It’s easy to get wrapped up in the myth of The Allman Brothers Band, when in fact the living, breathing band of today is what’s really important. With all the tragedies, hard times and periods when the group seemed out of place in the world of pop music, it has become one of the truly great live bands in music today. Celebrating its 40th anniversary with a big summer tour, the group did not disappoint at its Jones Beach show on August 27th and according to most reports it was one of the best shows of the tour.
The band hit its stride right from the beginning with “Done Somebody Wrong,” “Hot ‘Lanta,” and “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” all played with extended jams. With Butch Trucks, Mark Quinones and Warren Haynes all having come out and jammed with opening act Widespread Panic, there was a real good vibe already established early. “Midnight Rider” was sung with gritty gusto by Gregg Allman, who was in fine voice all night. The jamming only became more intense with “Statesboro Blues,” “Revival” and “Stormy Monday.” The band stretched out even further on “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” with Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic on guitar, “JaMaBuBu,” and a reprise of “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” The encore of “Southbound” was the finale, at nearly midnight after over two hours of music, leaving the crowd who had started the evening at 7:00 with Widespread Panic fully satiated. It’s extraordinary how much this band has endured and how strong it is today. While Butch Trucks has recently questioned how much longer he can physically withstand the rigors of touring and Allman’s future plans are seemingly always in flux, let’s hope that for The Allman Brothers Band the road does indeed go on forever!