The Allman Brothers Band - Live At The Beacon Theatre [DVD] 
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Live concert by The Allman Brothers Band. Recorded at the Beacon Theatre in 2003 the blues rock band performed a selection of their greatest hits including 'Melissa', 'Old Before My Time' and 'Ain't Wastin' Time No More'.
It takes an aircraft-carrier of a release such as Live at the Beacon Theatre to remind us just how unique the Allman Brothers Band always was and still is. Traditionally a byword for down-home R&B/country blues-rock, the reality is that the band's gigantic sound is almost a musical form in itself. Make no mistake, the Allmans are still making big music, now with a two-guitar front line as well as their trademark two-drummer rhythm section (augmented these days with an additional percussionist), plus Gregg Allman's Hammond cutting through all of this like a serrated knife. The only anomaly is his voice, which has always had a strange, recessed quality, as though he sings without actually breathing. That said, his vocal style is a distinctive element of what the band's all about, so hey.
This release offers a massive set filmed in New York in March 2003 which is chock-full of things you'll need to hear (especially "Desdemona" and "Whipping Post"). The concert footage alone lasts about three hours and the whole thing is immaculately produced without detracting from the atmosphere of the event in any way. Never mind the ponytails, the Allmans give you the whole pony.
On the DVD: Live at the Beacon Theatre two-disc set has generous extras that turn what was already a good deal into a veritable bargain. The lengthy interview material gets off to a shaky start by focusing at embarrassing length on how much more sober and generally together the band is than it used to be, but when the apologies are over we get some genuine insights into both the personalities and the music involved. There's also behind-the-scenes and rehearsal footage (much of which is both funny and poignant) and a photo gallery. The DVD is in 4:3 aspect ratio and has stereo, Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1 sound options. --Roger Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Trucks is the most obvious new sound. The nephew of long time Allman drummer Butch Trucks, Derek provides a wonderful contrast to Warren Haynes fiery if, at times, overblown guitar playing. Derek Trucks brings a feeling for jazz and a careful structuring of his solos that provides an excellent dynamic variety to the sound.
Oteil Burbridge, the new bass player is a funkier guy than previous Allman bassists. When the band takes off in the middle of a song the bass now rises with them. He pops and hammers as well as rolling out smooth runs and funky riffs. His solo is one of the few bass solos I could face more than once.
The DVD is great value at £11.99. Disk one is 2 hours 40 minutes of concert footage, well filmed by a large professional crew. They focus mainly on the individual players and capture some nice little moments. When the young Trucks pulls off a particularly fine guitar phrase in Stateboro' Blues the camera shows Warren Haynes laugh appreciatively with Greg Allman. The second Disk completes the concert with the encore and adds a considerable amount of backstage and interview footage. Suffice it to say I have spent most of my time on the glorious concert disk and have not really checked that out.
All in all, Live at the Beacon Theatre is a great buy for Allman Brothers fans and a killer concert DVD for any lovers of traditional rock music.
I have to point out, however, that technically this DVD is not all it could have been. Firstly, I found the audio/visual synching to be pretty haphazard (using the stereo speakers on my Sony TV), regardless of which audio setting I used; this made viewing of some tracks an exercise in frustration, at hearing lyrics that only left Gregg Allman's mouth several seconds later!
With regards to the picture, the quality of camera focus was not all it could have been (there's a muzzy, indistinct look about much of the DVD, as though the camera is never quite in perfect focus); worse, due to whatever compression system was applied to condense all that music onto the first disc of the set, the picture betrays digital artefacts throughout (it's a blocky appearance to some of the backdrops and finer detail), giving it a technical quality not much better than a VCD or SVCD that you or I could burn using a typical home PC CD-burner.
Such faults could easily have been avoided and, in my opinion, go some way to making viewing of this DVD a real letdown, compared with my initial expectations. Don't get me wrong - the music is still terrific but, when compared to releases such as Govt Mule's Deepest End DVD (which features terrific quality footage from their New Orleans gig of 2003, filmed just two months after this Allman's set), the technical quality of this DVD is definitely second-best. The band deserve better...
The DVD coincides with the latest and highly acclaimed studio album - Hittin' the Note, and many of the new tracks are included. Recent CD's have been predictable and combined with the acrimonious departure of Dickie Betts - many of us wondered - what was left ? ?
What has happened is similar in many ways as what happened to Santana a few years back - the band has sat up and catapulted itself into the 21st. Century. As the dvd says - by fate a new combination - free of argument - with one focused goal - to play great music.
The line up change has been their saviour.
And this really is great music, and the dvd shows they play their absolute socks off. Derek Trucks is a truly exceptional and sophisticated guitarist. Marc Quinnones (percussion) & Oteil Burbridge (bass) proficiently complement the 2 original drummers - Butch Trucks & Jaimoe.
Warren Haynes contribution is significant - not only a great guitarist - as producer of the new album, it is apparent that he is well organised, and a mainstay of the band. Gregg Allman is the figurehead as he deserves to be.
The included documentary and interviews are a great insight into the history, new blood, and what is apparent - a true friendship between the new line up.
Over 30 years ago - Filmore East was recorded and it ultimately became regarded as the 'live' classic it is.
On listening for example to the live versions of 'Instrumental Illness' & 'Desdemona' - on this DVD. These tracks sound (to me) no less significant. They are absolutely superb.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If anybody wants to watch top class musicians, then this is it!! Fantastic DVD - great songs, great musicians, well filmed and great camera work. This is one of best DVDs yet. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Webby
brilliant guitar from Trucks and Haines and the whole band gel superbly. Excellent DVDPublished 17 months ago by Alan Ronald
If you are an Allman Bros band fan then this is a must, excellent selection of songs, Derek Trucks is outsatnding and the whole concert just gives you a a real ABB experience,... Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2014 by PJKatt
Fantastic Musicians! Incredible Music! But a poor quality image! Imagine this gig in high definition or at least acceptable quality? Read morePublished on 9 Oct. 2013 by negotiatornoname
From start to finish this concert is a knock out! A young Derek Trucks is in 5 star form. The band really hits the note on songs like Don't Keep Me Wonderin / Whipping Post, Dreams... Read morePublished on 21 Aug. 2009 by SmokinAsh
This is where I came across Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes.
I bought it with the original Allman Brothers in mind. Read more
What can 1 say , if you like good honest blues orientated music or plain DECENT music this is a must. With excellent audio & fantastic guitar work its worth every penny. Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2004 by LeopardPrince