Alabama Shakes at the Arizona State Fair (PHOTOS)

alabamashakes-13.jpg
All photos by Melissa Fossum
Alabama Shakes at the Arizona State Fair.
Last night's Alabama Shakes concert was like being teleported back in time. Brittany Howard sings with a soulful ferocity that is only matched by someone like Janis Joplin or Mama Cass. Her guitar hooks channel the likes of Chuck Berry, with a heaping dose of Southern blues. Howard even looks like she's from another time, thanks to her '50s polka dot dress and glasses.

We took pictures of both the band and some of its fans last night. Check out some of our shots after the jump. (View the complete slideshow here.)

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Arizona State Fair Concerts: Who You'll See and When in 2013

State Fair at night (credit Andrew Petro, Flickr)
Andrew Petro
Arizona State Fair concerts aren't like most concerts--and this isn't even about the average age of the performers involved. They're different because you can go to them almost by accident. Exhausted your fried food budget? Unwilling or unable to win your sweetheart a gigantic, unlicensed Angry Bird by shooting a water pistol at a horse-shaped target faster than all those 13-year-olds with Call of Duty experience? Well, there's always Cheap Trick.

With that in mind, we humbly present this year's state fair concerts schedule. Inside we've got prices, times, and--perhaps most importantly--a list of the remaining original members in each potential nostalgia act.

So read straight through, or click on the band you're most excited for below, and get ready to think about which fried candy bar you're most into. Because we can't help you there.

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Every State Fair Concert Is a Nostalgia Concert

State Fair at night (credit Andrew Petro, Flickr)
Andrew Petro
The state fair at night.
I'm going to be totally honest with you, here: I love state fairs, but I'm mostly in it for the lemon shake-ups. That's not to say I don't enjoy the concerts--it's just that I only enjoy them after I've eaten a lot of unconventionally fried food and then spun it around in my stomach on the Gravitron.

But it's important to know what your options are after you've done all that. This year's Arizona State Fair has a full complement of acts in every state fair genre. But the closer you look, the more you come to this unnerving realization: Everything is a nostalgia act.

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When Did ZZ Top Become More About Kitsch Than Music?

ZZ Top
Craig O'Neal
ZZ Top in 2008: Still bearded.
ZZ Top formed in 1969, a rough and tumble blues band forming amongst the gritty backdrop of Houston's oil greed and NASA's continuing space race. But it was the summer of 1974 in the community of Friendswood--a small town then, a thriving Houston suburb now--that my curiosity with ZZ Top began, when a burley biker walked in to a darkened juke joint and announced, loudly, "I must listen to my favorite song."

Bandages covered has right arm, with long scabs sticking out near his wrist. His cane steadied a limp. He offered a half-cocked smile. "Me and my motorcycle got into a fight with the road," he explained to no one and everyone. "And now that I'm out of jail there's only one thing I need, and that's ZZ Top!"

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