Saturday, March 19, 2011

Allman Brothers Band Beacon Theatre New York 18 March 2011

Priorities. We've all got 'em, and they kick into our lives in all sorts of different ways. 

And, after yesterday's show I found myself pondering the question of where Moogis (and music in general) fits into my personal universe, and how that universe intersects with everybody else's.

Now, the usual modus operandi on a Moogis day is to start the review before the show, find something to riff on before the show, jot down notes while the band are on stage and, where possible, sit straight down and tap out the review or whatever you want to call it.

Yesterday, being Saturday, I decided not to do the find something to riff on bit, because Saturday morning is often a time for folks to head into town for a bit of shopping, and with the Little House of Concrete being a few short blocks from Downtown Bowen if there's a time when people are likely to avail themselves of an invitation to drop in and check out the webcast if they're in the vicinity that time would, logically, seem likely to be Saturday morning.

Not that I was expecting a wave of inquisitive visitors, you understand, but I thought it was best to leave the pre-show riffing out of the equation in case someone arrived on the scene.

So, instead of tapping out the scene-setting bit I found myself pursuing some of the thoughts touched on at the start of my previous effort, namely the relatively low uptake of Moogis on the part of ABB fans.

I've no idea of the accuracy of that 2500 figure, but as long as the service lasts and there's a Beacon run on offer I'll be subscribing. As far as my priorities are concerned, something between $200 and $300 is affordable, and I know what would happen if I suggested a trip to New York to catch one or more shows live.

Comments about the fact that I'll shape the personal itinerary in mid-March each year to include a full and uninterrupted watching of each night's show wouldn't encourage me to suggest that we put the numerous overseas destinations on Madam's I want to go there list on hold so we can go to New York, which wouldn't feature on the top ten destinations.

So, effectively, in the interests of domestic harmony, that possibility ain't a goer.

And when you look at the cost-benefit analysis side of things, you can see Butch Trucks' point of view, having put a lot of his own money into Moogis. He would undoubtedly be looking for black ink on the balance sheet would have different point of view to the bloke with a mortgage who has to give serious thought to where the money goes.

Yeah, all understandable, but what I failed to comprehend as the band hit the stage yesterday was the complete failure of anyone to lob on the doorstep before starting time, and while a tap on the door frame towards the end of Walk On Guilded Splinters heralded Christian's arrival on the scene, he couldn't stay long due to the need to remove wet season mould and mildew from inside the house.

Actually, if he didn't have to return a couple of DVDs he borrowed during last year's run and told me he'd be around this weekend to do so he may not have turned up at all.

See what I was getting at about priorities?

Actually, the run through Comin' Home and That Did It might have put a bit of extra urgency into the anti-mould activities. We'll see if he's back for a full show later today (he wrote around 5:45 in the morning, early to bed and early to rise and all that).

But enough of that, back to the transcript of the scribbled notes, which needs to be attended to before a two-hour spell in the garden, lingering showers permitting.

See? Priorities again.

10:23 Tony Joe White might have been on about an Undercover Agent For The Blues but there seemed nothing undercover or understated about the drum roll that prompted the switch to full screen mode. A pause, a solid run around the kit, rising crowd noise for a moment suggested an imminent blast-off. A comment from Tony Joe doesn't lead to the Tunica Motel and Creedence's Long As I Can See The Light plays while muffled preparations continue on stage.

10:27 Crowd noise rises again as set up noises continue, while Fogerty's distinctive vocal tones fade around 10:28.

10:29 Off-mic chuckling. Someone's enjoying themselves. Buzz of crowd noise, but nothing from stage except strange hums and the odd percussive thump.

10:30 Crowd noise rises again. ABB logo.

10:31 A solid workout on the drums, guitar interjections, slabs of keyboard (organ and piano, someone sitting in on keys from the start?). There's no place like home, then back to the ABB logo. Percussion kicks in, rattling side drums. Someone seems to start counting on. On stage conversation leaks through the mics.

10:34 "Here we go. One, two, three four." Don't Want You No More.

10:37 As we segue into Not My Cross To Bear note Jaimoe's wearing a baseball catcher's headgear or something similar. After comments on the mailing list must go back to review things I missed in last night's second set.

10:40 That headgear's gone now…

10:42 Gregg moves to piano and it's straight into Done Somebody Wrong. Derek seems to be maintaining close supervision stage right until Warren's solo kicks in. He moves briefly centre-stage, but he's back beside the keys as Gregg takes the second verse.

10:44 Slashing slide solo from Derek. Things seem to be firing nicely on all cylinders.

10:47 Blind Willie McTell

10:53 Derek solo underlines the impression that this is as good as any previous rendition of what's become a firm personal favourite.

10:55 Drums and percussion keep going. Walk On Guilded Splinters? Sure sounds that way, then that familiar moan from Warren. Another favourite…

Tap on the door brings Christian onto the scene.

11:03 "Please welcome Susan Tedeschi to the stage" (or words to that effect). Comin' Home.

11:10 That Did It. Christian reckons he knows the song, though I don't recall hearing it. He also reckons Susan's voice keeps getting better and better. Who am I to argue?

11:18 It Takes A Lot To Laugh. Who's that sitting in on guitar?

11:20 Warren introduces him for a solo but I don't quite catch the name.

11:25 > Liz Reed. Note serious gum chewing, as Gregg mouths a slab in between tracks. Guitar guest dude, who subsequent investigations reveal to be John Schofield, however, could out-chew most Australian cricketers (a notorious gum-chewing fraternity) since the legendary Slasher Mackay.

11:39 Little guitar power triangle centre stage breaks up for Warren's solo.

11:41 Warren and Oteil playing off each other.

11:44 "John Schofield on the guitar."

"We're gonna take a lil' short break. DON'T go away." Well, Gregg if you're that definite about it, is it OK to grab a snack?

12:13 PA cuts out. Crowd noise. Movement in the shadows.

12:16 Dreams

12:30 Come & Go Blues

12:38 Soulshine

12:46 Come On In My Kitchen. Electric. Freeze. Out and back in.

12:52 Forty-Four (or Smokestack Lightning?) Right the first time. Someone's on Jaimoe's kit. Jamie Van Der Bogert?

1:05 Butch is moving, but only as far as the tympani. Mountain Jam. John Schofield back.

1:22 > Oteil

1:26 > Drums

1:36 > Mountain Jam. Schofield definitely adds something to the mix.

1:46 Guess that's it for the second set as Mountain Jam comes to a rolling, roaring climax. Thank you's from Warren and Gregg as they troop off. You'd have to figure one more when they troop back on.

1:50 Junior Mack to play some guitar with us. Susan Tedeschi as well." One Way Out. No Derek. Junior plays a mean slide.

1:57 "Thank y'all. Good night. God bless ya. We'll be here tomorrow night. Junior Mack on guitar."

Another excellent show, with the band definitely hitting' the note.

The setlist:

Set 1:
Don't Want You No More > It's Not My Cross To Bear
Done Somebody Wrong
Blind Willie McTell
Walk On Guilded Splinters
Coming Home (Susan Tedeschi, Guitar, Vocals)
That Did It  (Susan Tedeschi, Guitar, Vocals)
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (John Schofield, Guitar) > In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (John Schofield, Guitar)

Set 2:
Come And Go Blues
Come On In My Kitchen
44 Blues
Mountain Jam (John Schofield, Guitar) > JaBuMaOt > Mountain Jam (John Schofield, Guitar)

One Way Out (Susan Tedeschi, Guitar, Junior Mack, Guitar)

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