Last week in Indianapolis was a dream week for me. On Saturday at White River State Park we were treated to Crosby, Stills and Nash; on Sunday John Hiatt played at a side room at the Murat; Tuesday was he ABB at WRSP and Thursday was Clapton at Conseco.
I was priveleged to attend each. Now for the “truth in advertising”…obviously the ABB has been, is and will be my favorite band, however, holding the band up to higher standards…the standards that they have set for themselves, at times, while entertaining, at times may not meet the performances of past shows. Or the bar that we have set for them.
Last Tuesday I was honored to attend the ABB show, probably my 20th or so over the last 30 years (I understand…a babe compared to some of my fellow peacheads..)
I will let fellow reviewers “dryley” and “tedray” do a much better detailed review and discussion, but from my ears and eyes, our band was “on” from the first note “don’t want you no more” to the encore of “one way out”…
The only word(s) that I could describe the show at the time with a buddy of mine and now…a few days past….is “professional”…what we witnessed was a professional show by professional musicians….I would guess the same feelings if I were of opera taste to see the “Three Tenors”……”this is what I do and tonight I will do it to the best of my ability….”
Did I enjoy the other shows from last week? Yes I did. Was a tremendous week for the music of my taste in Indianapolis.
But Tuesday evening re-enforced with me why I am an Allman Brothers fan, why I take time to write this on line and why I look forward to the next show….and why this is a special group…..
Thanks for the review, I was supposed to be there….but.. being 80 miles away and with trees blowing across my yard about the time I was ready to leave, and with radar looking like it was all heading toward Indy, I had to pass. I wish now I had just gone late, but we had no power and I had things to take care of.
Anyway, glad to see the review, but tell me….was Gregg there? No mention of him or vocals….
I’m presently starved for sleep, but
I wanted to share a little review of the great music I got to hear.
Tuesday night, the Allmans squeezed in a very tight, energetic show
between a couple of storm fronts in downtown Indianapolis. Standing in
line in the rain for about 45 minutes, I overheard a girl say that the
ABB were playing better than they had in 10 years. She said that she
had seen the July 3 extraganza with the Dead in Washington. Well, I
thought, we’ll have to see about that.
The opener, Chris Robinson and New Earth Mud, were delayed a half-hour
by the first storm, but were well worth the wait. Chris has written a
bunch of really sweet rockers since leaving the Crowes, and also throws
in some select covers. He sings as well as ever, and also demonstrates
some real nice rhythm guitar, sort of guiding the path of the jams, a la
Bobby Weir in the Dead. And boy did they jam! Audley Freed is much,
much better than he ever had the chance to show in the Black Crowes.
I’ll refer you to the NEM website for the setlist, but highlights
included High Speed Transportation LA City Limit Blues, Girl on the
Mountain, 40 Days and Sunday Sound. I’m very impressed with this band,
and Chris’ abilities as a writer.
The Bros hit the stage just before 9 and plowed into DWYNM/NMCTB. All
night they proved to be unbelievable tight, a well-oiled machine. To
me, Derek was the stunning main attraction, when is this boy gonna peak
out as a player? If he continues on this path, he’ll be head and
shoulders above any picker who’s ever lived. Include all of the greats
you want, Derek is just otherworldly. He’s become proficient with the
finger picked straight left handed chording style now, as well as the
Warren, in most spots, plays the meat and potatoes, in your face style,
to Derek’s off the wall, Coltrane style. I really like the contrast.
In general the m.o. of the band at this point in time has changed from
pre-2000. The amount of really “out there” improvisation has decreased
quite a bit, replaced by harder edged, more rockin jams. More of a
tight, high power blues band, with great chops. Oteil’s bubbling
undercurrent is always there, though, reminding you that this is music
for your head, hips and feet. All at the same time.
Warren and Derek did a fantastic intro to Hoochie Coochie Man, trading
slide licks, one of the high points of the night. From there on, they
did High Cost, Rockin Horse, Gambler’s Roll and Instrumental Illness. I
think Rockin’ Horse was my favorite of the night, with Derek and Warren
both shredding the breaks, over the locomotive rhythm section. The drum
section seemed a little longer than usual, but Marc was really blazing.
I love those high speed timbales. Whew. A fairly standard One Way Out,
in the original band’s arrangement, was the encore.
My only complaints would be the abbreviated show, only 2:10, and the
standard setlist. The former was due to the weather, and the latter
could be excused due to the great playing of the band as a whole. They
really crackled, at times sounding more like a hard rock outfit. With
the regular time frame available, this one might have been an all-time
great show. Now maybe I’m being an old fogie, but an Allman Bros Band
show with neither Dreams nor Whipping Post just seems incomplete to me.
I would have also liked to hear one of the new blues covers they’ve
broken out this year, but that’s just nitpicking what was a typically
great ABB show.