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Author: Subject: Similarities in setlists of original ABB lineup?

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 11:17 AM
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I have a feeling at least from 1972-1995 the lack of diverse setlist has more to do with substance abuse problems by multiple band members than what the knew how to play or who was in the band.


I don't agree that it was substance abuse-related at all. Some bands just have the songs that they've rehearsed and that's their show that they take out on the road. They're not playing for the traveling fan, they're playing for the city they are in.

Anyone who has ever played music with other musicians knows you don't just bust out "High Falls" on a whim - it's got to be rehearsed. The Allman Brothers music is somewhat complicated when there are that many moving pieces. The Grateful Dead would learn songs on stage (or Bob Weir would teach himself slide) but the Allmans couldn't just drop a deep cut without rehearsing it. As mentioned, Warren and Woody were the ones pushing for mixing it up which is why that started happening in moderation in the mid-1990s, and even more when Warren returned to the band in 2001.


The point on songs like "High Falls" is spot on. I was listening to the original album cut last night as well as a live version. A song like that is not a typical 3 to 5 minute stage song that falls along the lines of (example - verse, verse, chorus, solo, bridge, chorus, fade). "High Falls" is a reasonably complicated tune with the buildups, extended solos, dynamics, and timing changes. It would be a disaster w/out a good bit of rehearsing. Some of the more 3 chord blues & related AAB tunes & covers are much easier to throw into a setlist with minimal effort.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 11:58 AM
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I have a feeling at least from 1972-1995 the lack of diverse setlist has more to do with substance abuse problems by multiple band members than what the knew how to play or who was in the band.


I don't agree that it was substance abuse-related at all. Some bands just have the songs that they've rehearsed and that's their show that they take out on the road. They're not playing for the traveling fan, they're playing for the city they are in.

Anyone who has ever played music with other musicians knows you don't just bust out "High Falls" on a whim - it's got to be rehearsed. The Allman Brothers music is somewhat complicated when there are that many moving pieces. The Grateful Dead would learn songs on stage (or Bob Weir would teach himself slide) but the Allmans couldn't just drop a deep cut without rehearsing it. As mentioned, Warren and Woody were the ones pushing for mixing it up which is why that started happening in moderation in the mid-1990s, and even more when Warren returned to the band in 2001.


The point on songs like "High Falls" is spot on. I was listening to the original album cut last night as well as a live version. A song like that is not a typical 3 to 5 minute stage song that falls along the lines of (example - verse, verse, chorus, solo, bridge, chorus, fade). "High Falls" is a reasonably complicated tune with the buildups, extended solos, dynamics, and timing changes. It would be a disaster w/out a good bit of rehearsing. Some of the more 3 chord blues & related AAB tunes & covers are much easier to throw into a setlist with minimal effort.




so go ask a bunch of drunk, drugged out guys to get motivated and rehearse and see how well that goes

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 12:14 PM
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so go ask a bunch of drunk, drugged out guys to get motivated and rehearse and see how well that goes

I really think you are over-estimating the amount of substance abuse, or at least the timing of it. These guys were still professional musicians who got together to rehearse and played shows without being completely strung out. There might be a few stories about Gregg or Dickey being too sauced on stage, but those are the rare, unlistenable shows because the wheels came off on songs they knew (Gregg in '75-76, Dickey in the very late 1990s/2000). Most of those legendary incidents occurred off stage. You can't play Allman Brothers songs well together on stage consistently "drunk, drugged out".

[Edited on 8/8/2019 by porkchopbob]

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 12:29 PM
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so go ask a bunch of drunk, drugged out guys to get motivated and rehearse and see how well that goes

I really think you are over-estimating the amount of substance abuse, or at least the timing of it. These guys were still professional musicians who got together to rehearse and played shows without being completely strung out. There might be a few stories about Gregg or Dickey being too sauced on stage, but those are the rare, unlistenable shows because the wheels came off on songs they knew (Gregg in '75-76, Dickey in the very late 1990s/2000). Most of those legendary incidents occurred off stage. You can't play Allman Brothers songs well together on stage consistently "drunk, drugged out".

[Edited on 8/8/2019 by porkchopbob]



you don't rehearse on stage. you rehearse usually before a tour starts and that's been my point the entire time. how much time were they going to devote before a tour starting to running through stuff when that's probably when they were trying to get themselves tightened up from drugs/drinking.


that being said no one knows how much these guys were or weren't doing and I doubt during tours in the 70's and prior to 1995 they spent a lot of their free time clean and sober and wanting to rehearse to add more songs to a tour that was already ongoing

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:05 PM
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you don't rehearse on stage. you rehearse usually before a tour starts and that's been my point the entire time. how much time were they going to devote before a tour starting to running through stuff when that's probably when they were trying to get themselves tightened up from drugs/drinking.


I never said they rehearsed on stage, I said the opposite actually. But they still got together to rehearse before tours, and work up completely new tunes. They went to work, and every rehearsal story I've heard (mostly from the early-late 1990s) that work was taken pretty seriously. Remember, these guys had plenty of time away from music to do whatever, but music was their focus.

I think you are assuming a lot regarding their creative focus and drug habits. Remember, they were adding new material 1990-94 (even in 79-81) to their repertoire, it was only after fresh material dried up that the set lists became more consistent. So if you think they were wood-shedding "Nobody Knows" completely inebriated and that's why they didn't dust off "Louisiana Lou", you're very probably mistaken. They actually did dust off some songs during that era - "Ain't Wasting Time No More" in 1995, "High Falls" in 1997, "Please Call Home" in 1999, and it was a big deal. But it was only because they didn't have much new material (aside from some "in progress" Dickey tunes).

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:10 PM
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I'm just saying how much rehearsing were they going to do really


Boom!.....Look at Gregg's acoustic performances on TV guest spots. "Midnight Rider" & "Melissa" were played 95% of the time. How many of us would have loved to seen other acoustic gems played?...Listen to his Hammond solos....The set-lists stayed relatively unchanged in Dickey's later years (I believe) because of this very point, they didn't want to put in the work. Listen to the "Win, Lose or Draw" recording, a good example of "stardom" coming home to roost...

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:20 PM
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I'm just saying how much rehearsing were they going to do really


How many of us would have loved to seen other acoustic gems played?


Didn't you ask how many casual fans "Mountain Jam" chased away, but now you want to hear "Multi-Colored Lady"? So which is it?

Also, remember they were breaking in Jack and Oteil and Derek in the late 1990s. That begs perfecting consistent material, even if consistent set lists was kind of what they had always done (except for all of the new material they were adding during the first half of the 1990s of course).

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:22 PM
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Look at Gregg's acoustic performances on TV guest spots. "Midnight Rider" & "Melissa" were played 95% of the time.


Also, remember, a lot of these performances were on cable. Most of us never saw these until they popped up on Youtube. I got my VCR ready ever time they were on Leno, Carson, or Letterman, and I still had never seen most of these acoustic performances. Naturally Gregg was going to play to the masses rather than an obscure solo tune.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:27 PM
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Didn't you ask how many casual fans "Mountain Jam" chased away, but now you want to hear "Multi-Colored Lady"? So which is it?


Fair question and my response is, both. The casual ABB fan is turned off by "Jamming" and most concert goers are there for one reason, to sing along with the songs they know. Most concerts are packed with patrons who love vocals.....I can't tell you how many times in the 90s I heard people behind me, next to me ask, "When are they gonna play Ramblin' Man"?

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:31 PM
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Look at Gregg's acoustic performances on TV guest spots. "Midnight Rider" & "Melissa" were played 95% of the time.


Also, remember, a lot of these performances were on cable. Most of us never saw these until they popped up on Youtube. I got my VCR ready ever time they were on Leno, Carson, or Letterman, and I still had never seen most of these acoustic performances. Naturally Gregg was going to play to the masses rather than an obscure solo tune.


Neil Young
Bod Dylan...
...and countless others always reached into their "Bag of tricks" to play to their fan base....If you knew the songs, you played them, it promoted, sold the new stuff and your brand.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:37 PM
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Don't forget the influence of the internet.



DING DING DING!!! Winner.

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:41 PM
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Neil Young
Bod Dylan...
...and countless others always reached into their "Bag of tricks" to play to their fan base....If you knew the songs, you played them, it promoted, sold the new stuff and your brand.


Both Neil Young and Bob Dylan have a lot more generally known songs, and also appeared on TV a lot more. Gregg had a few more guest spots during the last 10 years of his life and was able to play a more varied set like "These Days" etc. Chalk it up to sample size.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 01:46 PM
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Most concerts are packed with patrons who love vocals.....I can't tell you how many times in the 90s I heard people behind me, next to me ask, "When are they gonna play Ramblin' Man"?

Maybe a small handful are the most vocal in the audience, but in my experience they are usually told to shut it by the rest of the Allman Brothers fans around them who are waiting for a 20 minute "Whipping Post" or "Jessica". But I guess maybe that's why the ABB began to skip the West Coast

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 02:32 PM
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you don't rehearse on stage. you rehearse usually before a tour starts and that's been my point the entire time. how much time were they going to devote before a tour starting to running through stuff when that's probably when they were trying to get themselves tightened up from drugs/drinking.


I never said they rehearsed on stage, I said the opposite actually. But they still got together to rehearse before tours, and work up completely new tunes. They went to work, and every rehearsal story I've heard (mostly from the early-late 1990s) that work was taken pretty seriously. Remember, these guys had plenty of time away from music to do whatever, but music was their focus.

I think you are assuming a lot regarding their creative focus and drug habits. Remember, they were adding new material 1990-94 (even in 79-81) to their repertoire, it was only after fresh material dried up that the set lists became more consistent. So if you think they were wood-shedding "Nobody Knows" completely inebriated and that's why they didn't dust off "Louisiana Lou", you're very probably mistaken. They actually did dust off some songs during that era - "Ain't Wasting Time No More" in 1995, "High Falls" in 1997, "Please Call Home" in 1999, and it was a big deal. But it was only because they didn't have much new material (aside from some "in progress" Dickey tunes).


they dusted off a lot more than that during those years.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 02:46 PM
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they dusted off a lot more than that during those years.

Yes, those were just a couple major examples that were a big enough deal to make the front page of the old HTN site. Something that couldn't have been done without some focused, pre-tour rehearsal.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 03:53 PM
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Most concerts are packed with patrons who love vocals.....I can't tell you how many times in the 90s I heard people behind me, next to me ask, "When are they gonna play Ramblin' Man"?

Maybe a small handful are the most vocal in the audience, but in my experience they are usually told to shut it by the rest of the Allman Brothers fans around them who are waiting for a 20 minute "Whipping Post" or "Jessica". But I guess maybe that's why the ABB began to skip the West Coast


Let's face it. An ABB concert is not for casual fans. I saw tons of ABB concerts, and the far far majority of the fans I witnessed were there for the music, the jams, & the experience. This experience is not like going to a Three Dog Night concert where the crowd likes to do singalongs or listen to top 40 songs.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 04:05 PM
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I saw tons of ABB concerts, and the far far majority of the fans I witnessed were there for the music, the jams, & the experience.


I was at a Beacon show and some meathead started booing Warren for singing an Otis Redding song. Everyone within ear shot made it clear he would be body surfed out the freaking door to Shea Stadium if he wanted something to boo.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 04:09 PM
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This experience is not like going to a Three Dog Night concert where the crowd likes to do singalongs or listen to top 40 songs.

During one of the Allman Brothers' Wanee sets a dude kept singing the wrong lyrics to "Melissa" through out "All My Friends". Those are long days if you don't stay hydrated, folks.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 07:16 PM
The last time I saw Gregg's band, a meathead a few rows back kept screaming "PLAY SWEET MELISSA, MAN!" My friend next to me, who had been seeing the band since Watkins Glen, closed his eyes and said, "I seem to have gotten seats near this guy all my life."

But my fave was at the Meadows / Xfinity Center in CT in 2006, sitting on the lawn for the DTB/ABB/Petty show, and during the ABB, the stoner behind me asks "Which guy is Duane, man?"

 

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  posted on 8/8/2019 at 08:26 PM
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The last time I saw Gregg's band, a meathead a few rows back kept screaming "PLAY SWEET MELISSA, MAN!" My friend next to me, who had been seeing the band since Watkins Glen, closed his eyes and said, "I seem to have gotten seats near this guy all my life."

But my fave was at the Meadows / Xfinity Center in CT in 2006, sitting on the lawn for the DTB/ABB/Petty show, and during the ABB, the stoner behind me asks "Which guy is Duane, man?"
Did you answer him?.

 

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  posted on 8/9/2019 at 05:46 AM
"Which guy is Duane man?" That is because the casual fan who has a CD or a few CDs they play at home or in the car most likely has 1969-1979 A Decade of Hits ( over 2 million sold), The Best of the Allman Brothers Band (over 500,000 sold), Beginnings ( the first two albums packaged together, over 700,000 sold), At Fillmore East ( over 1 million sold), Eat A Peach (over 2 million sold) or Brothers and Sisters ( over 4 million sold and they think Duane is on it too). For someone who was only in the band from 1969 to 1971, Duane Allman casts a long shadow and left an enormous legacy.

When one hears the Brothers on the radio, often it's a track Duane is on to this day.

Let me ask you...have you ever heard a lead guitar solo by ANY guitar player ever in the ABB including Jimmy Herring that matches the power and energy of Duane on Elizabeth Reed on Fillmore East? Anything that equals it?

 

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  posted on 8/9/2019 at 07:17 AM
Casual fans are at best a necessary evil, and it is unfortunate that the band had to be aware of / cater to some of what has been discussed above. I know exactly why I went to ABB shows, and it wasn't to see Midnight Rider or Melissa every time. It's hard to make me forget what planet I am on in a three minute song.

I guess my point is: "If you have a short attention span, maybe an ABB show isn't for you."

 

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  posted on 8/9/2019 at 07:19 AM
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"Which guy is Duane man?" That is because the casual fan who has a CD or a few CDs they play at home or in the car most likely has 1969-1979 A Decade of Hits ( over 2 million sold), The Best of the Allman Brothers Band (over 500,000 sold), Beginnings ( the first two albums packaged together, over 700,000 sold), At Fillmore East ( over 1 million sold), Eat A Peach (over 2 million sold) or Brothers and Sisters ( over 4 million sold and they think Duane is on it too). For someone who was only in the band from 1969 to 1971, Duane Allman casts a long shadow and left an enormous legacy.

When one hears the Brothers on the radio, often it's a track Duane is on to this day.

Let me ask you...have you ever heard a lead guitar solo by ANY guitar player ever in the ABB including Jimmy Herring that matches the power and energy of Duane on Elizabeth Reed on Fillmore East? Anything that equals it?




pretty much agree. either the casual fan owns a release that features duane and the original lineup or has heard a track that features betts on lead vocals. going to see them after 2000 live some fans who don't keep up or are wasted/stoned probably think either duane or betts were still in the band . for instance my dad is a casual ABB fan and we went to see dickey betts solo around 2003-2005, can't recall the exact year. my dad didn't know betts was out of the ABB. he asked "is he just doing this during down time from the ABB?". not that I blame him as he saw the ABB 1 time and that was in the 70's and other than fillmore east and a hits collection never owned anything else by them or kept up with them or saw them again live. he knew just 1 ABB that was recorded after the 70's and that was the tune "seven turns" but after I played him a few other epic years singles he faintly recalled hearing them on the radio or mtv.

[Edited on 8/9/2019 by matt05]

 

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  posted on 8/10/2019 at 01:08 AM
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Casual fans are at best a necessary evil, and it is unfortunate that the band had to be aware of / cater to some of what has been discussed above. I know exactly why I went to ABB shows, and it wasn't to see Midnight Rider or Melissa every time. It's hard to make me forget what planet I am on in a three minute song.

I guess my point is: "If you have a short attention span, maybe an ABB show isn't for you."


Nice post....right there with you.

It would be interesting to see a poll of people that attended ABB shows ,oh lets say over the last 10-12 yrs, that are casual to the hardcore. My guess it's gonna lean more towards the hardcore.

I remember ,I think it was maybe 2004 or 06, I was at an ABB show and a few guys came down by me about half way through the show. It looked like they just walked off the golf course and had a few drinks.
One leaned over and ask me which one was Dickey Betts. Could not resist, and pointed to Otiel.

Some bands for the last few decades is all they play are hits that cater to a certain demographic in the crowd which are probably the majority.

Here is an example.
I enjoy John Mellencamp live, but he is so much more than his 80's hits, and that is a good part of his setlist.
We went and saw him a few months ago....same old show. Really was not expecting anything different ,but anyways. Probably won't be back to see him for awhile. I feel some of his strongest material is from the last 12-15 yrs. Would kill to hear a show of that stuff.....but it ain't gonna happen.

Govt Mule? Probably no such thing as a casual fan out there.

On the topic of setlists ,casual ,and hardcore fans.....
I am a huge Deep Purple and UFO fan. Maybe at one time they could have been considered a band that would play the classics ,hits for the most part and that would cater to the majority of the crowd which probably were the casual fan years ago.

I doubt there are any casual fans going to see those two bands in this current era . I think they have gotten a little better with their setlists as far as mixing in different songs. But for awhile, I was thinking why?? Why the same old material? I doubt they are winning new fans at this point, so why not go more deep,rotate some of those deep gems in for the hardcore folks? I would be thrilled to death of they would drop in at least 3-5 deep ones. I won't be going to the beer stand at that point and I am sure others won't be either.

I remember attending many ABB shows in the early to mid 90's..Warren and Woody era. All were great, no doubt but the sets were getting pretty repeatitive. In 1997 I was them with Jack and Otiel and during that show in Indy and there 2-3 songs that I have not heard in concert before or it had been awhile and it was a treat.

 

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  posted on 8/10/2019 at 07:12 AM
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quote:
Casual fans are at best a necessary evil, and it is unfortunate that the band had to be aware of / cater to some of what has been discussed above. I know exactly why I went to ABB shows, and it wasn't to see Midnight Rider or Melissa every time. It's hard to make me forget what planet I am on in a three minute song.

I guess my point is: "If you have a short attention span, maybe an ABB show isn't for you."


Nice post....right there with you.

It would be interesting to see a poll of people that attended ABB shows ,oh lets say over the last 10-12 yrs, that are casual to the hardcore. My guess it's gonna lean more towards the hardcore.

I remember ,I think it was maybe 2004 or 06, I was at an ABB show and a few guys came down by me about half way through the show. It looked like they just walked off the golf course and had a few drinks.
One leaned over and ask me which one was Dickey Betts. Could not resist, and pointed to Otiel.

Some bands for the last few decades is all they play are hits that cater to a certain demographic in the crowd which are probably the majority.

Here is an example.
I enjoy John Mellencamp live, but he is so much more than his 80's hits, and that is a good part of his setlist.
We went and saw him a few months ago....same old show. Really was not expecting anything different ,but anyways. Probably won't be back to see him for awhile. I feel some of his strongest material is from the last 12-15 yrs. Would kill to hear a show of that stuff.....but it ain't gonna happen.

Govt Mule? Probably no such thing as a casual fan out there.

On the topic of setlists ,casual ,and hardcore fans.....
I am a huge Deep Purple and UFO fan. Maybe at one time they could have been considered a band that would play the classics ,hits for the most part and that would cater to the majority of the crowd which probably were the casual fan years ago.

I doubt there are any casual fans going to see those two bands in this current era . I think they have gotten a little better with their setlists as far as mixing in different songs. But for awhile, I was thinking why?? Why the same old material? I doubt they are winning new fans at this point, so why not go more deep,rotate some of those deep gems in for the hardcore folks? I would be thrilled to death of they would drop in at least 3-5 deep ones. I won't be going to the beer stand at that point and I am sure others won't be either.

I remember attending many ABB shows in the early to mid 90's..Warren and Woody era. All were great, no doubt but the sets were getting pretty repeatitive. In 1997 I was them with Jack and Otiel and during that show in Indy and there 2-3 songs that I have not heard in concert before or it had been awhile and it was a treat.




100% agree mellencamp has some of the strongest material of his career the last 20 years. his setlists are rather stale. the same 10 big pre 1990 hits, 2 deeper cuts from pre 2000, 2 random covers and then maybe 4-6 tunes from his 2000-present catalog. even the deeper cuts are becoming stale as it looks like he just rotates in the same 5-6 deeper cuts over the last decade. 2011 is the last time his setlist was not stale

[Edited on 8/10/2019 by matt05]

 
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