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Band Review

Allman Bros
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Band Review

I just saw the Allman Bros. To sum it up, they were untouchable. We sat tenth row center. We sat right next to Mary Bridgette Davies, her husband and mother. Greg Allman had his usual Hamond B3 with Leslie Cabinet right behind him. His playing was impeccable.

On guitars were stage left Derek Trucks and stage right was Warren Haynes. Derek is the son of the drummer. He's very young but an unbelievable slide player. He plays a Gibson SG with the full tailpiece instead of the more common stop tailpiece. It looked like there was a stubby vibrato arm facing back. This would undoubtedly be a customization to the guitar. He used two Fender Super or Concert reverb amps. I couldn't tell exactly which model. These amps have no distortion channel but as you turn them up they get a natural overdrive. His slide playing was unbelievable. I believe he played everything in open E tunning. He did a southern blues thing with Warren singing. They had images of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Muddy Waters and others displaying on a large screen over the stage.

Warren was great as you would expect from a guy who has played with a band like the Allman Bros for as many years as he has. He actually covered most of the vocals too. He mostly played a Gibson Les Paul with the exception of switching to a Gibson ES-335 and occasionally playing acoustic. I don't know what the acoustic was. I've seen them before but can't remember the brand or model. It looked like he was playing through a Crate acoustic guitar amp but I couldn't see it well enough to be certain. He had a Diaz amp stacked on top of an old Marshal Multiplex. I couldn't tell what speaker cabs he was using. They were very nondiscript looking.

It was Oteil Burbridge on bass. He was great but unfortunately the sound system gave me little opportunity to hear the actual notes he was playing. He was over loud in the mix and you could really feel the beat he was laying down but he was flying over that fretboard but I couldn't distinguish too many actual notes.

In the backline there were two drummers and a percusionist. The only time I heard a percusion section as good as this was when I saw Santanna. Stage left on a trap kit was Jaimoe. Center stage on congas, bongos, and a variety of other aux percusion instruments was Marc Quinones. Stage right was Butch Trucks. Not only did he play a trap kit but Kettle Drums, a Gong, and other auxilliary percusion as well. A neat thing about the Allman Brothers music is Inspite of the fact that the music can be very complex it is always dancable.

In all honesty the mix wasn't very good until about halfway through the performance. Apparently that must have been when the sound engineer had the opportunity to walk around. Up front we getting devastated by bass frequencies. Great for dancing but not great if you actually want to hear the band. They played all classic material. No new stuff. I attribute that to the fact that they brought Derek in on second guitar and thats probobly the material he's most familiar with. It was great to see a band thats been around as long as they have been getting such an enthusiastic reaction from an audience that ranged from very young to very old. People were flipping out. "It's the Allman Brothers man, can you believe it? Were at the Allman Brothers!". Lots of people dancing and yelling and singing along. It was all very exciting.

You've never seen a band that can play so tight. Especially running those incredibly complex lines with unusual breaks and timming. I was really impressed how well the band listened to each other and played off each other. When one of the guitarists would start playing a lick the whole band would get behind accenting it. The guitar would go da-da-da-da and the drums would go da-da-da-da and the bass would go into an ascending line accenting the upbeats then the drums start accenting the upbeats. Very cool. Untouchable.