From Santa Barbara
Had the pleasure to see the Winery and LA Greek so far and SB Bowl tonite.
The band is at peak form. Gregg’s voice sounding so good, singing loud and clear….the new songs really give Gregg the chance to shine..Desdemona,Old Before, High Cost etc, I am not used to saying his voice was sounding so good, its really good to get to say that.
Guitars: as everyone has said…Derek indeed has stepped up to another level since last year when I saw 3 nites at the Wiltern. He is up front on both his lead work and rhythm and for sure his NON slide leads have made a huge leap. You can hear him playing behind Warrens leads and either he is riffin a bit or playing the chords in a playful and always tastey and appropriate way. Same when Greg is doing a solo or singing..he is adding tastey nuggets of sound adding to the depth and contrast of each song. When it is Dereks turn to play lead..he steps up..is loud and in your face…like listen to this….he is more aggressive and commanding on stage, I caught him leading the band often, telling Gregg to take a solo and looking at Warren and letting him know where he is going. Could all of us been any more lucky than to have Derek be the other guitarist in the band. A Miracle.
Warren is my man, he is like the star player who sees his role more of making this band be the best rather than try to always be the dominant lead guitarist for the band. He is the ultimate team player, letting Derek go as long as he wants, slide or straight lead. Then Warren always comes in and lays the sweetest, most tasty leads one can imagine. Warren is just soooo good that you have to laugh when he goes off and then keeps going, till his hand is a whirlwind crescending and taking your head off but then puttin’ it back nice and tidy in time for the smooth transition to the song.
Oteil: I cant imagine a bass player who could fit the Bros like Oteil. He plays the most amazing bass, with emotions, with power, with grace. He plays sooo graceful… it looks so easy for him. When Oteil, Warren and Derek are peaking together all you can do is open your mouth, know at the moment you are watching greatness and for that 20-40 seconds of madness..you’re a witness to musical magic ..it is at these moments during the show, all of us connect, wherever we are, cause we do know just how incredible those moments are…these are the moments that keep us driving to the shows…missing work…living like a kid, chasing the magic and making new friends from this site.
After 30 years, I get to see this band and enjoy it as much if not more then ever. The drums are always keeping it going with syncopated perfection. My all time favorite song is Liz Reed……oh my..was a masterpiece at the Greek. Derek even gave a few opening rhythm moments like the preview Dickey gave us back at the Fillmore. Warren played great respect to the song. And I remember when they used to do Reed with Dickey and Warren..and remember how Warren would kill in the song, and he did again last nite. He ranged from wild wailing to giving the song the slow, patient lead work it calls for.
Melissa with just Warren on guitar was beautiful. Gregg acoustic, Warren on the Les Paul doing the pretty leads but tempering restraint which shows the master he is.
Whipping Post: once again killer leads, respect to Fillmore version with some of the best leads and moments from that 22 minute miraculous version. I love this song…..they got awfully mean. Dreams…Warren blowing it away especially on the last lead, the slide. Layla, once again, the spirit of the song is played with respect and the leads and intensity was tearing the place up.
This is a BAND, a bunch of great players, playing to be a great band, for each other and for their earnest desire to have the fans feel and be part of one of the greatest rock n roll bands ever. Don’t see any egos on stage. I see the brotherhood of the brothers expanding…..both on stage and in the family and in our community.
One thing we all have is the love, the pure love for the music, the guitars and the Allman Brothers family and the ever expanding family tree. I expect Derek’s and Susan’s kid to strap it on pretty soon….maybe he will do his first sit in when he is 10. We got three decades of music, death, changes, highs and lows, we lost friends, we lost members of the Brothers, yet those that remain are witness to and participants in the Greatest Show on Earth.
Love to all my Brothers and Sisters.