Sunday, August 28, 2005
By Mark Bialczak
Even somebody fortunate enough to see 100 or so bands annually experiences an oh-my-god concert moment once every couple of years.
The Allman Brothers Band raised goose bumps with a tingling performance of one of music’s special songs Saturday night at the state fair Grandstand, one Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member interpreting the work of another.
Midway through an already hopping set, band leader Gregg Allman invited the horn section from the opening band, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, back onstage.
ABB guitarist Warren Haynes stepped to the microphone and delivered a soulful version of “Into the Mystic” that would have made Irish superstar Van Morrison himself proud.
Fans cheered, waved their hands in the air and sang along as the Brothers – Allman on keyboards and Haynes with guitarist Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge, drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks and percussionist Marc Quinones – with the Jukes’ Mark Pender on trombone, Joey Stann and Eddie Mannion on saxophones and Chris Anderson on trumpet – put together a tune sweet and tender.
And that wasn’t the only reason Saturday night’s show might be the Brothers’ best Central New York concert in the last decade. Surely, the honey gold slide of late founding member Duane Allman and country blues guitar of Dickey Betts will always be missed. But the twin guitars of Trucks and Haynes had the perfect chemistry Saturday night. Gregg Allman’s true-blues, down-the-gritty road vocals and Haynes’ rich voice alternated in great ways.
The two-hour set weaved between ABB classics such as “Trouble No More,” “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” “Statesboro Blues,” “Jessica” and “Midnight Rider,” blues classics “Stormy Monday” and “That Same Thing,” a soul classic “Dreams to Remember” and newer ABB favorite “Woman Across the River.”
The band showed why die-hard fans still lug their home-recording gear, tower microphones and all, when technology has allowed the band to offer for sale a sound-board recorded CD a couple minutes after the show’s end.
And for very good measure, the encore wrapped up the night with a dynamic “Southbound” that unleashed the Juke horn section onto the ABB classic. Who would have thought they’d ever hear a baritone sax having its deep way with this Southern rock classic?