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|The Allman Brothers Band: New York, NY|
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|Josh CHasin: Review (Score: 1)|
by jchasin (email@example.com) on Mar 08, 2014 - 03:58 PM
(User information | Send a message) http://apennysworth.blogspot.com
No One Left to Run With
Trouble No More
Leave My Blues at Home
Worried Down With the Blues
Midnight Rider >
You Don't Love Me
Dusk Till Dawn
Aint Wastin' Time No More
Walk on Gilded Splinters
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
The Sky is Crying
e: Whipping Post
In 1989 a friend bought us a pair of tickets to see Gregg Allman at Avery Fisher Hall for my birthday. The show turned out to be a reunion of the Allman Brothers band, who had gotten together to tour behind the Dreams box set. I don't know anyone who would have thought on that night that the band would continue on, with numerous line-up changes, but uninterrupted for another 25 years...
In 1992 I took a date to an Allman Brothers show at the Beacon, and while I enjoyed, it, I was too worried about making small talk to really immerse myself in the music. So I went back another night, and then another. That was, for them and me, the beginning of what has become a Manhattan rite of Spring: the annual Beacon run (I wrote about the Brothers and New York City post-1989 in this program.)
So it is with mixed emotions that I approach this final Beacon run. There's excitement, of course, because for three weeks I basically loose myself in the bluesy jazzy rock'n'roll world the band creates, and I come out the other end rejuvenated (if exhausted). But then there's a sadness too, a sense of melancholy, because this truly is the end of the line. So I'm going all in this run. I've got tickets to 10 of the 14 shows, and it isn't outside the realm of possibility that I squeeze in another one or two... and I plan to write about it all the way through.
The lights are down, Derek and Warren are on stage, and Warren announces their arrival with some bottleneck slide; Derek responds, and they're duetting on "Old Friend," the delta blues that closes 2003's Hitting the Note; it's only the ninth time they've played it. Opening the final Beaxcon run, it feels especially poignant... as does the follow-up with the full band, "No One Left to Run With," which arrives after the drummers lay down an intro on the song's Bo Diddley beat. Oteil is wearing glasses. Derek runs WAY up the neck, the band goes along with him; it's a taut, concise version, no extended jam, all Diddley. Then a similarly taut "Trouble No More." "Leave My Blues at Home" features a fast, four-handed picking interlude, and then at the end, Derek and Warren face off for the first extended jam of the night.
Warren's "Worried Down With the Blues" is a gooey, sticky, in-the-pocket delight. Derek plays some big, fat tone, then pleads and cries; then Warren reaches right down your throat and gives your very soul a playful yank. Highlight.
Then bam, "True Gravity." It's the first time they've played this since 2000, and only the second time since Dickey left the band. A frisky opening, and beautiful, round ringing harmony licks, to a crescendo; then the band dives down, down the rabbit hole. (For not the last time tonight, I think to myself, "I'm gonna miss this.") Derek leads an excursion that comes back to the theme. Truthfully, the song is not fully realized. But it will be, and soon...
Gregg delights the crowd with "Midnight Rider." Then the band rolls right out of that into "You Don't Love Me." Warren goes to town on slide; Derek tears it up with fingers. Jaunty good fun. Warren sings "Dusk Till Dawn," Derek plays the spaces between the notes, making sweet, tiny runs. The band finishes off with a soft landing. Then the sweet lilt of "Aint Wastin' Time No More" to close the set. Out of the vocals, Derek announces himself with a note that fills the room to bursting, then plays a dazzling, surprisingly aggressive solo that just drips narrative. Warren counters with a more subdued solo, and they fall in together to bring the somg home.
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