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The Allman Brothers, Monday, October 27th, 2014 Reviewed

Allman Brothers Band, October 27th, 2014

Allman Brothers Band, October 27th, 2014

What could the Allman Brothers have done but didn’t on  Monday night, the last night before the final performance of what is the second greatest jam band of all time? They could have brought out Dickey Betts. They could have played a lot longer than the 180 minutes they did perform. They could have played greatest hits, “Mountain Jam”, “Blue Sky”, “Mellissa”… you know, the classics. They could have mentioned once, in passing, what was going on. But they did none of the above.

What they did was:

  1. Play Duane’s old guitars.
  2. Have Gregg lead the band the way he hasn’t in years.
  3. Performed a fistful of blues numbers by the likes of Elmore James, Albert King, Wilson Pickett and more.
  4. And end the show with a superb passionate “Whipping Post” and then a self-evident truism “No One Left To Run With”.

It has a fine, very professional, very very intense performance but the evening wasn’t very tightly put together. If you arrived at 730 and left around midnight you’d have spent two hours doing absolutely nothing and that’s not including the interminable breaks between songs stopping momentum time after time, it was intensely annoying going from the superb interplay of Warren and Derek on “Leave My Blues at Home” to…. Nothing.

I know it sounds like nitpicking, and I realize people were gagging to go, even the scalpers outside the Beacon had no tickets, but a concert is a concert at the sense of moment, of history unfolding, in the theatre was overwhelming. The audience were on fire, indeed they were on fire more than the band were and when the moment was right, on an astounding “Les Brers In A Minor” with its jazz cum classical allusions, they were erupting in applause after every solo.

Still, for all of that and for how much we have invested in the Southern Goth rock story that is closing behind us, moment for moment this was not a great Allman Brothers. It had things of greatness, nearly all of which belonged to Gregg , but it didn’t come together as a cohesive conceptual show. When the band is at its best, they start with a thought, Warren is going rhythm for the night, for instance, and they play with this musical concept throughout the night and it keeps on reappearing till by the second song of the encore it seems to all come together. It is like a pattern being completed. Monday night the idea was Gregg is the leader of this band. While Gregg and Warren shared the lead on “Blind Willie McTell”, and Warren was spectacular on “Dreams” . Oteil was a signal post on a band with three drummers and if Derek has had better nights, whenever the two guitarists went after it it was lights out. But it was really Gregg’s night, his vocal on “Whipping Post”… I don’t think I’ve ever heard it sung better. And he seemed to guide his band with more force than people are used to after years and years of illness, and it maybe turned the set on its side.

This is what Brock of the excellent Hittin’ The Web With The Allman Brothers had to say:

Solid 1st set, but I was not overwhelmed. That’s What Love was great, w/ a nice Oteil solo in there.

Thought Gregg sounded better, as in exceptionally good, in the 2d set. Les Brers went on forever, and is one of my favorites and hard to come by, so I was already happy w/ the 2d set.

Superb Blind Willie, and another one that does not come along too often. I love the Warren-Gregg verse trading thing. My favorite song introduced by this group. Feel Like Breaking always kills, but this one was for the ages. I have seen many things in my 40 shows, but never Warren dancing! Marc’s groove and well-deserved attention had Mr Haynes bopping away for a bit.

A Warren Dreams was especially welcome and great. I agree w/ Billyblastoff, expect a Derek one tomorrow. Fine w/ me! I have seen Derek be pretty intense, but never more so than in WP. Tearing it up just got taken to a new level.

Fantastically crafted setlist, the show built and built to one higher plane after another. They indeed are going out on a high note.

Tomorrow I expect unique things and many feelings. But tonight I got as good a “regular show” from this iteration as I ever have.”

That seems a more than fair assessment

Grade: B+

Set 1
Done Somebody Wrong
Leave My Blues at Home
Worried Down with the Blues
You Don’t Love Me
I Found a Love
That’s What Love Will Make You Do
Midnight Rider
Black Hearted Woman>
Other One Jam>
Black Hearted Woman

Set 2
Come and go blues
Les Bres>
Will the Circle Be Unbroken?>
Les Brers
Blind Willie McTell
Feel Like Breaking Up Someones Home
Whipping Post

No One Left To Run With

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