IrishAngler - 10/31/2014 at 09:44 PM
well....that was simply awesome and words will fall short of what it was like to really be there - but here it goes.
Swung over to the StubHub pick-up in Times Square. Remember when Charlie opens up the Wonka Bar and sees the corner of the Golden Ticket? Yeah, it was that kind of moment. I totally get I’m sounding like a pre-teen who just scored front row for a boy-band.…but after beating the ridiculously low odds of getting to NYC for the show and what I went through to make it to this point I kinda relate to that kid. Ihad mornin meeting in NC that day - afternoon one cancelled...hopped on a flight to philly, drove up 295 and trained it in...crazy day.
On the way to the subway I ran into a fine lad, Harrison Fisher( Harrison, meet the gang. Gang, meet Harrison). We started chatting about all things ABB and headed uptown together. With time to kill we went to Amsterdam Ale House – but sardines in a can had it good compared to the people in there – stupid crowded. Headed to Blondies on 79th – good call. ABB playing, plenty of room, other fans there…. Harrison and I had a few rounds before heading over the Beacon. While there bumped into a guy who showed me his ticket to an ABB show from Gaelic Park in the Bronx in 1971….pretty cool piece of memorabilia. OK….to the venue.
Climbed to the top of the Beacon like the gazelle that I am and gladly took my seat in the last row of the Upper Balc. Great thing about it was that I could stand and there was no one behind me. As it turned out – the entire Balcony was standing from the first note. Great folks all around me – the place was buzzing. Folks near me had come in from Florida, Arkansas, Chicago, Boston – real fans who made the trek to Mecca – it just added to the already electric ambience. There was a lot of speculation about three sets. Folks had read it on the internet….so it must have been true. Lights down at about 8:45….here we go.
Set One: Little Martha > Mountain Jam > Don't Want You No More > Not My Cross to Bear> One Way Out, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Midnight Rider, High Cost of Low Living, HotLanta, Blue Sky, You Don't Love Me
Set Two: Statesboro Blues, Ain't Wasting Time No More, Black Hearted Woman, The Sky is Crying, Dreams, Don't Keep Me Wonderin', In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
Set Three: Melissa, Revival, Southbound, Mountain Jam > Will The Circle Be Unbroken?> Mountain Jam
Encore: Whipping Post, Trouble No More
Little Martha teaser into the first few minutes of Mountain Jam rolled right into a sweet DWYNM….leaving things wide open for a reprise of Mtn Jam. Lots of smiles on the stage – really loose mood but the music was tight and spot on. Cross was excellent into a One Way Out. As I had texted during the show – One Way Out was Wednesday’s and Saturday’s encore…..and here it is now “buried” in the first set. It really tells a lot about how this show was building.
Percussions were driving and full of power – Butch was really smacking the skins and Marc is simply off the hook. Greg’s vocals were fantastic – you could tell he found an extra gear for this one. The axe men were shredding and Oteil’s deep end was thumping. I was in front of his stack so he was high in the mix and was just booming all night. And as good as it was – it got better with Schoolgirl, a la Derek…he took us DEEP on this track. Rider(my 3rd of the run) was actually great as Greg didn’t really have to sing as all 3,0000 of us belted out the lyrics in unison….we were loud and we all applauded ourselves. High Cost and Hotlanta – awesome. Then I heard the opening notes to one of the more memorable songs of the evening Blue Sky….again, the Beacon chorus sang it loudly and the boys delivered a fantastic rendition of this Dickey classic. The first set closed with a great You Don’t Love Me with the whole place dancing. Just a great first stanza with more to come.
Statesboro always get things moving and this was no different…great opener and the whole place, loge and balcony included, were standing up and grooving. AWTNM and Black Hearted Woman were great. By this time, the beer and vodka were flowing pretty good...the liquid dinner had fully kicked in by now. Not sure if it was me but think this was a rather abridged version of BHW….what was played was great – but I just don’t recall the Derek/Warren battle that typically ensues here. Not complain’…just sayin. Ok….this is where the 2nd set really struck a chord for me, no pun intended. The Sky is Crying….wow. As a Stevie Ray Vaughn fan I love his takes on this classic – but the ABB did it justice and then some. Great stuff here. Then came a song which for me was redemption in a monumental way. Friday’s Dreams was decent – but not great - and I called in my earlier reviews that this song deserves better in the Mon/Tue run. Just…damn! They killed it. Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ kept up the pace and into a huge 2nd set closer with Elizabeth Reed….it was right up there with Saturday’s version which was smoking. Crowd was lit up and roaring in thanks.
Second set ends. Lights on…….no encore? People were asking – is that it? Some people left as it was about 11:30 when a show normally ends. Silly people….Little Martha ain’t playing so the show ain’t over. We’re getting a 3rd set, folks!
Melissa started things off right….and the place got jumping with Revival – outstanding song selection to kick the final set into overdrive. Audience went into dance mode and the balcony was rocking, literally. People were feeling it…and love was everywhere. Southbound kept our feet moving….the Beacon sing-along continued as folks were totally dialed in and going word for word. What a fun friggin scene. We got a bit more Mt. Jam and into what I think was the entire run’s only full version of Will The Circle Be Unbroken….it seemed to me be in the 8-10 minute range. A great tribute to Duane. This took us back into a bookended Mountain Jam to finish us off. Words fail me to describe this moment. With perhaps only a song left a most appreciative crowd let the band know how it felt….about as loud as I’ve ever heard any venue anywhere. Being up high I had a great view of the entire backstage. I saw Butch and Derek hugging….lots of that going on as the band’s friends/families came out to greet them….really cool.
Encore – had to be Jessica or Whipping Post….and the opening bass notes signaled the latter. Boom – game on! Just a ridiculous version with the Beacon going bananas.
Then came the speeches…and folks throwing flowers to the band. Greg started it off….saying how he first joined the band, someone threw him a lyric sheet and said, “sing!........that was at about 3:30 in the afternoon, March 26th, 1969”….“I never had any idea it would come to this.” It looked like he was getting a bit emotional – then gave a “heartfelt thank you” and announced they’ll play one more song – the very first song the band ever played. Butch spoke briefly about they’ll end it the way they started it…with the same song. Then Jaimoe gets up – a lot of cheering then so might be hard to hear what he says…but essentially, when he was growing up he wanted to be two things; Mr. America and the greatest Jazz drummer of all time. He gave up on Mr. America. And a chance encounter in Alabama had him soon joining forces with the ABB…..I believe he said “thank God for the Allman Brothers…and thank you Duane”. Just a GREAT GREAT moment.
Video here – speeches start around the 2-minute mark.
Trouble No More ended the curtain call show at about 1:30am. Lights on, thrown flowers on the stage, and Little Martha plays. As the band has never played a show on the 29th since Duane’s death it was remarkable that this show ended on the 29th in the fashion it did, at the venue it did and with a level of playing that I am sure Skydog was smiling about from ear to ear. 4 ½ hours, 3 sets, 2 encores, speeches, the 29th, the Beacon….what a recipe! I kind of hate saying this –but it’s true – this was the best show I’ve ever seen. Due to the circumstances of it all…and how I actually even made it there just added to the experience. I am just happy as hell to have been a part of what was an amazing exclamation point to one hell of a 45-year journey.
And I’ll tell you what….knowing what I know now I would have paid a grand for my seat. No joke.
BillyBlastoff - 10/31/2014 at 10:17 PM
Nice snap, crackle and pop review Irish!
Glad you had a real good time!
darencole - 10/31/2014 at 11:23 PM
It was not just a concert; it was an event !
adsva - 11/1/2014 at 12:30 AM
Thanks for the great review. Yours and the others I've read, plus the YouTube videos, make me really sorry I didn't pull out the credit card, get a last minute flight, and buy a StubHub ticket. I thought seriously about it, to the extent of Mon night checking flights for Tues morning, but just couldn't justify the almost two grand I'd have to spend. Looking back on it now, the credit card bill would have been paid in a few months but the memory of that last show would last forever. Glad you and the others at the Beacon were able to be there.
LeglizHemp - 11/1/2014 at 03:26 AM
Looking back on it now, the credit card bill would have been paid in a few months but the memory of that last show would last forever.
it was amazing
bluedad - 11/1/2014 at 05:17 AM
Well I was in the next to last row of the upper balcony and it was perfect.....
And so was the band
brlazar2 - 11/1/2014 at 09:11 PM
I am a fan since Idlewild , was at the last show, this is my 1st post and only one word.......EPIC!
They left nothing on the shelf, Derek and Warren did Duane and Dickie proud! Best performance Ive ever attended....... we bought counterfeit tix for 1st show and were SOL or so we thought. The good man above saw to it that we got tix for the last night at face value , 18th row orch.!!!!!!!!
now if the Eagles could win a super bowl, I can die happy after that show!!!
ralphie53 - 11/1/2014 at 10:17 PM
Very nice report!
For anyone on the fence about downloading this from Munck, I heartily recommend it (FLAC, if possible). Absolutely brilliant.