John Popper, Jimmy Hall, Col. Bruce and More Sub for Gregg Allman at Allman Brothers Band Beacon Finale
Photos by Dino Perrucci
The Allman Brothers Band closed their ten-night residency at New York’s Beacon Theatre last night. As previously reported, Gregg Allman sat out the show due to a slipped disc. A statement on the band’s homepage confirms, “Gregg Allman’s bulging disc’s painful flare up prevented him from performing at The Allman Brothers Band 2012 sold out Beacon finale, on Sunday March 25. The decision was reached at showtime. The band, not wanting to disappoint it’s loyal fans performed with numerous guest musicians joining them in Gregg’s absence.” Allman also sat out a portion of Saturday’s performance.
Warren Haynes announced Allman’s absence at the start of the show and led the group through a marathon performance that stretched until almost 1 AM. Gregg Allman & Friends keyboardist Bruce Katz played organ and piano during the show while Haynes handled many of Allman’s trademark vocals. Though Allman missed a set in 1996 and the band played a “family jam” at Wanee when he was unable to perform, this is the first time The Allman Brothers Band has played a full, two-set show under their name without Gregg or Duane Allman.
The Allman Brothers Band kicked off their show with Dickey Betts’ classic “Blue Sky,” which the band revived late last year in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Eat a Peach. The set also included this year’s first take on the ‘90s Allman Brothers Band cut “Gamblers’ Roll” and another Betts classic, “Les Brers in A Minor.” Halfway through their first set, the parade of guests started when harmonica ace Jimmy Hall and bassist Berry Duane Oakley emerged for “Statesboro Blues.” Hall came out of the same Macon, GA Capricorn Records family that propelled the Allman Brothers Band in the ‘70s and performed with Betts, Chuck Leavell and Butch Trucks in BLHT. Berry Duane Oakley is the son of The Allman Brothers Band’s founding bassist. Later in the set, Warren Haynes Band members Ron Johnson (bass) and Alecia Chakour (vocals) took the stage for a song off Haynes’ recent solo album Man in Motion, “The River’s Gonna Rise” while the band teased “Mountain Jam” during “Jessica.”
Instead of this run’s regular acoustic segment, the band returned at the start of their second set with Johnson and Alicia Chakour for another Haynes classic, “Soulshine.” Late Show house band drummer Anton Fig played drums on the song. The rest of The Allman Brothers Band then returned for a version of “Hot ‘Lanta” that wrapped around Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” Next, Col. Bruce Hampton and jazz guitarist Oz Noy emerged for Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” while John Popper returned for the second night in a row. A horn section featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band trumpeter Maurice Brown, Gregg Allman/Jaimoe saxophonist Jay Collins and Jimmy Hall also contributed to this portion of the show. Though the band was approaching its curfew, the Brothers busted into two of their most cherished jam vehicles, “Dreams” and “Mountain Jam,” pushing the show well past Midnight. Longtime Haynes collaborator Hook Herrera also sat in for “Mountain Jam,” which moved into portions of “Smokestack Lightening” and “Dazed and Confused.”
As an encore, the group returned with Herrera and Oakley for “Soul Serenade,” a song Derek Trucks covered on his 2003 album of the same name. The Brothers then closed their Beacon run with “You Don’t Love Me,” with Jaimoe’s guitarist Jr. Mack on guitar.
The Allman Brothers Band will announce their upcoming Peach Music Festival in the coming days 9the festival was supposed to be confirmed today but the announcement was pushed back this morning). The band is also expected to confirm a string of shows with Santana in the near future.
Here’s a look at last night’s setlist via The Allman Brothers Band’s homepage
Sunday, March 25, Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
Every Hungry Woman
Les Brers in A Minor
Statesboro Blues (w/Jimmy Hall, Berry Duane Oakley)
She Caught the Katy (w/ Jimmy Hall)
The River’s Gonna Rise (w/Ron Johnson, Alecia Chakour)
Soulshine (w/Ron Johnson, Alecia Chakour, Anton Fig)
All Along The Watchtower>
Spoonful (w/Col. Bruce Hampton, Oz Noy )
Why Does Love Got To be so Sad?>Alone (w/John Popper)
That’s What Love Will Make You Do (w/John Popper, Maurice Brown, Jay Collins, Jimmy Hall)
Mountain Jam> Smokestack Lightening>Dazed and Confused>
Mountain Jam (w/Hook Herrera)
Soul Serenade> (w/Hook Herrera, Berry Duane Oakley)
You Don’t Love Me (w/Hook Herrera,Berry Duane Oakley, Jr. Mack)
Bruce Katz subbed for Gregg Allman throughout the night