On April 27, an F4 tornado hit Tuscaloosa, Ala., leveling 7,274 homes in less time than it takes for the band My Morning Jacket to play its signature song, “Mahgeetah,” in concert. Fifty-five people were killed; thousands lost their livelihoods. This university town mostly known for its football fanaticism became a place of heartbreak — and, now, of rebirth.
Last Friday — three months and three weeks after the storm — My Morning Jacket, Neko Case and Phosphorescent came to Tuscaloosa to play a special show, with all proceeds after costs going to the United Way of West Alabama. The bands transformed a tour date into a benefit after hearing of the town’s devastation.
Before the concert, Alabama resident Ann Powers took the musicians—and a photographer—on a tour of the area.
More photos from the day by Jeffrey B. Hanson for NPR.