Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Allman Brothers Band Beacon Theatre New York 14 March 2011

Having settled nicely into the Beacon/Moogis routine I had everything more or less ready to go around ten, realising New York had changed over to daylight saving, and I'd just finished running the visiting Scoffer through some of the photos from our trip to Japan a little indoor three years ago when Taj's Fishin' Blues (a live version I wasn't familiar with) saw an underswell of rising crowd noise.

McScoffenheimer couldn't, however, be inveigled into staying the ten minutes or so until show time, using dogs that needed to be let out of laundries as en excuse to escape and lurched off while the Beacon PA played with assorted getting ready for lift off noises intermingled with the soundtrack as I reflected on the passing of Bear Stanley.

I'd posted an obituary on the website, largely due to the influence the dude had on the tape trading scene (I mean where would the trader scene be without the influence of the Grateful Dead?) and while I wasn't aware of any direct connection between the Bear and the ABB, I thought maybe a Franklin's Tower might have been appropriate.

It'd be an excuse for an Oteil vocal for a start.

That turned my thoughts to considering which of the usual suspects had failed to materialise so far in the run. Well, there's Dreams for a start, and Dreams usually brings out something special on the Derek's solo side of things. I figured if Susan was in the house we'd probably get an Anyday, or a Don't Think Twice, while you'd expect Rocking HorseLes Brers and Soulshine to be looming somewhere around the horizon. Maybe a Night They Drove Old Dixie Down with the Jukes horns.

Looking down the list of songs played in the comparable in length 2009 run I figured you could build a pretty good setlist around those (and even if Susan wasn't on the premises Oteil, from what I remember, does a pretty good Anyday if Franklin's Tower didn't turn up in this particular rotation) and pad it out nicely with other numbers that haven't rated a guernsey so far.

We crept past ten-thitrty with those musings, and I noted a Welcome home graphic before that familiar ABB logo suggested we were getting close. A "Check" from Gregg suggested blast off was imminent.

10:32 Sailin' 'Cross The Devil's Sea. Nice! Got a good feeling about this one as at

10:33 we sail into the first bit of solo action from Derek and I note an apparent lack of scrawled signatures on the axe. As Sailin' reached the shore I noted an apparent change of guitar, but closer inspection revealed an absence of sigs on this particular red SG as well. How many of them has the guy got? Or am I imagining things? We're still obviously not quite settled into total absorption mode.

10:37 Hot 'Lanta. Derek and Warren exchange comments before Derek wanders over to Gregg's neck of the woods. There's possibly a perfectly valid non-Gregg supervising explanation but Derek definitely seems to be more stage mobile than he was back on the Hittin' The Note DVD.

There's a bit of pixellation evident, and just after I'd noted that

10:41 Feed cuts. Out and back in.

10:42 Hot 'Lanta fades as Butch rolls over to the tympani.

10:43 Midnight Rider. That sigs axe seems to have reappeared. When did that happen?

10:47 Statesboro Blues

10:49 Freeze. Out and back in. Takes a while to get back. What's going on? Log right out and go back in. Lengthy disruption doesn't bode well. Try Standard instead of High Res. Nothing. Nada.

Log out in and go back in. Still nothing.

At least this is happening during Statesboro Blues rather than some relative rarity.

10:53 Desperate times call for desperate measures. Restart computer. Log back in which takes me past the ABC News website (the Safari home page). Is there something serious going on in the world? Well there is, but no startlingly new development that might have hijacked the Net. Feed still down. Switch High Res to Standard again. Still zilch.

10:56 Email to Allman list from Phil Peters: "Major Moogis freeze. Just me or everyone?" Looks like it might be everyone, but refrain from responding since knowing you're not the only one doesn't seem too comforting from where I'm sitting.

10:58 Feed's back to And It Stoned Me. Note previous comment about misdoing a relative rarity. Figure twelve minutes from the start of Statesboro Blues, so what have we missed? Depends how far into Stoned Me we are.

10:59 > Marc on percussion, which is presumably the end of AISM, so maybe we didn't actually miss all that much as we're presumably heading into the Set One Long Instrumental, a phenomenon that has me beat since I have difficulty distinguishing one from the other. Love 'em, and am invariably impressed but don't get to hear them often enough to tell 'em apart.

Checking the iTunes library (my main source of day to day musical sustenance) reveals a complete lack of either Bag EndEgypt or the rest of their recent ilk. The upgrade to the iMac has brought substantially more hard drive capacity (well, you'd call 8x substantial, wouldn't you?) so the solution is obviously:

(a) put a substantial subset of the twenty-seven Instant Lives on the CD shelves back into the iTunes library, and

(b) Stock upon more recent ones from MunckMusic.

These two processes may well take some time…

11:08 Who are those three dudes sitting on the other side of Oteil? (Stage left).

11:10 "We've got a couple of friends come to join us. How ya doin'? John Ginty's gonna play some keyboards and you all know Bernie Williams."

Well I don't, actually. Antipodesan ignorance, I guess. Subsequent investigation reveals he's a baseballer, which explains why this cricket fan doesn't know him from Adam. Stateside readers of these ramblings would say the same about Australian cricketers who are household names in these parts.

Nice guitar interplay between Warren and Bernie that resolves itself into Who's Been Talking right before another freeze. Back for a second, then it's gone again. Today's easily the worst feed so far this run. Back in to keys solo, another glitch, back, then another.

11:14 I'm not game to comment on continuity at this point in time on the grounds that it might de-materialise.

11:15 Derek solo. What's Warren looking at? Something's caught his eye over towards the keyboards and it ain't Gregg because he ain't there.

11:17 Given the lengthy outage this might not be the first of the Derek trademark solos I enjoy so much for the night, but it's pretty bloody good.

11:20 Revival. You're a bit vague on the vocals there, Gregg old son.

11:28 Warren solo with Mountain Jam (or at least First There Is A Mountain) teases.

11:32 "Thank you so much. We're gonna take a lil' short break. Don't go away."

Start thinking about lunch, and eventually the Moogis promotional material drives me in that direction. Not that I'm knocking, mind you, but I did see the exact same content during the lunch break yesterday y'unnerstand.

Head to the living room for an appointment with tuna, mushroom and cannelloni bean salad and a glass of No Way Rose. Consider a second (glass of Rose, that is) but decide against it since The Boss wants to do the grocery shopping and check out kitchen tiles after the show.

12:00 And, very sneakily, they're back, drummers first into what could well be the same loping groove that started Night One.

12:03 Sax player has crept in there, and there's the keyboard dude who was on earlier.

I've got to say I'm not a really big fan of this sort of stuff as far as including it in the ABB repertoire is concerned, but I guess it's a case of different strokes for different folks (and so on and so on and dooby dooby dooby).

12:14 Soulshine. Another one that must have been just about due.

12:22 "Bill Evans on the saxophone."

12:23 Another guest over to the left of Oteil? Nope. Looks like Evans is still there.

12:24 Dreams. Someone else on Jaimoe's kit. Don't recognise the dude. Don't think it's Jamie Van Der Bogert.

12:26 Almost meditative start to what I assume will be Derek's solo has me licking my chops. Settle back into the armchair. Sax cuts in. 12:30 Now it's back to Derek, but he flick passes it over to Warren.

12:35 Two verses from Gregg to wind things up. Where was the Derek solo I was anticipating?

12:37 "Josh Dion on the drums back there. Bill Evans on the saxophone."

12:38 Black Hearted Woman.

12:42 Two substantial glitches as Derek and Warren do the guitar and vocal bit that I can't quite put into words.

12:43 Now, do we get the instrumental runout? Sure do.

12:49 The Derek solo all through the set! Had to eventuate eventually!

12:51 Did someone say something about Susan? These ambient just off-mic comments are hard to figure.

12:52 Bass and drums groove that suggests unfamiliar territory but will probably resolve itself into something we know and love. Wait and see and discover it's

12:53 Rocking Horse.

1:01 > Bass? Looks that way. JaBuMaOt to follow?

1:03 No, we're back to very low key Derek which by

1:06 has built to the full on restatement of the Rocking Horse theme.

1:08 Looks like Gregg escaping.

1:09 Les Brers? Sure is.

1:15 Full on Derek sonic assault > Bass

1:19 and Oteil's given it a good old workout as we head into the switch around.

The drums bit prompts me to get up for a drink of water, which prompts a complete freeze as I refill the water filter. Out and back in to catch a glimpse of what looks like the setlist on a clipboard to the left of Butch's kit. Must switch to a Jam Cam next time Butch is sporting the head gear to see if you can actually read the thing.

1:25 And the guitars come back in. Nice Warren solo to finish before the Les Brers theme at 1:29, which might just about wrap up the ball game as far as the main set is concerned. Let's see.

Certainly seems that way. "Thank y'all so much."

1:33 Acoustic strumming. Melissa.

1:39 So I guess we're getting one more. What'll it be? One Way Out. Sound cuts out, but it looks like Devon Allman on guitar.

1:40 Sound and vision both drop out.

1:46 "Thank y'all so much."

"Devon Allman on guitar."

"Thank y'all so much. We'll be here tomorrow night. Come see us."

Little Martha.

And with that it’s not long before we’re out the door in search of groceries and inspiration re. splashback tiling for the new kitchen. oss of typing time results in considerable delays in producing this little effort. Great show, though I had my reservations about Spanish Key and consistency of stream delivery.
And the setlist:

Set 1
Sailin’ ‘Cross The Devil’s Sea
Hot ‘Lanta
Midnight Rider
Statesboro Blues
And It Stoned Me
Who’s Been Talking (Bernie Williams, Guitar; John Ginty, Keyboards)

Set 2
Spanish Key (with  Bill Evans, Sax; John Ginty, Keyboards)> Soulshine (with Bill Evans, Sax)
Dreams (Bill Evans, Sax; Josh Dion, Drums)
Black Hearted Woman
Rockin’ Horse> Les Brers in A Minor

One Way Out (Devon Allman, Guitar)

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