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Author: Subject: Some thoughts on 7/30

True Peach





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  posted on 7/31/2003 at 10:09 PM
Hey gang. I posted this in the guestbook earlier, but thought it may spark a little discussion here, too.

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The central question is, what is good, what is excellent, and what is phenomenal? A whole auditorium of people will watch the same show and have different opinions. From what I hear of the first night (Tue.), this would have been a good year to try to make both nights. Alas, I'm happy with what I got.

I'd rate last nights show as follows - setlist, good. Performance, excellent, and the guitar interplay between Derek and Warren, phenomenal.

This isn't really a review, just some random notes, in case you haven't noticed.

For you ladies (or guys, hey, to each his own) who think that Gregg is a sexy hunk, if you had been at last night's show and were sitting on Gregg's side of the stage, you would have been treated to a bit of eye candy when Gregg changed his shirt midway through the 2nd or 3rd tune.

But, enough of my aberrant fantasies . . . in a few recent reviews I've seen, there has been mention of how "Derek blew Warren Away." Well, if you remembered to bring your stopwatch with you last night, and clocked all of the solos, Derek may very well have come out ahead, but that's speaking of quantity.

In between my last ABB concert (last summer at the Chicago Theater) and this one, I've been to my first Mule show, and my first DTB show. So I've now seen both of them when they "work alone." My collection of live shows for each act has also grown considerably.

For me, the strength of the current incarnation of the ABB rests squarely on the relationship between Warren and Derek. To put it simply, it's arrived. In 2001, it was on the way, in 2002 you could catch glimpses on the horizon, it would stop by for a visit, etc., but in 2003, it's here in full force. Being two excellent guitarists in their own rights, they have always shined when it's "their turn" to take a solo . . . but for my ears, it's the interplay between the two, not what they do when they under the spotlight (although that of course is excellent).

Maybe it will be amusing to some, but the best analogy I can think of is two lovers, who have been together for a while, and know each other intimately.

I know I'm rambling here, but I'll try to bring it on home with some of my favorite guitar moments from last night . . .

Rocking Horse, for instance . . . Warren takes the first solo . . . rips it to shreds . . . then Derek steps up, and plays the first half straight (no slide). At one point Derek is sliding triads around . . . creating lead runs with chords . . . and a peek over at Gregg shows him staring at Derek with his head cocked, and his mouth hanging open just a bit. Magic.

Hoochie Coochie man began with a nice long slide dual between Warren and Derek, with I think three turns each, every one longer then the one before it . . . by the time the main riff of the tune broke free, the crowd was practically orgasmic (Warren's first turn featured some distinctly "Trucksian" moves, I thought that was very cool).

A couple of tunes earlier, I'm pretty sure it was the end of "Woman Across the River," we saw something similar with straight playing, but where the slide dual was like a diving competition, the call and response (or question and answer) of "Woman" was more like a boxing match. Quick jabs . . . two measures apiece, trading back and forth . . . it was like perfect . . . one of my favorite examples of battling leads is the middle section of Mean Town Blues, from Johnny Winter And, Live. This blew the **** out that, hands down.

Which leads me to my final point. Derek is an awesome slide player, I doubt that there's anyone left who will dispute that, but that guy is growing in his straight playing by leaps and bounds. Just the two segments I've mentioned already, the first half of his Rocking Horse solo, and the give and take with Warren later on were enough to floor me. He was playing fast . . . damn fast . . . all over the fret board . . . that was a hell of a performance. I'm going to get this show for sure (and Tuesday's, too) as soon as possible. I've simply got to hear that stuff again.

Here's a question for folks more knowledgeable than me - In the footage of the old blues guys on the screen, who was the guy with the pointy beard and jacked-up teeth . . . Sonny Boy Williamson (I or II?) is my guess, but I'd like to know for sure. Also the heavy set guy with the very dark skin . . . I'd like to know who he was, too . . . I think most of the others I knew.

Peace.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/31/2003 at 11:23 PM
Nice review Randy, Thanks for posting. Wish I could have been there this year to meet you.

We're going to the beacon next year right

 

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  posted on 8/1/2003 at 02:23 AM
Great stuff, TopDroog!

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/1/2003 at 03:06 AM
Topdroog, those are all great comments. I love reading peoples opinions. You know it's really interesting. I went to both shows (as I always try to do) And taped both shows. The first night I went with my wife, and our two closest friends (who are also married). The second night, I went with another close friend. Both nights, I had fairly lousy tickets, oddly enough, the exact same row same seat #'s opposite sides. The first night we were on the Gregg side, the second night we were on the Oteil side. Everyone who went are all real fans and have seen them before. - The first night seemed slow. I mean, I was completely aware of how good it was, but everyone was in crabby mood, tired from work, not really in the mood to see a concert and then to top it off, we were kind of in the back of the theater and we were behind two rows of very tall people. (My one friend is only 4' 8") Anyway, I had trouble seeing, which was no big deal, but let me tell you what a difference it made in the sound. When I got home and heard the show I recorded, I couldn't believe some of the absolute MAGIC I hadn't noticed live. - Now don't get me wrong. These were my 25th & 26th ABB shows, I knew what was happening, plus they played a plethera of songs I really wanted to hear. - The second night, there weren't any extremely tall people and my friend and I had a blast, saw everything, heard everything and the setlist was much more uptempo. However, they did play a bunch of songs, I really didn't want to hear (although I love every song they played, anyone who goes to see several shows understands that you just get tired of certain songs) - Anyway, I started typing this, planning on making a point, but I totally forgot what I was saying! hee hee. Who knows. All I know is that the comment about Derek blowing Warren away is a pretty opinionated comment. And in my opinion, I can see where that might come from, on occasion. And I only say that because, since Warren's come back, I really see him leading the band a lot. He's writing, producing, singing and really directing on stage, whereas Derek just stands up there and plays his balls off. I think SOMETIMES on occasion Warren isn't putting everything into his solos. But that's a moot point as even Warren's worst solos are quite amazing. And the only reason why I make this comment is that I started seeing the ABB in the 90's with the Warren/Dickey lineup and had seen them play SEVERAL times. Warren never had that before, I felt the opposite. Sort of like Derek now. He just got up there and played his balls off. Does anyone understand where I'm going with this? I'm having trouble expressing this...
 

Peach Master



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  posted on 8/1/2003 at 08:37 AM
Topdroog, great post.


"At one point Derek is sliding triads around . . . creating lead runs with chords . . . and a peek over at Gregg shows him staring at Derek with his head cocked, and his mouth hanging open just a bit.."

I witnessed the same in Detroit, but had no clue musically what was going on, only that there was somethin' cookin'...all you had to do was look at Gregg and hear the music radiating from Derek...can you (or anyone for that matter) put that into a context a layperson (Ok ok musically challanged person) can understand? Thanks.

 
 


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