Where to start? Anyone who has the 'An evening with... ' 1st/2nd sets will be familiar with the standard of musicianship therein. This double cd continues in that vein, but in a more flowing setting which encapsulates the full concert experience, recorded and edited over two consecutive nights 10th & 11th March 1992. 130 minutes of pure quality [60 + 70 minutes]. A brief build up... after deciding to reform in 1989, the four remaining members, Gregg, Dickey, Jaimoe and Butch roped in Warren Haynes [gtrs] and Allen Woody [bs] later to be two thirds of Gov't Mule, Marc Quinones [percussion] and occasionally old buddy Thom Doucette [harp]. They hit the road, honing their unique talent and building up a fanatic fanbase across all ages, new and old. Searching for a venue to accomodate a 10-night run of concerts in New York 1992, they decided that the Beacon Theatre fitted most closely to the spirit of the Fillmore East. Thus the legend was [re]born.
Now to the concert.
A teasing intro into Statesboro Blues, followed by a jaunty You Don't Love Me. A storming End Of The Line, then surely a worthy companion to Jessica in the song Blue Sky. Once more the band flex their considerable muscle in Nobody Knows then a low down Low Down Dirty Mean.
Greg, Dickey, Warren and Allen then perform three acoustic songs to close out the first cd. Seven Turns, Midnight Rider and Come on in My Kitchen, the harmonies and guitar interplay rip your heart out. [The acoustic part of the set became a regular feature from 1990]
The second cd opens with a 4 minute display of Warren's virtuosity before ripping into Hoochie Coochie Man with Warren on snarling vocals. An absolutely joyous Jessica followed by a soulfull Get on With Your Life leads into a superb 21-minute Liz Reed followed by Revival which helps to calm things down a bit. Dreams and crowd favourite Whipping Post complete the set, leaving the audience and listener stunned by the sheer quality and virtuosity of the original [American] Peoples' Band. If, like me, you love the Allmans, or you are just curious to see what all the fuss is about, then this is one of the most important albums you will own, showing how a band can come in out of the wilderness to take the world by storm again.
Please buy this album and who knows, maybe it will open the floodgates for lots more of their earlier concerts to see the light of day.