Gregg Allman at the Melody Tent (Hyannis, MA – Aug. 8, 2014)
Having been over to see one of the Allman Brothers shows at the Beacon Theatre in March, it was a huge stroke of good luck to be over here again and to see Gregg so soon.
The venue was unusual; it is a tent with a revolving stage in the middle so, as I read beforehand, not a bad seat in the house. The show was a sell-out and the audience of 2,300 was ready to go after an excellent opening set by local blues guitarist George Gritzbach.
The band took up position before Gregg likewise walked down the aisle from the back of the tent — not dissimilar to a boxer taking the ring — all to a thunderous welcome. They went straight into “Statesboro Blues” and the audience whooped it up. After a few minutes, the stage began to rotate very slowly. It was slightly mesmerising seeing Gregg appear then disappear, but at least everyone got to see the full stage.
Next up was “I’m No Angel,” then most of the rest of the set was Allman Brothers Band material. But what a selection: “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’,” “Please Call Home,” “Melissa,” “Midnight Rider,” and “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.” Interestingly, they included two great ABB jamming songs — “Hot ‘Lanta” and “Whipping Post”. Both allowed guitarist Scott Sharrard ideal opportunity to demonstrate his huge ability. Gregg, himself was on top form, singing with ever more blues in his voice.
The encore was “One Way Out,” which just about brought the tent down.
This was a tight performance by an excellent band. Of course Gregg was the draw but everyone in the band made a valuable contribution — Sharrard, rhythm, and brilliant horn section. Gregg’s voice sounded good too. He appears to have recovered from the illness that forced the postponement of the last four Beacon shows in March. May you remain in good health Gregg, and keep playing shows like Friday’s.