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ABB - Beacon, NYC, 3/18/2004

By Frank Scheck
Special to The New York Daily News

Weather reports to the contrary, spring has finally arrived and so has the Allman Brothers Band, returning to the Beacon Theater for their 15th annual "March Madness" shows. Both the quality of the playing and the funkiness of the venue recalled their jam-band glory days at the Fillmore.

In the absence of the Grateful Dead, the band's treks to this upper West Side landmark ... have assumed a mythical aura.

In their opening show, Thursday night, the band demonstrated the creative vitality that they've regained in recent years, documented on last year's studio album "Hittin' the Note" and this year's live "One Way Out."

Delivering a nearly 2 -hour set marked by many obscure songs and numerous lengthy instrumental jams, they pleased their devotees even if more casual fans no doubt missed the absence of such milestone songs as "Whipping Post."

To further the trippy mood, the band played in front of psychedelic projections and it affirmed its instrumental prowess.

Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks did proud by the band's dual guitar attack tradition and Gregg Allman provided swirling runs on his B-3 organ.

Allman is sounding as good as he has in years, with a particularly affecting vocal on the self-referential "Old Before My Time," while Haynes also provided powerfully bluesy singing on such numbers as Freddy King's "Woman Across the River."

Unlike last year's shows, which were short on lengthy jams, this opener had them aplenty, especially late in the evening, when both the band and audience were fully warmed up.

It was probably ill-advised, however, to delay the lengthy drum solos until 11 p.m. even if they were expertly delivered by the triple-threat percussion team of Butch Trucks, Jaimoe and Marc Quinones.

The tradition of featuring a guest star continued with a welcome appearance by Chris Robinson, late of the Black Crowes, who contri-buted powerful vocals and harmonica runs to "Keys to the Highway."


Added:  Monday, March 22, 2004
Reviewer:  Frank Scheck
Score:
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Posted by RidingMidnite on Nov 01, 2004 - 11:55 PM
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Well here i am a college student at the University of Massachusetts wondering what it is i should do for spring break. i had a revelation one night and decided to book a hotel in nyc and check out the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Thursday and Friday night. This was my first trip to NYC ever and i was expecting to be a good one. well it more than exceeded my expectations. i learned a lot of valuable lessons on my trip to the big city. first, if you want change from the cab driver don't get out and close the door. maybe he is using that extra money to get driving lessons because i swear at one time he was driving on the sidewalk. next, bring walking shoes if you don't plan on taking taxis. i had one pair of boots that is not for the good Dr. Scholl i would have probably collapsed in central park. Lastly, bring your own booze! although they did have a lady out in front of the beacon giving away vouchers for a free beer that only entices you to buy more at 5$ a pop for a coors light. Well on to the concert. being that i took this trip by myself i did not have to worry about getting anybdy else lost which turned out great. after oozing at the local pub that played nothing but allman brothers (like i wasnt hyped up enough already) i made the trek to the venue. i met some very interesting folks while waiting for the to doors to open for the standing room, we exchanged jokes and reminised about past shows we have been to. well we got in and i must say the beacon is one of the most beautiful theatre's i have ever been to. i was in awe till the lights went off and the anticipation of months of waiting exploded in the form of clapping, whistling, and screaming. my heart was beating now and i got goose bumps as all the fellas warmed up. when everyone heard the first recognizable notes of moutnain jam there was a collective feeling of gratification. while i am by far no veteran of allman brothers shows, been to about 9 shows, I must say this was one show that kicked so much ass i almost pissed myself. needless to say my first trip to NYC and my first two shows at the beacon theatre was one of the most memorable spring breaks of my life. looking forward to going back next year and hopefully meeting up with some great allman brothers fans. thanks for the memories guys!!

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