Living in Germany, I usually don’t get many chances to see The Allman Brothers Band in a live setting. During our summer visit to the U.S. in Michigan, I had the opportunity to see the band performing live at the Muskegon Summer Celebration on July 3, 2003. I was totally stunned by how well the band performed compared to the only other performance I had seen back in 1994.
When I saw on this website that some of the Instant Live recordings were available for sale, I decided to order a couple (since I didn’t want to buy all of them due to financial limits). I picked the only two July concerts (the same month I had seen them) from Indianapolis (July 25) and Pittsburgh (July 26). These two concerts covered a lot of different songs. The two shows only had four songs which the band performed both nights (approx. 25 min of music).
I now had the chance to listen to the CD’s a few times, and I have to say that I regret not having ordered more of the other shows from August. The music is just great, and each night is different due to different songs and special guests.
In general, I like the Pittsburgh show better than the Indianapolis one, mainly due to some of the songs they played that night. It also seems to me that the band is playing a little bit better on that night.
The following songs really shine on the Pittsburgh concert: Worried Down With The Blues (great vocals by Warren), You Don’t Love Me (cool start), Who To Believe (one of my favorite songs of Hittin’ The Note), Hot ‘Lanta, Stormy Monday (awesome, reminds me of the Fillmore Concerts version), Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (outstanding, feat. Karl Denson on saxophone) and, of course, In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed which is almost 35 minutes long (this is a great performance by the whole band, also including 10 min. drums solo and 5 min. bass solo). Especially the bass solo is really excellent featuring also some scat singing by O’Teil. Revival is the encore on both nights, and this is a nice way to end an ABB concert.
On the Indianapolis concert, I especially like the opener Don’t Want You No More/It’s Not My Cross To Bear (they also opened the Muskegon show with this one), The Same Thing (featuring Karl Denson), Hoochie Coochie Man, and Southbound (with two special guests). Unfortunately, one of my favorite songs on Hittin’ The Note – Desdemona – has a false start and doesn’t feature a solo by Derek. The version from the Live At The Beacon DVD is much better.
Both 3 CD sets each fit nicely on two 80 min CD-R’s, and I immediately made a copy of the shows for my car stereo and as a back-up. Since the original CD’s don’t feature a track list, I also made a nice CD cover for these. I also made a special two CD compilation with the best of both shows for some friends, and I really enjoy listening to this one myself in the car.
I would love to hear from owners of the other Instant Live recordings to see what they think of their shows. In case you are willing to sell your Instant Live CD’s, I would gladly buy them from you. I hope that these recordings will be made available somehow again in the future.