The Allman Brothers Band’s annual March Madness run closed on an unfortunate note last night as the group wound up performing without an Allman on stage at the Beacon Theatre. Founding member Gregg Allman left the stage in the middle of the second set on Saturday night and did not return. However the band didn’t let Allman’s injury stop them, providing fans a guest-heavy marathon finale. According to the group’s website, “Gregg Allman has bulging discs in his back that are normally under control. Last night (Saturday), he had a painful flare up 30 minutes before the end of the second set at the Beacon, which forced him to leave the stage.” Gregg Allman and Friends keyboardist Bruce Katz filled in for Gregg, whose absence was noted by Warren Haynes at the start of the show.
TMZ.com reported that Allman was briefly hospitalized on Saturday. Yet last night’s show went on as planned and the band made the best of the situation, with musical director Warren Haynes calling in a bevy of talented friends and singing many of Gregg’s vocal parts. Warren Haynes Band members Ron Johnson and Alicia Chakour helped out on River’s Gonna Rise in the first set. ABB family member Jimmy Hall came out for Statesboro Blues and She Caught The Katy during the opening stanza, while original bassist Berry Oakley’s son, Berry Oakley Jr., also sat in on Statesboro.
The guest appearances came at a fast and furious pace in the second set. Chakour and Johnson returned for the Soulshine opener. All three ABB drummers sat Soulshine out as Anton Fig of David Letterman’s house band stepped behind Butch Trucks’ kit. Later, for a take on Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower, the group was augmented by trumpeter Maurice Brown. Then, Col. Bruce Hampton and guitarist Oz Noy lent a hand on Spoonful. John Popper – who performed with the band on Saturday night as well – made another appearance on covers of Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? and That’s What Love Will Make You Do as well as Blues Traveler’s Alone. This marked the ABB’s first-ever performance of the classic Traveler tune.
Set One: Blue Sky, Every Hungry Woman, Gamblers’s Roll, Les Brers, Statesboro Blues w/ Jimmy Hall and Berry Oakley Jr on bass, She Caught The Katy w/ Jimmy Hall, River’s Gonna Rise w/Ron Johnson and Alicia Chakour, Jessica
Set Two: Soulshine w/Alicia Chakour, Anton Fig and Ron Johnson w/o Marc Quinones and Jaimoe, Hotlanta, All Along The Watchtower w/ Maurice Brown on trumpet > Don’t Want You No More, Spoonful w/Col. Bruce Hampton and Oz Noy, Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? > Alone w/John Popper, That’s What Love Will Make You Do W/John Popper, Maurice Brown, Jay Collins and Jimmy Hall, Dreams, Mountain Jam > Smokestack Lightning w/ Hook Herrera > Dazed and Confused > Mountain Jam
Encore: Soul Serenade > You Don’t Love Me w/ Herrera, Oakley Jr. and Junior Mack
[via AllmanBrothersBand.com and M. Matlick]
Last night’s marathon performance also featured a lengthy Mountain Jam that ventured into Smokestack Lightning (with Hook Herrera on harmonica) and Dazed and Confused before it was through. All in all, this marked the only show of the run without an acoustic segment.
In other ABB-related news, the lineup for the first annual Peach Music Festival, a three-day event set for August 10 – 12 in Scranton, Penn. is set to be announced at noon ET.