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|The Allman Brothers Band: Oakland, CA|
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|Comments and Reviews for this Event | Log-in or register a new user account | 2 Comments|
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|A Great gig and the flipside to the previous night (Score: 1)|
by jchasin (email@example.com) on May 21, 2009 - 01:21 AM
(User information | Send a message) http://apennysworth.blogspot.com
|So a belated dropping of the other shoe on the Fox shows, a week out, re: night 2...|
First off I would be remiss if I failed to mention how grand it was to see the ABB on the left coast, in the house with the BAABBA, an extended family who put out a web of welcome throughout the place. You know who you are.
I had found the first show to be one mofo of a rewarding experience, almost too generous with lush offerings of "Jessica," "Rocking Horse," Dreams, and "Mountain Jam." How to follow up this heavenly show?
And as it turned out, the answer was with an earthy show. Night one was all air and water; night two was earth and fire. Which of course means the blues...
Done Somebody Wrong >
You Don't Love Me
New Instrumental >
The Sky is Crying
Come and Go Blues >
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
The Same Thing
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Leave My Blues at Home
Imperceptibly, the tuning and tinkering has fallen into a shuffle, and you realize the show has begun... and that soon the shuffle will resolve into "Done Somebody Wrong." Warren plays nice, round jaunty runs. Then a jumping, economical (that means short) "You Don't Love Me," followed by the just-so story of "Midnight Rider." Then the band rolls out their new instrumental. The theme has a kind of Zawinul vibe, making me wonder if maybe Oteil is the writer. Warren looms large, playing some burly, muscular lead like he's clearing a forest. Both nights I had a sense-- very likely imagined-- that Warren was enjoying this respite from the Dead, with whom he tends to play in an ambling, less immediate and more exploratory style, reveling in the straightforward ass whup of the Brothers and the blues (to be clear, I'm a fan of both). Derek takes a while to fall into place on his section, but of course finally he does, drifting closer and closer to Oteil until some musical magnetism has joined them like Siamese twins sharing a heart. I think I've seen every public performance of this piece thus far; tonight is the best I've liked it.
Then the drippy-slow, classic archetype Chicago Blues intro to "The Sky is Crying" (by Warren I think, but don't hold me to it.) Warren grinds out some earthy soul, then rocks you like your back aint got no bone. Derek lays some slide over Gregg keyboard testimony, he goes all slippery, staying barely on the blues tracks but pulling you out of your seat. Finally Warren goes back into the vocals, defiant... the crowd loves it. Oaksterdam knows its blues.
A breezy "Come and Go Blues," then Warren is up again for "Schoolgirl." More manly blues. It's one of those nights where the band makes the blues something big, larger than life, like a freight train of redemption that rolls over you and lays you flat. I don't think anyone else makes the straight blues this powerful... Derek stretches out on the outro, ringing into toffee. Warren changes axes, then pushes him with chording and body language, until you can't stop the train, have to let it roll on... then it crashes, and back into the riff, spot-on, the crowd releases a collective ovation, then vocals and out.
The set closes with "Whipping Post," all the way down to the deep dark bluesy bottom. They did this the first night of the Clapton sit-in at the Beacon, and like then it makes the first set feel like a whole show compressed down. Derek and Warren spray some whupass, then Oteil leads them off on a light, nimble excursion, Marc accenting over the top. Derek meets him with lines that question at the "Post" melody, then he stings and floats. Oteil goes way down low to grab the bassline and give it a good yank to call it all home. A perfect end to a set that sears through the jet black night of the soul, lights the sky with fire...
The density of the fir
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