Photos by Dino Perrucci
The Allman Brothers Band kicked off their residency at New York’s Beacon Theater last night. An annual tradition since 1994, this year’s extended New York run celebrates the 40th anniversary of the band’s landmark 1972 album Eat a Peack(their final with founding guitarist Duane Allman). In a recent interview with Relix/Jambands.com, guitarist Warren Haynes mentioned that the group planned to introduce several new covers and also rework some older favorites throughout their ten-night stand.
The group took the stage to a recorded version of Bill Graham’s speech from the closing of the Fillmore and charged into their debut cover of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1959 The Sound of Music classic “My Favorite Things.” Though the band has never played the song live, Duane Allman was working on a John Coltrane-inspired arrangement of the number before his death in 1971 (the original Allman Brothers’ working version of the song can be found on the bootleg The Gatlinburg Tapes). “My Favorite Things” also famously inspired The Allman Brothers Band’s trademark “Dreams.” Current Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks also continues to perform Coltrane’s arrangement with his band and has teased the song during a number of Allman Brothers Band concerts.
After “My Favorite Things,” the members of The Allman Brothers Band moved into Dickey Betts’ cherished Eat a Peach number “Blue Sky,” with Gregg Allman handling lead vocals. Despite being one of their most popular songs, The Allman Brothers Band have only played “Blue Sky” a handful of times since parting ways with Betts in 2000.
In his recent interview, Haynes also mentioned that this year’s Beacon shows would feature the band’s first acoustic sets in over a decade. So it was no surprise that the group’s second set opened with the members of the band huddled near the front of the stage for a short acoustic segment. But The Allmans shuffled things once again by opening with their first take on Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done” before moving into “Come On In My Kitchen”—with bassist Oteil Burbridge on banjo—and “Soulshine. The segment wrapped-up with a cover of Jackson Browne’s s “These Days,” a song the band has not performed since 2005. Allman—Jackson Browne’s former roommate—helped with the song’s original arrangement and recorded it for his Laid Back solo album.
The Allman Brothers Band will return to the Beacon this evening.
Here’s a look at last night’s setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section
Allman Brothers Band
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Set I: My Favorite Things, Blue Sky*, Trouble No More, I Walk On Gilded Splinters, Worried Down With The Blues, Midnight Rider, That’s What Love Will Make You Do, Kind Of Bird
Set II: The Needle and the Damage Done^, Come On In My Kitchen^^, Soulshine^^^, These Days^^^,Black Hearted Woman, Rocking Horse, Same Thing, Jessica
Enc: You Don’t Love Me
*Gregg on lead vocals
^Acoustic, first time played (Neil Young)
^^Acoustic, Oteil moves to banjo