Having seen the Brothers in Toledo (flat, crowd was not into it at all) and Cleveland (better, but I would not call it Hittin’ the Note)earlier in the summer, I was looking for a better effort from the band. Going on this website right before I left for Pine Knob, I discovered that Warren Haynes would not be there and that Jack Pearson, a damn good former ABB member and awesome slide player would fill in. Ron Halloway also would be added on the saxophone.
I was really looking forward to seeing Jack as his slide was a wonderful addition to the band after Warren chose to leave with Woody. I was not too sure about the brass though.
Jack opened with Statesboro Blues and was off on a great run. Too bad that he did not play more slide though. Ron’s sax really fit in well. The setlist of the recent shows without Warren tend to be more instrumental as there is no one else to sing besides Gregg and he just can not do it. OK, Jack did sing one of his own songs that was really good. We sure do miss Dickey Bett’s vocal contributions (not to mention his guitar)!!
The best reward was that Warren was NOT there. I was never disappointed when he left before and I surely was not disappointed that he was not there last night. The Mule type licks were GONE. Terrific!!!! The feel was a lot more towards jazz and best of all, the sound crew has finally waken up and increased the volume of Derek Trucks in the mix. It was great to see him thrust more in the leadership mold and he stepped it up. Listen, this guy is never going to be as good a leader (or player for that fact) as Duane, but he is all we’ve got (unless Jack wants to tour again! Seeing him step up was really rewarding.
So Derek steps it up a bunch, Jack is there ripping it up, and Ron is there to add even more jazzy sounds. It was jsut a wonderful evening!!!
So where were the fans? The place was empty compared to years past. Is this because it was a Sunday night or because the fans miss Dickey Betts? Or because the ticket prices are so high these days? I don’t know for sure. I do know that the ABB ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS, do the best shows in the Mid-west in Clarkson, MI. If just a fact that ten years of living in Toledo has confirmed. The Pine Knob shows are just awesome!!
Somedays my friends and acquaintances wonder how I can still be so excited to see this band. From the first show that I went to on May 15, 1971 to present (too many shows to count in too many places), I have never seen a bad show.
Until next year and let’s see what the new year brings!!
The Road does seem to go on forever!!