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Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

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I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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The Allmans at the Beacon: March 12, 2014
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Midnight Rider
You Don't Love Me
Leave My Blues At Home
Hot 'Lanta
Woman Across the River
I Found a Love (Juke Horns)
Blind Willie McTell (Juke Horns)
Soulshine (Juke Horns)
Breaking Up Somebody's Home (Eric Krasno, Juke Horns)

Statesboro Blues
Trouble No More
Into the Mystic (Juke Horns)

Who to Believe (Juke Horns)
Don't keep me Wondering (Juke Horns)
1983 > Mtn Jam > 1983 > Mountain Jam
(E) Southbound (Everybody)

You never know what you might get from the mid-week Allman shows.. without the pressure of the weekend, sometimes the band lays back, opens up, relaxes.  And then there was tonight. Pure molten wall to wall smolder, both with and without the Jukes horns...

The show begins with a just-so-story "Midnight Rider," then on "You Don't Love Me" Derek would have pulled the crowd to our feet if we weren't already standing. On "Leave My Blues at Home" the guitarists fall hard on the twin licks.  The band is all solidly in the moment, and not a single note is wasted. "Hot 'Lanta" follows, another absolute scorcher; Gregg solos first, the guitars pushing him from underneath; then Derek and Warren each have a go. 

"Woman Across the River" takes a while to lock in, but when it does, it quickly goes to 11. The guitarists press that pleasure lever with impunity on the extended outro. Warren welcomes Butch back-- he'd missed last night's show-- before the band sashays into "Egypt." It is dreamy but concise; again, they get right to the point.  Warren, Derek and Oteil shimmer and shine together. 

For the second night in a row the Jukes Horns take the stage, and the now-extended band offers up "I Found a Love," the old Wilson Pickett R'n'B song.  It's a big gospel vibe, from the beginning group vocals ("Yeah, yeah...") on; Gregg goes right to church on both organ and vocal. The horns punch in over Warren's solo, then over Gregg's vocals. Then the horns run once through as an ensemble, then in support of a sax solo. The horns sorrow up a weepy, mournful "Blind Willie McTell", then another sax solo on "Soulshine;" Warren shines a white beacon of light in his final solo, then Derek does, but it almost seems too easy...

Guitarist Eric Krasno joins for "Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home."  Oteil shakes the room with a shimmy over drums; Krasno mostly just blends in, till finally he steps forward at the end of the song to solo against an insistent, horn-fueled one-chord funk, then a 3-way guitar conversation as the band rides the pocket, then slamming hard into the closing riff.  The crowd is very happy; the band kills it.

The second set opens with a raucous "Statesboro Blues" featuring some nice Derek slide. On "Revival" the band again avoids the extended exploratory jamming, sitting hard on the riff through the jam section, incandescent; Warren is white hot.  "Trouble No More" is short, sweet and intense. Then the horns are back for "Into the Mystic," dreamy, brassy, sublime... a highlight, and the buddies I brought to the show are happy.

"Who to Believe" isn't one of the classic canon songs, but it has become a highlight when it appears on the setlist; it's usually a laid back romp, but tonight's version is maybe the most kickass, in-your-face version I've ever heard.  Duane Trucks sits in for Butch on "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'." This might be a song where the horns aren't doing us a favor, but by the end the guitars have managed to find their way to twang heaven.

The set piece for the night is the "1983"/"Mountain Jam" suite introduced at last year's run. Warren plays some seriously psychedelic guitars on the "1983" midsection, which decays into a sparse chaos into which Derek injects some "Little Martha" while Butch lays down timpani, that of course flips over into "Mountain Jam." The "Jam" is perhaps their best instrumental, and the various ways they've pulled and reshaped and reinvented it in recent years-- combining it with Hendrix, dropping Led Zep in the middle--  has only served to demonstrate how robust and resilient it is. Derek buzzes and stings, Warren shakes your ass, then a "Birdland" tease helps push the band back into the purple haze of "1983." Then after a bit they segue back, Derek cracks open the door to "Mountain Jam" by playing some lines that cross "Third Stone From the Sun" with the "Mountain Jam" march section, then pulls the band full on back into the homestretch of the song. Shimmering extended waves of joy emanate from the stage, pure payoff, the band and the crowd basking in it all; Derek alights and soars like a dove as the band rocks gently beneath. Butch defiantly pounds out the final timpani, calling the band home.  It is awesomely satisfying.

There is of course absolutely no question that the encore is going to be "Southbound."  Everybody is back on stage for the post-coital cool down, passing lines around rat-a-tat. And then off into the cool night, happy.  WTF-- it's Wednesday!?

Posted by: --josh-- @ 12:14 PM  

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