Monday, August 28, 2006

The Allman Brothers Band

I've been a loyal fan since the early 70's. Beginnings was a favorite of mine - you could drop the second album on top of the first album for continuous play instead of flipping album sides. Hey I was a kid. I have seen these guys together and on their own. I have seen them in small bars in Wildwood NJ with a hundred people and in huge stadiums and hockey arenas. I prefer the sheds (ampitheaters). Last Wednesday night in Virginia Beach I was again blown away. The previous year it seemed like the crowd was restless, the venue wasn't that full and the band's heart wasn't into it - so this year I was hedging my bets. I've been to a lot of shows in my day and well a wednesday night... Finally as the date got closer I checked on tickets and got great seats right in front of the sound engineers. I have to say I am thrilled I went to the show - as far as those instant live discs - those people who stood in line have got a great show. As a heads up those instant live shows aren't available for sale except at the venue. Perhaps this winter the ABB web site will offer the whole tour. If they do I'm buying the show - yee ha! I'm not even going to try and describe the show, the setting, the vibe (joyous) and the crowd was enormous much bigger than last years - which is great I'm already looking forward to next years show! Suffice to say this band exceeded all of my expectations. Here's the set list:
1. Jessica
2. Statesboro Blues
3. Don't Keep Me Wonderin'
4. The Same Thing
5. Trouble No More
6. Old Before My Time
7. Woman Across The River
8. Instrumental Illness
9. Wasted Words
10. Good Morning Little School Girl
11. Leave My Blues at Home
12. Revival

13. Southbound

with Danny Louis, keyboards

The Allman Brothers Band Members

· Gregg Allman

· Butch Trucks

· Jaimoe

· Marc Quinones

· Oteil Burbridge

· Derek Trucks

· Warren Haynes

Now let's talk about the show - for starters they open with Jessica and Statesboro Blues - Jessica and Statesboro Blues - come on THOSE are usually the CLOSERS and ENCORE. Jessica is stretched out I mean I was expecting a straight read for the band to limber up. Nope they flexed their muscles right away. Half way through Derek just starts ripping - these guys are in mid show form ON THE FIRST SONG - without so much as a nod they charge into Stateboro Blues - this time a straight read - which of course I love. If this is what these guys are doing at the start of the show we are in for a GREAT night!

I want to comment on the interplay not between Warren and Derek but Derek and Oteil Burbridge - these two guys are having fun - I mean flat out fun- a lot is written about Warren and Derek and I'm not diminishing that in anyway - no way, but Oteil and Derek were a force to be reckoned with. Marc Quinones - this guy gets over looked but not tonight Marc was featured for a nice session during a rythym break and he did not dissapoint. So the young guns were fired up. Back to the show - Don't Keep Me Wonderin' was faithful to the original recording and I just was in pig heaven at this point - when Warren and Derek got together on Same Thing it was a twin guitar tour de force. I really liked how they were dimming the lights between songs and taking their time in selecting the next song - there was some real excitment going on and the crowd was still standing from the opening note!

I figure at this point I'm going to hear some new tunes - nope - Trouble No More - again faithful to the original recording right down to the tone - these guys have the talent to do this and it was GRAND. Okay apparently I'm going through this song for song - I promise to wrap this up but I have to say Gregg's singing on Old Before My Time brought a hush to the crowd - and we finally all sat down - what a glorious song! It's so heartfelt and true it gets me everytime - even now thinking about it - Gregg doesn't get enough credit as a song writter! Anyway, I'm in full on stunned mode - we were feeling it - lots of dancing and air guitar, pumped fists and plenty of loud applause. Woman Across the River was all funked up and instrumental illness was the break the drums played through as the players went on and off the stage.

Wasted Words was by the book and fantastic - it's so good hearing them nail it the way they recorded it originally and that they pay respect and have the musicianship to be able to reproduce that classic Allman Brothers sound - knowing full well that they have plenty of room to stretch out on other tunes, their new ones and longer ones written to stretch out on. It was the perfect mix - they really nailed it- in a big way. So then they do Good Morning Little School Girl into a worked up Leave My Blues at Home. Either I'm getting old or they shifted up a half an octave on Leave My Blues at Home. It had a counter cadence to how I remember hearing the song off the album and it gave the song a nice subtle lift - so they didn't give all the old songs a straight read - just a few of the chestnuts. Revival and Southbound closed the show.

Just a word about synchronicity - as we were headed out the door - the venue is twenty minutes away - my wife ask's what tunes will we listen to on the way over - I had given it no thought - home from work headed out the door quickly - so I just grabbed Brothers and Sisters off the shelf - loved that we heard three songs off of it - could have sworn I heard spoonful and come and go blues but the official set list doesn't have them listed.

All in all a great show the Allman Brothers Band is strong right now catch them if you can they are hittin' the note!


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