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

Steve Winwood: 5/9/2017

Steve Winwood was high on my short list of bands/musicians that I had not seen but wanted to see live. So when I saw that he was coming to Greenville, which is about an hour’s drive, I got tickets for my wife and I to go. It was a good thing that I bought them early because the show sold out quickly.

I had never been to the Peace Center, but I heard it was a very nice venue with excellent acoustics. We got there a little before showtime (it was a Tuesday so work prevented us from heading down there early). The first thing was had to deal with was parking. All the public lots were full, which forced us to go for one of the private lots. The woman there collecting money said “$20.” I responded: “$20!?!” She said “Yes, concert is sold out.” Talk about price gouging. I grudgingly paid the exorbitant fee and parked the car. We then walked over to the Peace Center.

The first thing I noticed was the crowd. I felt like the youngest person there, and my thinning grey hair is a clear indicator that I am no spring chicken, but these folks made me feel like I was at a concert with all my aunts and uncles. And they were all dressed up like they were going to the symphony. I looked at my tee shirt and felt oddly out of place; but I didn’t care all that much. I was there for the music, not for a fashion show.

Lilly Winwood. Steve’s daughter, opened the show. She was very good, not just someone riding her famous dad’s coattails. Her songs were interesting and her voice was powerful. I was impressed.

Then Steve came out, and as I expected, he was amazing. His vocals and his musicianship were stellar, and his backing band was solid. He played a nice selection of songs spanning his entire career, from Spenser Davis through his solo works. In fact, the only song I wanted to hear that he didn’t play was “John Barleycorn,” but it was an extremely minor disappointment in light of all the other great music he played that evening.

Toward the end of the show, his daughter came on stage and provided some backing vocals, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was nice to see father and daughter together, and her voice really added to the songs on which she sang.

Here is the full setlist.

 

Setlist:

  • Back in the High Life Again
  • Pearly Queen
  • I’m a Man
  • Fly
  • Them Changes
  • Can’t Find My Way Home
  • Had to Cry Today
  • The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
  • Empty Pages
  • Light Up or Leave Me Alone
  • Higher Love (with Lilly Winwood)

Encore:

  • Dear Mr. Fantasy
  • Gimme Some Lovin’ (with Lilly Winwood)

Boston: 10/3/1987

Boston_10-3-87

So I have to begin by saying I was never a big Boston fan. I never owned a Boston album, but I didn’t hate them. They were just, mediocre in my opinion. I would listen to them on the radio, maybe, but that was about it.

Anyway, Boston was playing at the Hollywood Sportatorium and I had no intention of going to see them. But I was a very entrepreneurial young man and would often go to concerts with coolers full of iced beverages which I would sell to thirsty concertgoers in the parking lot before a show. So my friend Ernie and I loaded the car with beverages and went to the Sporto to make some money. Sales were brisk and soon the coolers were empty and we had pockets full of money. So Ernie suggested we check out the show. I was hesitant, since as I said, I was not a big Boston fan, but Ernesto was eager to check them out, so I conceded and we went and bought tickets at the gate.

The band took the stage, and I was like, “I know this song!” But then it turned out to be a different song. Then it happened again. And again. I realized that every song sounded just like every other song. I was rapidly losing interest. I think I even started yawning—not a good sign at a concert. I looked at Ernie, trying to gauge his interest. He looked somewhat sullen. I speculated he was as bored as I was. I asked if he wanted to cut out, and he said “Yeah.” So we left about halfway through the concert, which for me was fine. The thought of sitting in traffic after a lame concert was too much to bear.

I still do not hate Boston, and I will sing along sometimes when they come on the radio. And I’m glad that I can check them off the list of bands I got to see. But the truth is, they were about as middle-of-the-road as I expected them to be. Oh well, not every concert can be great.