Black Rebel Motorcycle Club invades the Ritz, Night Beats the Crowd!

By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent

Venue: The Ritz, Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, January 23, 2018

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

If you’re Ryan Adams, you definitely want to avoid this band’s show! Lots of flashing strobes! But first, let’s talk about Night Beats (the band’s name comes from the title of a Sam Cooke album) the Seattle-based band who got the crowd warmed up on a Florida-chilly Tuesday night (for those of you who have never been to Tampa, that’s anything below 70 degrees Fahrenheit!).

The band consists of lead singer and guitarist Danny “Lee Blackwell” Rajan Billingsley, drummer James Traeger and bassist Jakob Bowden, that played a mashup of psychedelic sounds that reminded me of Jefferson Airplane (not Starship), heavy on reverb and earthy guitar sounds, The Ventures, Dick Dale and his Del-tones, with touches of R & B, garage rock, Sgt. Pepper, and John Mayall. The crowd was too thin for this band, I know, because many people only showed up later for BRMC, but Night Beats put on a great show (special kudos to newest member Jakob Bowden, the hyperactive bassist who really pumped up the energy level, jumping and dancing around and putting all his emotion into every song!)

Night Beats

For those of you hitting one of BRMC’s other stops on the “Wrong Tour 2018,” DON’T BE LATE! And find/follow them on Facebook too!

Now, as for Ryan Adams (and anyone else suffering from seizures due to flashing lights), this isn’t your show . Most of the night the lightshow was light/dark in a rhythmic pattern that would likely trigger you. I thought of Ryan because there was an infamous incident here in the Tampa area where an inconsiderate photographer was called out for using flash at his show, and if you’ve seen anyone have a seizure, it’s nothing to play with!

However, should that not be the case, their show is not one to be missed by fans of good old rock and roll! Widely acclaimed California-based band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club released their seventh studio album, Wrong Creatures on January 12, 2018 and the “Wrong Tour” is in support of that effort – in fact, it’s nearly a live session of the album. Wrong Creatures takes a journey throughout rock’s history, taking unlikely twists and turns, both peppered with historic influences but also having one foot firmly in the present. Peter Hayes, who shares lead vocal and musical duties with Robert Levon Been, were the band’s original guitarists (along with assorted other instruments like piano/synth, percussion, and harmonica), joined by drummer Leah Shapiro in 2008. Remarkably, Shapiro was recovering from brain surgery while the album was created – you wouldn’t know it by her performance on tour. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has been crafting perfectly honed, bluesy, psychedelic garage-rock since 1998, I first heard of the band a while later, when “Love Burns” appeared on a PromoOnly CD – and I was hooked. 

“The band who broke the floor” (I’ll let you research that little story) is still growing strong, and alternated between stripped-down songs and heavily layered productions, straight ahead hard rockers and soft, emotional ballads, a testament to the band’s growth over the years. Catch them on the Wrong Tour 2018, follow them on Facebook, or Twitter, buy their new album Wrong Creatures!

You can’t go wrong!

Photo Gallery



Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Little Thing Gone Wild”

“Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll”



January 15         San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
January 16         Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
January 18         Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
January 19         Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
January 20         Houston, TX @ House of Blues
January 21         New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
January 23         Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
January 24         Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
January 26         Orlando, FL @ The Beacham
January 27         Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
January 29         Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
January 30         Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
January 31         Boston, MA @ Royale
February 2         Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
February 5         Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
February 6         Toronto, ON @ Rebel
February 7         Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
February 9         Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
February 10      Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
February 11      Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
February 12      St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
February 13      Kansas City, MO @ The Truman
February 15      Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
February 16      Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
February 18      Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
February 19      Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
February 20      Seattle, WA @ The Show Box
February 22      Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
February 23      Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
February 24      Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre



The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission to Rock At Night and the photographer. Use of any image is a violation of the United States and International Copyright laws.

Brent Michael

Forest Live Festival – UK

Forest Live Festival – UK