The Allman Brothers Band and Phil Lesh & Friends: 10/4/2008

This show was a jam-band fan’s dream. The Allmans and Phil Lesh. I was pretty psyched for this one. I made the drive from Asheville to Charlotte with my friend Greg, which took us a little over two hours. We had scored lawn tickets, which was fine. I felt no desire to be up close. Plus, the lawn tickets were only $16.50++, which was very reasonable for two great bands in 2008.

We staked out our little patch of grass at the Verizon Amphiteatre and waited for Phil. He came out and opened with “Cumberland Blues,” which was great. But the band didn’t seem able to sustain the energy for this particular show. There were a few high points, like “Golden Road” and “Cosmic Charlie,” but overall I was left with the impression that this was probably the weakest Phil & Friends show I had seen. It happens. As a musician, I know that you can’t be 100% all the time, and that any number of factors can affect a performance. Still, it was great seeing Phil, as always.

Then came the Allmans, and in comparison, they were stellar. Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes together on guitar were phenomenal. You could tell that they were feeding off of each other’s energy, seamlessly shifting between solos and augmenting and supporting each other like the seasoned veteran musicians they are. And Gregg Allman was in great form, belting out the tunes and making the hairs stand up on the back of the neck. By the time the last note of “Whipping Post” faded, I was completely rocked out.

My friend Greg and I wandered back to the car, only to discover to our dismay that the car would not start. One of the wires had come loose from the battery terminal. I tried not to panic, but the thought of spending the night in a parking lot in Charlotte was, shall we say, less than appealing. Thankfully, a friendly concert goer offered to help. We got the wire reattached, got the car started, and made it home without further incident.

Here are the setlists from the respective acts. Rock on!

Phil Lesh Setlist:

  • Cumberland Blues
  • Gone Wanderin’
  • Rock-n-Roll Blues
  • Minglewood Blues
  • Row Jimmy
  • The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
  • Uncle John’s Band
  • Dark Star
  • So Many Roads
  • Dark Star
  • In the Midnight Hour

Encore:

  • Cosmic Charlie

Allman Brothers Setlist:

  • Done Somebody Wrong
  • Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’
  • The Same Thing
  • Gambler’s Roll
  • Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
  • Manic Depression
  • Come and Go Blues
  • Come On in My Kitchen
  • Into the Mystic
  • Dreams
  • Black Hearted Woman
  • Southbound

Encore:

  • Whipping Post

Warren Haynes 25th Christmas Jam – Second Night: 12/14/2013

After a long night of music on the first night of the Jam, I rested up and felt ready for the second night’s festivities. The headliners for the second night were:

  • Aquarium Rescue Unit
  • O.A.R.
  • Michael Franti & Friends
  • Gregg Allman & Friends
  • Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Xmas Jam Band

In addition, there was a nice array of special guests: Craig Sorrells, Bill Evans, Roosevelt Collier, Casey Driessen, Mike Seal, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, Billy Thornton, Ron Holloway, Mike Barnes, Ron Johnson, Jeff Sipe, Audley Freed, Count M’Butu, and John Scofield.

I had seen all the main acts before, with the exception of Aquarium Rescue Unit and O.A.R. I was totally unfamiliar with O.A.R., but had heard of them. I have to say, they were really good. Their version of Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” with Warren Haynes sitting in on guitar was excellent.

Of all the bands performing that night, I was most excited about Aquarium Rescue Unit. I’d seen Col. Bruce Hampton several times, and was pretty psyched to see the classic ARU reunited for a live performance. They did not disappoint at all, even though my expectations were high. They totally jammed from beginning to end. Unfortunately, this would be my last time seeing Col. Bruce. Just a few years later, he would die in a way that every musician dreams about. He was on stage with a stellar list of musicians, celebrating his 70th birthday with a concert at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. While jamming with his friends, in the middle of performing the Grateful Dead’s “Lovelight” as an encore, he collapsed on stage and died. Here is the Jambase article about his death. When I go, I hope it’s like that; guitar in hand and surrounded by my friends.

Anyway, back to the Christmas Jam.

The rest of the night was incredible. It had to be to keep me up until 3:00 am again. While ARU was the highlight for me as far as bands go, the definite high point of the entire night was when Gregg Allman kicked off his set with “Statesboro Blues.” I can’t think of a better Allman Brothers’ tune to open a set.

Speaking of sets, I could not find all the setlists, but here are the ones I was able to locate. Rock on!

Setlists:

Warren Haynes and Craig Sorrells

  • Hope She’ll Be Happier

O.A.R.

  • About Mr. Brown
  • Dareh Meyod
  • Black Rock
  • Fool in the Rain (with Warren Haynes)
  • Peace
  • Heaven
  • That Was a Crazy Game of Poker

Aquarium Rescue Unit

  • Fixin’ to Die
  • Elevator to the Moon
  • Basically Frightened
  • Compared to What
  • Yield Not to Temptation (with Bill Evans and Roosevelt Collier)
  • Space Is the Place (with Warren Haynes, Casey Driessen, Roosevelt Collier, Bill Evans, Mike Seal, Dan Matrazzo, Billy Thornton, Ron Hollaway)
  • Right Now (with Ron Holloway, Mike Seal, Casey Driessen, Roosevelt Collier, Bill Evans, Ike Stubblefield, Billy Thornton, Craig Sorrell)

Michael Franti & Friends

  • I Got Love for You
  • I Don’t Wanna Go
  • The Sound of Sunshine (with Mike Barnes)
  • 11.59 (with Mike Barnes)
  • Let It Go
  • Life Is Better With You (with Warren Haynes, Artimus Pyle, and Chris Pyle)
  • Say Hey (I Love You)
  • Hey World

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

  • Medicine >
  • The Divide >
  • Big White Gate
  • Stop the Bus >
  • Paris (Ooh La La) >
  • The Lion the Beast the Beat >
  • Nothing but the Water
  • Gimme Some Lovin’

Gregg Allman & Friends

(Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Audley Freed, Ron Johnson, Jeff Sipe, Count M’Butu)

  • Statesboro Blues
  • Just Another Rider (with Bill Evans, Ron Holloway, Craig Sorrells , Greg Hollowell)
  • Soulshine (with Bill Evans, Ron Holloway, Craig Sorrells, Greg Hollowell)
  • Stormy Monday
  • Dreams (with Oteil Burbridge, Bill Evans)
  • One Way Out  (with Oteil Burbridge)

Gov’t Mule

  • Hottentot (with John Scofield and Dr. Dan Matrazzo)
  • Doing It to Death (with John Scofield and Dr. Dan Matrazzo)
  • Sco-Mule (with John Scofield, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, Ron Holloway)
  • Kind of Bird (with John Scofield and Bill Evans)
  • Whisper in Your Soul (with Grace Potter)
  • Gold Dust Woman (with Grace Potter)

Warren Haynes 25th Christmas Jam – First Night: 12/13/2013

The 25th annual Christmas Jam to benefit Habitat for Humanity was a milestone event, and as such, was extended to two nights and featured an array of amazing musicians. I, of course, had to go both nights.

The first night featured a solid list of headliners:

  • Warren Haynes & Ray Sisk
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Love Canon
  • Keb’ Mo’
  • John Scofield and the Uberjam Band
  • Gregg Allman
  • Phil Lesh Quintet
  • Widespread Panic

In addition to the headline acts, the show also included the following special guests: Ike Stubblefield, Randall Bramblett, Birdland, Jay Bowman, Ron Holloway, Ron Johnson, Casey Driessen, and Jeff Sipe.

As a die-hard Grateful Dead fan, I was most excited to see Phil Lesh. And while he played a great set, I felt somewhat sad at the end. Basically, whenever Phil sang, he just seemed weary, like the years were finally catching up with him. It did not come as a surprise that he essentially stopped touring after this, only playing an occasional show on the East Coast and basically playing at Terrapin Crossroads, a club he owns in San Raphael. I guess that seeing Phil looking old made me feel old too.

I’m pretty sure that Gregg Allman played a short acoustic set with Warren during this first night, but I could not find a setlist to confirm that.

On to Widespread Panic. They are one of those bands who, like Primus, I feel that I should like, but I really am just not crazy about. And as the clock was nearing 2:00 am, my tolerance for them plummeted real fast. I ended up leaving the show about halfway through their set. I knew I would have another long night of music the next day, so I wasn’t going to wear myself out staying up for a band that I just wasn’t that interested in.

Anyway, here are the setlists that I was able to find online. Check back soon for my memories from the second night.

Setlists:

Warren Haynes & Ray Sisk

  • Glory Road

Keb’ Mo’

  • France
  • More Than One Way Home
  • Government Cheese
  • Every Morning (with John Scofield)
  • Perpetual Blues Machine (with John Scofield)
  • Shave Yo’ Legs

Phil Lesh Quintet

  • Celebration >
  • Playing in the Band >
  • China Cat Sunflower >
  • I Know You Rider
  • Night of 1000 Stars
  • Mountains of the Moon >
  • St. Stephen >
  • The Other One >
  • Over the Rainbow >
  • The Other One
  • Terrapin Station

Widespread Panic

  • Disco >
  • Papa’s Home (with Count M’Butu) >
  • Up All Night
  • Worry
  • None of Us Are Free
  • Surprise Valley >
  • Ride Me High (with Randall Bramblett) >
  • Drums >
  • Surprise Valley
  • Expiration Day
  • Angels on High (with Warren Haynes and Randall Bramblett)
  • Jesus Just Left Chicago (with Warren Haynes)
  • Ain’t Life Grand

Gov’t Mule

  • World Boss
  • Mother Earth
  • Opium (with Bill Evans and Ike Stubblefield)
  • Scared to Live
  • Game Face (with ‘Mountain Jam’ snippet)
  • Captured
  • Funny Little Tragedy (with ‘Message in a Bottle’ quote) >
  • Thorazine Shuffle (reprise)

Allman Brothers Band with the Jeff Healy Band: 8/30/1992

I’ve seen the Allmans many times over the years, but this may be the best show I saw them perform. In 1992, the band had a really solid lineup:

  • Gregg Allman
  • Dickey Betts
  • Warren Haynes
  • Butch Trucks
  • Jaimoe Johanson
  • Allen Woody
  • Johnny Neel

I had gone up to New York to visit friends, and before heading up there from Florida, my friend Susan asked if I liked the Allman Brothers. “Ummm… YEAH!” So her and her boyfriend got tickets for all of us to go see them at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. I was pretty psyched, but I got even more excited when I found out that Jeff Healy was the opener. As a guitarist, I was much impressed by Healy’s guitar work. He was visually impaired, so he would sit in a chair and lay his guitar across his lap, and wail like a goddamn banshee. Sadly, he died on March 2, 2008 at the age of 41.

Anyway, we battled the insane traffic and made it to the show. It was jam packed with people. The concert was being held in an “amphitheater” outside the football stadium, and it was a zoo. But the Jeff Healy Band came out and stoked the crowd. (Wish I was able to find the setlist.)

Next, the Allmans took the stage. Sadly, Warren Haynes was absent for the first several songs (he was stuck in traffic). But the band rocked on and eventually Warren joined them on stage.

About halfway through the set, Jeff Healy came out and joined the Allmans for a few songs, which was incredible. Healy’s slide work really meshed well with the Allmans.

I was really grateful I did not have to deal with the traffic afterwards. I was pretty rocked out, so I crashed in the back seat and woke up when we got back out to Long Island.

Here is the Allman Brothers’ setlist.

Setlist:

  • Don’t Want You No More
  • It’s Not My Cross To Bear
  • Statesboro Blues
  • Blue Sky

(Note: First 4 songs without Warren)

  • Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’
  • Nobody Knows
  • End Of The Line
  • Seven Turns
  • Midnight Rider
  • Ramblin’ Man
  • Melissa
  • Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
  • Hoochie Coochie Man (w/Jeff Healy)
  • Southbound (w/Jeff Healy)
  • Get On With Your Life
  • Jessica
  • Revival
  • Whipping Post