For the first official concert review from Welcome To Now, enjoy the following play-by-play of last night’s Allman Brothers 20 night Beacon Theater run close out show with special Guests Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Floyd Miles, Chuck Leavell, and Paul Riddle.
First things first, the Setlist:
The Allman Brothers Band, The Beacon Theater, 3/28/09
Done Somebody Wrong
Trouble No More
Walk On Gilded Splinters
Who To Believe
Born Under a Bad Sign (w/ Floyd Miles)
Stormy Monday (w/ Floyd Miles and Chuck Leavell)
Come and Go Blues (w/ Chuck Leavell)
Jessica (w/ Chuck Leavell and Paul Riddle)
Sugaree (w/ Bob Weir and Phil Lesh)
I Know You Rider (w/ Bob Weir and Phil Lesh)
Franklin’s Tower (w/ Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Chuck Leavell)
Black Hearted Woman >
Mountain Jam Tease >
Little Martha tease >
Mountain Jam (w/ Chuck Leavell)
The boys got things started with the good ole’ classics Little Martha, Done Somebody Wrong, and Trouble No More. A great way to start the show, would have loved to hear Warren and Derek acoustic on Little Martha but still a nice invocation. Done Somebody Wrong and Trouble No More were solid and allowed Warren and Derek to get warmed up and trade off some solid riffs. The Rocking Horse that followed – a Warren Haynes composition with a full on driving Gov’t Mule feel – really got things rocking. I could have been at a mule show with Warren stealing the show but it hardly mattered and he straight tore things up.
The Brothers then settled things down a bit for Walk On Gilded Splinters, Who To Believe – both great tracks and very soulful delivery from Greg on Who To Believe. They closed out the set with Folyd Miles, Chuck Leavell, and Paul Riddle. Pure history right here and beaultiful all around playing.
The Born Under a Bad Sign/Stormy Monday/Come and Go Blues was a great blues throw down with Floyd singing Born Under a Bad Sign with amazing soul and Leavell adding a great key solo in Stormy Monday. The set closing Jessica got the 50 % of the crowd who seemed lifeless for most of the first set out of their seats and dancing as the Brothers really smoked this one to close out the set.
When the lights went down for Set II (at 11 PM after a 55 minute (!) set break), the stars aligned and Bob Weir emerged along with Phil Lesh (who replaced Oteil for the Dead segment of the show) to join Warren, Derek, Greg, Butch et al. for an All-Star The Dead meets Allman Brothers jam session. A lot of the crowd was there for this sit in (it was widely rumored including here on Welcome To Now), and the lights of Phil’s Bass out of the darkness evoked a roar from the crowd before the music started.
The opening Sugaree was a well received, energetic take on the Dead classic with Weir on vocals for a change. Weir pulled it off (somehow) and Derek was in top form. What followed was two simple Dead classics: I Know You Rider and Franklin’s Tower. While I could write an essay on the many flubs from Weir and the missed cues all around, let me say the following: Bob was unable to lead this 9 piece band and, without Warren at the helm, things got shakey and, at times, a real mess. Nonetheless, some moments of euphoric jamming mixed with great playing and singing from Phil saved this section and it was still a sight to be seen (and heard). Let’s just hope that Bobby can get things together in time for the upcoming The Dead tour.
After hugs all around and Bobby hitting himself in the head with his Guitar as to say “Ooops…”, the Dead contingent left the stage, Oteil returned, and a band huddle ensued to get things back together. The Brothers then preceded to close things out with Black Hearted Woman > Mountain Jam Tease > Little Martha tease > Mountain Jam. They came out firing on Black Hearted Woman, no doubt out of frustration for the fumbled 45 minutes of music that just transpired. While Mountain Jam had some sublime moments, much of the crowd was spent and it was time to close the curtains on the 2009 Beacon run. The Statesboro Blues encore set everyone out on a high note (this fan was hoping for a Whipping Post encore but you can’t always get what you want) and Warrren thanked everyone and, in all likelihood, brought an end to the 20 year spring tradition of The Allmans at the Beacon. It was a bittersweet moment, especially with the lackluster Dead sit-in, but I left with a smile on my face (that was there from the second I got in and lasted for hours after the show) and a sincere gratitude to have witnessed the historic evening.
If this review left you salivating for more, don’t worry, installment two of Welcome To Now show reviews will happen for tomorrow’s nights FREE dead show at Roseland Ballroom.