Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Allman Brothers Band Beacon Theatre New York 22 March 2011

Well, nine down, four to go, and judging by an email that turned in the inbox getting through to the end of the monthly billing period might be a bit tricky. 

But more of that little blot on the horizon later.

With various matters that needed attending to before I sat down to start scribbling it was well after ten-fifteen before I got as far as logging in, and I was absorbed by other sundry issues until

10:23 Crowd noise swells, prompting the full screen button to be hit, and the seat taken, notebook at the ready, pen in hand. A version of Sweet Little Angel over the PA, and about a minute later someone's giving somebody's drum kit a solid going over with what sounds like little rolling patterns on the kick drum, another round around the snares and it seems reasonable to assumer we're right on the verge of starting. A little run on the cymbals, another run around the kit and you'd reckon all we need is the ABB logo.

10:28 I should, by now, know not to go making those rash suggestions. Somehow I suspect that the crowd in the theatre aren't in a much better position than I am as to what's going on. The noise rises again, then falls to a relative hush as the final getting ready noises kick in.

Or I hope they're the final getting ready noises.

10:31 Another upswell as the ABB logo appears.

10:32 There's no place like home. "One, two." Then the familiar One, two, one two three four intro that's almost guaranteed to be followed by Statesboro Blues.

10:35 Gregg fluffs a vocal line, self corrects.

10:38 Warren counts down into Come & Go Blues. Gregg seems a bit vague. Thought he looked pretty sharp yesterday, but he seems a bit weary today. I guess medical issues make these things a day by day proposition.

10:46 Hot 'Lanta

10:53 High Cost of Low Living

11:03 Walking bass line and high hat cymbal action suggests we're on the way into an instrumental. Given the fact that we've had Bag End and Egypt over the previous two nights I'd guess either Instrumental Illness or, more likely Kind of Bird, since I don't think it's Instrumental Illness. Subsequent checking suggests I'm right.

11:09 Lost the feed. Out and back in.

While I have difficulty telling them apart I really like these long instrumentals, and would be much happier with an uninterrupted feed.

11:19 Blind Willie McTell with horns! Great stuff! Figure the horn lines will work well here, and they do. Looks like we're going to be spending a bit of time in horn-driven (or at least horn riffing) R&B territory, so what's next?

11:29 Soulshine. Natural fit for the horn treatment. Looks like young Mr van der Bogert sitting in on the drums. What does an ability to recognise a band's drum tech signify?

11:36 There goes the feed again. Out and back to no avail, repeat the dose, repeat again and get back in on the third attempt. We're between songs, and the off-mic conversation I thought was leaking through the stage mics seems to be an audience conversation. An attempt to give you the feeling you're in the crowd? 

11:38 More guests on the way. Who've we got this time? Rich Robinson from the Black Crowes on guitar, Steve Molitz from Phil Lesh and Friends and Particle on piano. Horns still there, so things are getting crowded. The Weight.

11:49 You'd guess that'd be the half way break, or very close to it, but no one seems to be leaving. Lights iup reveals the horns have slipped away under cover of darkness, and Gregg's swapped to piano with Molitz on B3. There's some one else (not Mr van deer Bogert) on Jaimoe's kit now. No introduction or acknowledgement, but later check suggests it's Jukes drummer Joe Bellia.

One Way Out

11:57 "Thank y'all so much. We're gonna be taken' a short break. Be right back."

So it's off to the living room as the interview segments get another airing. While they're reasonably interesting the first time around, you have to question whether they warrant a second airing, and anything beyond that…

12:25 I'm back in the office as End of the Line starts without a great deal of warning. 

12:33 Gambler's Roll

12:40 Black Hearted Woman. Particularly extended workout on the playout that had me thinking it might be the vessel for the bass and drums bit, but that'll probably come latter in the set.

12:56 Butch moving to the tympani? Well, someone's moving around back there. I've Been Loving You Too Long. Horns? Yep, present, correct but possibly a bit low in the mix. 

1:02 Horns still on deck as The Same Thing kicks off. Tom Guarna on guitar, and the previously noted unacknowledged drummer's back on Jaimoe's kit. Issues with the ink flow from the Indian Pacific pen impede note taking. There must be another pen here somewhere. Know there's one on the floor of the car, but I'm not going anywhere while this is on. Great stuff.

1:09 > Bass. Drums from here? Probably not. Everyone's staying put at the moment.

1:18 Horns make their way off stage. Hint of acoustic guitar as I head into the living room in search of a pen. Melissa? Surely not.

1:19 Jessica, which will presumably be the avenue for the > Bass > Drums bit, but if it was there it was either very short or I missed it in the following confusion.

Major disruption to feed AGAIN and a failed out and back has me quitting Safari and restarting. In the process note there's email in the in tray. We'll be in the small window when we get back so take a quick squiz at what's there. Alarmingly, a friendly note from the ISP to inform me we've used 70% of our monthly allowance has me calculating when I should be digging this rather tasty Jessica

1:31 Norwegian Wood teases. 

1:36 "Thank y'all so much." Thanks also to the Jukes Horns and the Black Crowes to wind up the set. 

Continue feverish calculations to check whether we'll get through the rest of the run. Ten shows, seventy per cent of the bandwidth. Should be OK provided I stay in Standard rather than High Res, hold off logging on till twenty past ten and give it a twenty minute break at lunch.

1:40 Figures moving on stage.

1:42 This one has to be No One Left To Run With. The setlist suggests a bit of Blue Sky in there, but with certain preoccupations I fail to notice. Wouldn’t have this problem if the feed had stayed up, would we?

1:50 Thanks so much. We're not here tomorrow night but we'll be here Thursday, Friday, Saturday."

And so will I, remaining bandwidth permitting.

Little Martha

The setlist:

1st Set:
Statesboro Blues
Come and Go Blues
Hot 'Lanta
High Cost of Low Living
Kind of Bird
Blind Willie McTell (Jukes Horns)
Soulshine (Jukes Horns, James van der Bogert, Drums)
The Weight (Jukes Horns, Rich Robinson, Guitar, Steve Molitz, Piano)
One Way Out (Rich Robinson, Guitar, Steve Molitz, Organ, Joe Bellia, Drums)

2nd Set
End of the Line
Gamblers Roll
Blackhearted Woman
I've Been loving You to Long (Jukes Horns)
The Same Thing (Jukes Horns, Joe Bellia, Drums, Tom Guarna, Guitar)

No One Left to Run With> Blue Sky> No One Left to Run With

And, as far as the identity of the Jukes Horns is concerned:
Chris Anderson, Trumpet
Don Harris, Trumpet
Neal Pawley, Trombone
Joey Stann, Tenor Sax
Ed Manion, Baritone Sax

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