Allman Brothers Band Orpheum Shows in Review: Pt. 3

HT’s newest contributor, Stuart Raper, was in attendance at last week’s Allman Brothers Band Orpheum run and will file reports on each show. Monday we shared his take on the November 29 run opener,  yesterday he wrote about the “Eat A Peach” performance on November 30 and today he reviews the penultimate Orpheum run show from December 2.

With a night off in between, the Brothers came back on Friday night in Boston to welcome in their weekend fans for their second to last performance of the run. There were more seats filled and lots of excitement amongst many of those who had yet to catch the band on this rare late-year tour. Friday evening’s show definitely had some great moments, but it was obvious that Gregg was feeling a bit drained from the last two shows. There were times where he had trouble coming in at the right moment with lyrics, sometimes missing them…but that just comes with the territory.

[Photo by Rob Chapman from March]

The last few years have seen Allman face some serious health issues, which would take their fair toll on anyone. It requires a lot of energy to perform at the level to which ABB fans are accustomed to, and some nights the elder members play stronger than others. The beauty of this lineup is, there is such an abundance of talent, that no matter what, every show will have incredible moments. Guys like Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quinones and Warren Haynes don’t really have bad nights. All in all, this was definitely a show still worth coming out for.

Gregg definitely had some shining moments as he sang strong on Don’t Keep Me Wondering, and Oteil kept it funky with the bassline, rocking back and forth with a smile plastered on his face, while Derek wailed on lead and the tune’s signature slide riff. Trucks and Haynes trade off solos on a lot of tunes, but it seems like Derek has a claim staked on ‘Wondering. Warren sang a great version of Freddie King’s Woman Across The River after Midnight Rider. There was some great guitar interplay on the old blues classic and Haynes’ vocals were filled with their usual abundance of soul. His voice adds so much to this band that I can hardly even listen to the original Midnight Rider these days, because it just sounds like it’s missing something without Warren’s powerful harmonizing. He and Gregg sounded great together on Old Before My Time, which Allman crooned out beautifully.

Stepping up on the vocal duties, Warren sang a great Worried Down With The Blues which evolved into another nasty guitar duel. Derek started off his solo by holding one sustained note til it fed back, then laid it down real deep and bluesy. Warren responded back on the high register of his guitar neck for another great guitar duel into the closing chorus. The pair really dug in deep on this one, a great version. Black Hearted Woman was next and though Gregg faltered some, once Derek took off on those guitar strings, it didn’t matter. He seems to really enjoy stretching out on this one and that he did, all over the fretboard and beyond, from the lowest registers to past the frets. It was smokin’.

The second set opened with Leave My Blues At Home which featured a nice guitar duel. One of my highlights of this show came next when the Brothers pulled out their old friends’ the Grateful Dead’s Shakedown Street. Warren led the band on this one and it got nearly the whole crowd dancing. The Allman Brothers Band has played this tune before, it surfaced at the Beacon during the March Madness run and in July, but it’s definitely a rarity and a nice surprise.

Allman Brothers Band – Shakedown Street

It’s always a treat when the Brothers play Dreams into Liz Reed. These two songs stand out on their own, but also segue together beautifully, taking on a suite-like quality when played in succession. Derek took the first lead on Dreams, weaving the notes seamlessly as only he knows how. The two guitars milked the trademark volume fluctuation of Liz Reed’s chord changes whilst trading some nice solos to close out the second set. To start the encore, Haynes and Trucks came out onstage unaccompanied to do the old Son House song Preachin’ Blues. Warren was shouting in key, belting it out with incredible force as Derek backed him up on slide, channeling the soul of the delta. This was another great example of the Allman Brothers’ ability to breathe new life into old songs and keep these tunes alive, so many years later. The Allmans closed the penultimate show of the run out with Statesboro Blues, but unfortunately Gregg was just out of wind at this point. But his bandmates still sounded great and luckily Gregg made up for it the next night.

Set I: Done Somebody Wrong, Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’, Midnight Rider, Woman Across The River, Old Before My Time, Southbound, Worried Down With The Blues, Black Hearted Woman

Set II: Leave My Blues At Home, Shakedown Street, You Don’t Love Me, Blind Willie McTell, Dreams, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed > JaMaBuBu > In Memory of Elizabeth Reed

Encore: Preachin’ Blues, Statesboro Blues

[via Allman Brothers Band]

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