Photos by Dino Perrucci
Gregg Allman sat out last night’s Allman Brothers Band performance at New York’s Beacon Theatre due to bronchitis. Dark Star Orchestra/founding Zen Tricksters keyboardist Rob Barraco, a frequent ABB guest who has also clocked in time with Phil Lesh and The Dead, played keys throughout the night while Tedeschi Trucks Band keyboardist Kofi Burbridge handled organ duties.
This is the second night this run the members of The Allman Brothers Band have called upon one of their siblings to fill in for a founding member: Earlier in the month, Derek Trucks’ brother Duane sat in for Butch Trucks when he missed a ABB show for the first time in 45 years due to flu-like symptoms.
Allman has battled many health problems in the years since he got clean in the 1990s. Of note, The Allman Brothers Band postponed and, ultimately cancelled, their 2008 run at the Beacon while the band’s namesake received treatment for Hepatitis C. Allman also missed the final night of the band’s 2012 Beacon run due to back problems.
A number of additional guests helped The Allman Brothers Band out during their Beacon performance last night, and the group downplayed Allman’s absence by focusing on severals classic instrumental tunes. Warren Haynes sang lead for much of the night while bassist Oteil Burbridge tackled vocals on a few numbers such as the recently revived Dickey Betts tune “Seven Turns” and the group’s first take on the Grateful Dead’s “Franklin’s Tower” since 2012. The Allman Brothers Band also dusted off their cover of Son House’s “Preachin’ Blues” for the first time since 2011, and nodded to the evening’s Grateful Dead connections with a take on the Dead-adopted “Turn on Your Love Light”(The Allman Brothers Band had not played the blues classic since 2011.)
As expected, Trucks’ wife and Tedeschi Trucks Band singer Susan Tedeschi emerged early on for “Seven Turns,” and she sang lead on “Stand Back,“while saxophonist Bill Evans and Neville Brothers/Royal Southern Brotherhood/Meters percussionist Cyril Neville joined in on another cover associated with both the Dead and the Allmans, “Good Morning Little School Girl.” Later in the night, Tedeschi returned for “Love Light” and “Sky is Crying,” Evans sat in for much of the band’s second set and encore and Royal Southern Brotherhood singer Devon Allman subbed for his father on the ABB staple “One Way Out” (Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden also played on the latter tune.) Since Haynes has long since taken over vocal duties on both Betts’ “Blue Sky” and founding bassist Berry Oakley’s version of “Hoochie Coochie Man,” the latter day Allman Brothers Band guitarist actually handled lead vocals on songs originally sung by three founding Allman Brothers Band members last night.
Gregg Allman will sit out tonight’s performance at the Beacon as well. According to a statement Devon Allman made during his show with Royal Southern Brotherhood after the Beacon, Gregg Allman left New York for a few days to recover but is expected back for next week’s shows. The Allman Brothers Band’s run will go on as scheduled with help from a variety of special guests.
Here’s a look at last night’s setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section
Friday, March 21, Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
Gregg Allman did not perform due to bronchitis. Rob Barraco and Kofi Burbridge shared keyboard duties
Set I: Mountain Jam, Statesboro Blues, Worried Down With The Blues, Every Hungry Woman, Seven Turns*, Stand Back*, Good Morning Little School Girl$^, Jessica
Set II: Little Martha, Blue Sky, One Way Out^^, Who’s Been Talkin^, Franklin’s Tower^ > Lovelight* > Franklin’s Tower, Sky is Crying*, Hoochie Coochie Man, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed^
E: Preachin Blues, Mountain Jam^
*with Susan Tedeschi
^with Bill Evans
^^with Devon Allman
$with Cyril Neville