Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No one to run with

I got a last-minute ticket yesterday to see the Allman Brothers Band play their second night of this year's Beacon Theatre run. It's been several years since I've seen them play, and I was psyched to see both the show and the newly-renovated venue.

A few observations: Believe the hype: the Beacon looks stunning - the chandelier in the lobby, the artwork in the theater itself, the acoustics - they did a great job... The Allman's fan base is 95% male, and is neither young nor beautiful... Their light show was horrible - a distracting mess that resembled the demon spawn of the world's worst lava lamps... Cameras are now ubiquitous at shows, and people appeared to be updating Facebook status/Twitter throughout the night... And there was far less pot smoke in the air than I recalled...

The band sounded fantastic. The current lineup is wildly talented, and I am completely in awe of both Derek Trucks (who, by the way, is younger than me!) and Warren Haynes (duh!). Gregg Allman still rocks, though I would have liked to hear a bit more repartee with the audience. Guests for the night included Johnny Winter, who lays down some excellent blues guitar, and David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas from Los Lobos, who were both entertaining and amazingly nimble on their instruments.

It shouldn't be surprising given they are playing the same venue for 15 nights over three weeks, but they didn't play all of the old favorites. We got to hear Gregg Allman play guitar in a beautiful rendition of "Melissa," and my favorite song of the night was the very extended jam of "No One to Run With." I probably won't rush out for another Allman's show any time soon, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

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