ABB: Not Quite Peakin’ At The Beacon

Apparently Spring Training in March isn’t exclusive to Florida and Arizona.

I made the seven-block trek to see the Allman Brothers Band‘s first gig of 2007 at the Beacon Theater. The annual run is really one of the few long-lasting traditions we have left in our scene, though I’m curious to watch what happens when the Beacon closes for renovations next year. I thought the show last night could go one of two ways: We could get the scorching opener with a ton of bustouts, or they could play a straightforward warmup jobber. Unfortunately the latter happened, as the Allman’s spent the night getting into playing shape.

Beacon

I try to see a couple of ABB shows a year, and I’ve never really left saying “These guys are getting old.” But these guys are getting old. Jaimoe looked pained at times and didn’t add too much to the sound. Gregg Allman’s voice sounded great, but he didn’t contribute to the improvisations. And speaking of improv, there wasn’t too much group improvisation at all. Tons of solos, yes, but there were few moments of true improvisation where the group contributed to the whole sound instead of one guy ripping a solo. At the beginning of Jessica, the rest of the band added brilliant soundscapes and layers as Derek Trucks started his solo, reminding me of what these musicians are capable of. But as Derek progressed it once again turned into a game of who could play the most notes.

The second set’s opener of Midnight Rider was of the most disappointing re-workings of a song I’ve ever heard. What the fuck was that? How can you take one of the best riffs ever written out of that song? Weak sauce. I don’t mean to completely bash the show, and I’m usually a big fluffer, so I’ll admit the night did have moments. Besides Jessica, the other highlights were Stormy Monday, which featured twin creative heady solos from the guitar players and the bass playing of Oteil Burbridge. Oteil holds it down and even showed his drumming skillz during drumz. The encore was the fun pairing of Into The Mystic and One Way Out.

Overall, the song selection just wasn’t what I personally was looking for. I had a good enough time at the show but I left unsatisfied. There are still 179 shows left at the Beacon this year, so I’m sure once the special guests start appearing the band and the crowd will both start feeling it.

I: Hot ‘Lanta, Don’t Keep Me Wondering, Trouble No More, Firing Line, Stormy Monday, Maydell, Instrumental Illness

II: Midnight Rider (GAF Version), Hoochie Coochie Man, End of The Line, Just Before The Bullets Fly, Statesboro Blues, Leave My Blues At Home> JaBuMa(Oteil on drums, Butch on Tympani) > Leave My Blues At Home, Jessica

Encore: Into The Mystic, One Way Out

The band wasn’t the only subdued factor at the show — once again the Beacon balcony let me down. Hardly anyone stood and hardly anyone applauded after the solos and after they finished each song. Remind me to pay the extra $20 for orchestra seats next time. Another thing I’m realizing is that the Beacon Theater has gotten dirty and outdated. I’m starting to get excited for MSG’s renovation.

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0 Responses

  1. That may be the first mostly negative review I’ve seen on this fanboy starfucker of a blog in the six months it’s been around. Finally, someone speaks the truth!

    Scotty, hopefully they make up for it next time you catch ’em on this run…I’m sure they will. They’re too good not to come back strong as they go forward. I caught a late-in-the-run show last year and I was floored.

    Also, I’m obligated by blog law to recycle my own old joke here — did Gregg look like Jon Voight dressed as Willie Nelson for Halloween last night?

  2. Nice review dude – Trucks just got back from Clapton tour – I’m sure he’s just getting used to the ABB song list again. They are still a better band now with Trucks and Haynes than they were with Dickey Betts 10 years ago- although some will argue

  3. Dude, One thing of note, this opening night show was a late add as Bear Stearns bought the place for the night. ABB knowing this, stuck to the basics. I was at this past weekend’s show (3/30-3/31) and it smoked big time. The improvisations you wanted were there. Mountain Jam Friday night went places. You need to get back there before its over.

  4. This show was never advertised to the public, opening night was 3/22 and the bro’s smoked it. Like Kevim P said Bear Sterns bought the house and a few tickets upstairs leaked out to us peach corp members on the brothers web site. I guess a few more must have leaked out if you bought a tix. I considered myself lucky as I had tix for three other shows but got shut out on all the fridays and saturdays. BTW, that’s the “Laid Back” version of Rider for all you newbies. How about ‘Dazed & Confuesed’ ‘manic Depression’ & ‘In A Silent Way’? JUkes horns Southside on harp for ‘Key to the Highway” Susan T belting it out. Dude, get a life or go see Justin Timberlake, if you want homogonized pap played the same way each time, Me I’ll take my shrooms with a shot of peach brandy. Every nightis an adventure, you just don’t know where the voyage will take you. 3/20 was rock solid and hard core, goodmix of war horses, modern and eclectic. Maybe no new surprises or guests, but who needs decorations when the oldpewch tree is blooming.

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