The ABB Play the Uptown Theater in KC 7/12/04
The Allman Brothers Band 7/12/04
The Uptown Theater, Kansas City
What does one do after hauling ass to Red Rocks on Saturday, then hauling that same ass back to Kansas on Sunday, then dragging that ass to work Monday morning? Go to the Uptown in Kansas City to see the Allman Brothers Monday night, that’s what!
That’s what Tina and I did, and was it worth it? Why yes, yes it was!
The Uptown Theater is one of those grand old places built back in the ‘20’s. Refurbished and updated, the place is comfortable and welcoming, although a tad warm when it’s been sold out in July. And sold out it was, friends, and the excitement in the air was thick enough to taste.
Opening again this evening was Chris Robinson and New Earth Mud. They started their set with the funky, high energy song “Ride” and never looked back. These guys are a great band and a perfect opener for the Brothers; there’s no excuse to skip ‘em in favor of seeing the headliner only, you’ll be missing out, trust me. Leaning more towards electric selections than I’d seen previously from them, they had the place boppin’ and groovin’ from the show’s onset.
Shortly before they started, Tina and I were pleased to see a family in the row in front of us with a young girl of perhaps four years of age in an Eat a Peach tee shirt. I asked her who her favorite was and she smartly answered: “The Allman Brothers!” What I was trying to learn from her was WHICH Allman Brother, so I asked again. Misunderstanding, she thought I meant which album, and, indicating her apparel, this time responded: “Eat a Peach!” This time Mom interceded and when I asked again, with a glow in her eye, she confidently told me: “Gregg!” I later learned that the little girl’s name is Mariah, and that she can dance almost all night long. She certainly appreciated what New Earth Mud had to offer and rightly so.
The Allman Brothers hit the stage at 8:45 and grabbed the crowd right off the bat with a hot “Statesboro Blues”. “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” made the stage next with a killer slide solo from the younger Trucks. Warren finished the song with his own fretted solo and the song ended allowing the Whipping Post Shouter to be clearly heard. The old faves list continued with “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’”. First new cover of the evening was “Who’s Been Talkin’” with Warren handling the vocals and starting his solo off with a Carlos Santana riff. Derek’s fret work continues to improve and he took great pains to demonstrate just that fact during this song. As the next song was set up, Marc, Jaimoe, and Derek left the stage as Gregg removed himself from behind the keys and strapped on an acoustic guitar. “Melissa” was served up with Warren taking the first extended solo on this song I’ve been witness to. The rest of the band returned for a slick version of “Instrumental Illness”. A gentleman named Juan sitting next to me thought Warren quoted “Eleanor Rigby” and until I hear the tape, I won’t dispute it. The Percussion team took an opportunity for a mini-solo and Oteil got a little power play of his own off. Chris Robinson and his harmonica came to the mike and he and Gregg shared vocals on “Key to the Highway.” Robinson took the first solo on harp and just tore it up. “Rocking Horse” was let loose and Warren dropped some “Les Brers” into his solo for us. Derek tore up his SG and the band slid into “Every Hungry Woman”. Derek and Warren traded licks almost all the way through this number. Gregg worked the vocals on the mournful “Desdemona” and the jazz mid-section was a thing of beauty with the entire band just locked in. “Stand Back” was our next sampling with young Mr. Trucks smoking his solo. The quirky bass lines of “.44 Blues” and warren and Derek treated us to a slide fest with Warren throwing “Eddie’s Got a Boyfriend” quotes at Derek, making Oteil crack up. The whole band threw themselves into a fine version of “Midnight Rider” before slipping into our second “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed in as many shows. Gregg kicked a little extra into his solo before Derek went into places unknown with his solo. Warren played a few stray lines at Oteil just to get the bass player laughing again, quoted “Les Brers”, again, and launched into blaze of screaming Les Paul glory. This was the first song that young Mariah sat for. Maybe it was the drums that woke her up again; as the triple terror played at least three separate movements before letting Oteil step up with that six string bass. Oteil scatted for some few minutes before launching his own musical rocket with some HEAVY bass acumen. The band brought all back around and Liz Reed was done in some thirty minutes or so. The crowd got their own opportunity to perform and Mariah was back on her feet for “Revival”. Goodnights were said, but the crowd wasn’t ready to go home quite yet, and back out came the ABB with Audley Freed and Rob Barraco in tow. With that many people on stage one just assumes that “Southbound” is about to ring through the air and so it was. Derek took the first solo, followed by Barraco, then Freed, then Haynes. Rob Barraco never stopped smiling, even as Warren led them all into one of the cleaner Round Robins I’ve seen performed. The last brilliant burst of energy of this song took us to a second set of good nights and “Little Martha” showed us the way home.
But the tour ain’t over yet. Not by a long shot.
Copyright © Clifford Lake 2004
Added: Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Reviewer: Cliff and/or Tina
Related web link: CliffSongs