A Night Out on the Town in Birmingham, Alabama

I was talking with a friend today and I told her about a fun night my hubby and I spent in Birmingham a few weeks ago. Some of you may have heard of the Alabama Shakes. They are one of the many hot bands coming out of the music scene in Alabama. They've been on Leno, Saturday Night Live and played for Billy Reid and last year at two sold out shows at Workplay.....to name the absolute minimum. Go read their story here. They announced they would be playing in Birmingham again the weekend of June 6 and 7th. I patiently waited on tickets to go on sale. They had a presale for fans and I bought 4 tickets for Saturday night....got a little greedy and bought 4 tickets for Friday night. I wanted to keep my options open, this was several months before the concert!

We (Birmingham) have been getting a bit of national media as a "cool place". I was in Georgia a month ago at the Southern C Summit and the Southern Living editors were calling it the new Portland. A few weeks ago there was an article in the New York Times about the hotness of the 'Ham, the NEW YORK TIMES, people!! I was like, what??? Birmingham? What is up? So, I read the article and was all, oh that, and yeah, that's cool, well, of course, it's Birmingham. Then I realized, these are all things that I think are cool and wonderful about our city, but never realized anyone would ever take notice. I hadn't realized, I hadn't taken notice. It's just been in the last few weeks that I've been saying to others how this IS a cool city.

While talking to my friend this afternoon, we were talking craft beer industry growth (it's huge in Birmingham....the largest growth in America, btw) and mentioned Avondale Brewery. If you haven't been, cool spot, very cool spot. The buildout makes me drool and the beer is pretty good, too! They have an outside venue where they hold summer concerts and serve crawfish on Saturdays. cool, right? told ya.

That brought up how that weekend in June, when I finally decided to only go to the concert on Saturday, we went to see the Alabama Shakes. Before the concert we went to Saw's Soul Kitchen for dinner. Waited in the line that was out the door, walked up to the counter and ordered, then walked outside to sit at a picnic table with flies all around. Makes it sound bad, right? No! It was a wonderful atmosphere with all the people milling around the Avondale area and the food was well worth the wait!! I was licking the plate at the end.

We walked a couple of doors down to Avondale to quench our thirst, grabbed a Saison, and walked around the outdoor area noticing the dogs, blankets and groups of people congregating at tables and playing corn hole. Atmosphere Amazing. Realizing it was an hour before concert start, we headed over to Sloss Furnace. Serious history, folks. A very cool (well, not in June) events venue. It is a beautiful old furnace that dates back to the 1880's and was used to produce iron for nearly 90 years.

Dawes opened for the Shakes and played a great show. In a packed house the lead singer, Britney, and the Alabama Shakes rocked the night away until midnight! If you've never seen them, seeing them in Alabama is a must! They are a full of heart and soul group that will have you on your feet and singing along to every song! It was a perfect night in Birmingham and I'm so glad to be here for this exciting time for our city! Come visit, y'all!