Even late into their career, the Allman Brothers Band was still known to play marathon live sets that would run between two and a half and three hours in length (their final show in October of last year was nearly four hours). Gregg Allman’s Friday night set at the Hard Rock Rocksino was abbreviated by comparison, clocking in at an hour and 40 minutes, but the experience was just as memorable. You can check out a slideshow of the concert here
In fact, the horn-focused nature of the musical arrangements brought a fresh feeling to the material in Allman’s set, particularly the Allman Brothers songs, including the set-opening “Statesboro Blues," the ‘90s-era “Soulshine” and “Whipping Post,” which an audience member had called out for early in the night (it was already on the setlist, so thankfully, he got his wish).
In a conversation with Scene
to preview the show, Allman had dished out high praise for his band and seeing the guys in action in the live setting, it wasn’t hard to see why. The horn section (featuring saxophonist Jay Collins and the two latest additions, Art Edmaiston and Marc Franklin filling out the section) and guitarist Scott Sharrard are just a few of the key elements that really made the band a perfect match with Allman and his songs. Allman’s health has been fragile in recent years and last night he appeared to be in good shape and his voice was noticeably quite strong (and he also played guitar on a number of cuts throughout the evening, including an acoustic on the Allman Brothers staple, “Midnight Rider”).
After a long absence, it was really nice to have the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer back in the Cleveland area, and there was a packed house in attendance to provide a warm welcome. Perhaps Allman “ain’t wastin’ time no more,” to borrow the title of the Eat A Peach
album cut that also found its way into the setlist, but he’s more than welcome to spend a few moments of that time here anytime he wants to.