Top positive review
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A Gift and a blessing to Gregg Allman fans
on May 6, 2014
We are so very lucky to have this show. The fact that Gregg Allman himself is alive, and makes an appearance makes it extra special. I was at the show, and was lucky enough to obtain an early copy of it. While there, the audience was so loud, so enthusiastic that you could barely hear the artists. Thankfully, this sympathetically done combo set changes that.
The show opened with Warran Haynes talking about Gregg before he launched into "Come and Go Blues". That bit of talking is lost. The CD version has almost none of the chatter that the artists made during the show. Fotunately, they put it it for the DVD. You get to see Gregg embrace the other artists, the very interesting comments Trace Adkins makes before and after his set, Robert Randolph and Taj Mahal exhort the audience to cheer. It's exciting to watch. While watching the DVD, you can't help but notice the smiles and winks and nods the artists give to each other. They are all so DAMN happy to be there, bringing Gregg's wonderful music to life in a new way. Even the normally stoic members of the Allman Brothers show some enthusiasm between songs, and especially during Whipping Post.
Now - onto the music. There is so much good music here, you'll almost be crying. The backing band is superb, with Chuck Leavell and Jack Pearson in particular offering jaw dropping solos during many of the songs. The set confirms my recollections of what were the best songs of the evening:" Can't lose what you never Had "and "Win Lose or Draw". Eric Church is literally jumping out of his skin, as he reinvents a forgotten ABB song. Watching the DVD you can see his energy as he brings the song to an aching close. On the DVD you can see him making eyes with the Gramercy sisters as they chant "Win Lose or Draw" over and over. He's almost out of breath when he's done. "Can't Lose What you Never Had" features Jimmy Hall, Devon Allman, and Robert Randolph. It's funky, bluesy, and loose. A superb version of the song. There are many great performances, I'm sure your's may differ, but I highlighted those two.
What will be noticed, is that the jam oriented side of the Allmans is missing from the individual performances. Even Widespread Panic playing "Wasted Words", with Derek Trucks guesting, doesn't really get off into space. We have to wait until the Allman Brothers themselves present themselves. They perform two songs that are 45 years old now, and still sounding fresh. Gregg delivers his deep salty growl driven vocals on both "Dreams" and "Whipping Post". They are not long versions o, but Warrens solo in particular on "Whipping Post" reaches higher and wider than I thought possible. It's the closing solo before the encore, and a statement of the power of Gregg's musical legacy.
This is a tremendously enjoyable concert and CD package. But do note, in true Gregg Allman fashion, it's spare. There are no extras on the DVD, just concert the footage, and chapters. The CD has a booklet with a picture of pretty much every performer, and that is it. There are no lengthy interviews, no behind the scenes footage, no outtakes, and no pretentious essays on Gregg. Both the CD and the DVD are documents of the amazing show, and thats all.