Kid Rock, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh Help ABB Close out Beacon Run
The Allman Brothers Band’s 15 show Beacon Theatre run came to a close over the weekend. On Friday and Saturday the group drew in a number of additional performers after keeping the stage to itself for its 40th anniversary show on Thursday. Friday night’s high profile guest was Kid Rock who appeared at the close of the first set for ‘Soulshine’ and ‘Can’t You See.’ The second set then opened in a surprising fashion as the ABB dipped into the classic southern rock canon once more (following the Marshall Tucker Band’s ‘Can’t You See’) for a version of ‘Freebird’ with Ivan Neville on piano (Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington reportedly had been set to perform but later canceled due to illness). Neville also remained on stage for a version of ‘Who’s Been Talking.’ A bit later Gregg Allman’s son Devon stepped out for ‘Midnight Rider’ and he was joined by Berry Oakley Jr. on ‘One Way Out.’ Jimmy Hall, a longtime associate of the ABB ever since his days in fellow Capricorn Records recording group, Wet Willie, added harmonica to ‘One Way Out,’ ‘Can’t You See,’ ‘The Sky Is Crying,’ ‘Keep On Smiling’ and the ‘Southbound’ encore which also featured Berry Oakley Jr., and Paul Riddle (founding drummer of the Marshall Tucker Band, who also had appeared on the two songs with Kid Rock).
The final night saw the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh on stage at the beginning of the second set for a stretch that extended from ‘Sugaree’ into ‘I Know You Rider’ and then ‘Franklin’s Tower.’ The evening also was animated by Chuck Leavell, the former band member, whose presence had been anticipated over the course of the run. Leavell joined Greg Allman’s longtime friend Floyd Miles for ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ and ‘Stormy Monday,’ then remained for ‘Come and Go Blues’ and the set-closing ‘Jessica’ (which saw Paul Riddle appear once more with the group). Leavell later resurfaced during the second set on ‘Franklin’s Tower’ and ‘Mountain Jam.’ The 2009 Beacon run concluded in fitting manner with ‘Statesboro Blues’ (Duane Allman’s entree into the world of slide guitar with the Brothers).
Looking ahead, the ABB has announced a handful of dates beyond its Wanee Festival: August 21 in Camden, New Jersey, August 30 in Hartford, Connecticut and October 17 in Houston, Texas. The group’s West Coast tour opens on May 12 at the Fox Theatre in Oakland.