport Folk set and was expanded beyond the 10-minute mark. MacDougall was tasked with the song’s first solo before Dickinson had his turn in the spotlight. Rich then put a slide to good use as the band built “Wiser Time” to a frothy peak.
Another Black Crowes hiatus began in July 2011 but this time around it would be less than two years before the group reunited. The band embarked on the 120-show “Lay Down With Number 13” tour in 2013. San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium hosted the run’s final concert on December 14, 2013. The Black Crowes’ lineup was the same as it was in 2008 with one major exception. Luther Dickinson was replaced by Jackie Greene.
“Wiser Time” was an improvisational showcase throughout the tour, as some versions hit the 20-minute mark. One such rendition can be found above at what turned out to be the last non-corporate gig for The Black Crowes until this past November. MacDougall shined on Clavinet before Greene unleashed a furious solo. The band broke down “Wiser Time” to near silence ahead of Rich Robinson’s jaw-dropping solo just ahead of the conclusion of the song.