The Allman Brothers Band @ Red Rocks 7/10/04
The Allman Brothers Band at Red Rocks
Sometime last April, Tina and I informed our friend Vic from Wichita, Kansas that the ABB would be playing Red Rocks and the plans for our yearly foray were begun. Said plans were put into motion in stages; the buying of tickets, the fetching of Vic, and the leaving from Paola Kansas at 4:45 AM (CDT). With Colorado in front of us and too much coffee inside us, we made our way at illegal speeds towards Denver, The Rocks, and the Allman Brothers Band.
Our arrival at our temporary digs in Denver was only slightly overshadowed by a threat of evening rain, a threat that only slightly materialized in sporadic light sprinkles that must have made the altered in attendance feel that THEY were doing it. I’ll never say that they didn’t.
We had some dinner and drove the couple of exits towards Morrison, CO and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a small journey I always welcome as it’s own tiny adventure, as the vistas afforded one upon entry into Red Rocks Park are almost otherwordly in their magnificence and splendor. Somehow, this year we found parking at the TOP of the park, BEHIND the Amphitheatre, and thus escaped the grueling climb we had prepared ourselves for since April. With the show starting at 5:00 PM, the crowd adopted a much more party atmosphere than usual, a feeling that was catching and even welcome.
Chris Robinson and New Earth Mud hit the stage at around 5:15 and the concert began. I really enjoy this new project Chris has put together with former Black Crowes bandmate Audley Freed. With a much bluesier sound than the Crowes had adopted, they seem to explore their talents singly and collectively with more freedom. Pick up their CD "This Magnificent Distance" and get yourself Muddy. The New Earth Mud played a 45 minute set allowing plenty of time for The ABB to stretch.
At 6:35, 7/10/04, Gregg, Butch, Jaimoe, Marc, Derek, and Warren took the stage. Opening with “Revival”, they got the crowd involved with the show right away, turning the Rocks into one giant sing-along. The opener was followed by “Don’t Want You No More” with Derek Trucks working the frets, followed by Mr. Haynes. The customary break and slide into “Not My Cross To Bear” was next, just as it should be and Gregg Allman’s signature growl roared into the mountain. The percussion driven “Hoochie Coochie Man” was rolled out, allowing Warren Haynes to growl a little in return. The band took things down a bit with the soulful “Old Before My Time”, a song that was certainly well known by a good portion of the crowd. Chris Robinson was asked to front the band’s cover of “I Walk On Guilded Splinters”. I’ve never heard this live before, and let me tell ya’s, I want, no, I NEED to hear it again, it’s that good. Warren and Derek used the song as their first excuse for some call and response, and Butch, Jaimoe, and Marc used it as their first excuse for a percussive mini-solo. “Hot ‘Lanta” appeared next and you could hear the drum team lock.. The Allman Brothers then played “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” with Gregg on vocals, another treat you don’t want to miss. “Black Hearted Woman” was our next listen, with it’s power ending intact. Thom Doucette was introduced and the band swung into “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” with the harp player taking the first solo. One of my favorite vehicles for the young Mr. Trucks came next With “The High Cost of Low Living” and Derek’s slide solo was just as sweet and moving as ever on this song. Gregg’s softer side was displayed on the jam driven “Desdemona” next. Derek played both frets and slide during his solo and even managed a “My Favorite Things” quote into the bargain. Warren cut loose on the vocals on “The Same Thing” to follow, which included some killer keys from Rob Barraco of New Earth Mud. The song ended with a three way Round Robin involving Derek, Warren and Barraco; marking the first of the evening’s real high points. The band begins a funky little vamp that seems to stretch a little when I notice that Gregg has left the stage. After maybe two or three minutes we see Gregg striding through the equipment backstage as he is just finishing getting a tee shirt over his head in exchange for the long-sleeved denim shirt he’d started the night in. The rest of the boys had never stopped and as Gregg approached his piano bench, he put his hand over his heart and bowed to his bandmates in appreciation of the patience and skill. Dreams was belted out by the keyboardist upon his return. During this number (and later during… no, you wait for it!), I realized my admiration for the accents that Marc Quinones adds to specific numbers; accents I’d truly miss were he not there. Next on the plate was a slice of something Tina and I hadn’t heard in three (that’s 3) years: “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”. The last time had also been in Denver, at the Ogden Theater, and it was almost more than I could stand. I think I frightened a few people with my reaction to the opening notes….. Michael Kang of String Cheese Incident played the first solo – a little different take on the song, maybe even a little distracting. Derek fired up next and played frets, then slide and threw in a Les Brers quote. Gregg played his B3, followed by Warren’s solo and a call and response session with Warren and Michael Kang. The percussionists played a shortened drum set with Oteil also pulling an abbreviated solo of his own. The return to Liz Reed kicked in and the boys walked off stage only to immediately return with Audley Freed and Thom Doucette in tow. The expanded band launched into a fiery One Way Out with Freed capturing first solo, followed by Doucette, Haynes and Trucks in that order. The roar from the crowd at the end of this number may have been the evenings loudest, but Little Martha brought us all back to Earth again. At least, for those among us that could walk anyway.
7/12 & 13/ 04
Copyright © Clifford Lake, 2004
Added: Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Reviewer: Cliff and/or Tina
Related web link: CliffSongs