Thursday, August 16, 2007


Last night, Greg and I attended an Allman Brothers concert at the Post-Gazette Pavilion. Though this venue nominally serves greater Pittsburgh, you couldn't tell that by the route we took to get there! We left our campground in Lisbon, OH and headed south to East Liverpool, hugged the Ohio River for a while, crossed the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and finally, not too far over the Pennsylvania state line, was Burgettstown and the P-G Pavilion. Except for East Liverpool, which appears to be more city than town, much of our route was quite rural; other places along the road were quite industrial, and reminded me a little bit of Lancashire, England, the area that my Wallis ancestors left for ... West Virginia? Interesting ...

The opening act for the Allmans was RatDog, whose front man, Bob Weir, was one of the Grateful Dead. They played for two solid hours, almost completely non-stop, going from one great song into the next. They did a lot of the Dead's most popular stuff, as well as Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" and an old Appalachian ballad, "Pretty Peggy-O." Weir's a great guitar player, and his lead guitar player was nothing short of amazing. Warren Haynes came out and joined them on a couple of tunes.

Sure, most concerts last only a couple of hours, but not this night! After a 15 minute set change, we got two more hours ... of the Allman Brothers. I swear, I have never in my life seen anyone play guitar like Derek Trucks. I do know rudimentary stuff about the guitar, and though I cannot come close to playing like Bob Weir or Warren Haynes, I at least understand and know what they're doing. But I couldn't even figure out what Derek Trucks was doing, except producing amazing sound. Everyone in the current Allman Brothers line-up is so accomplished, and so professional! Susan Tedeschi made a guest appearance, too; she's really powerful -- and not a bad guitar player, herself! You go, girl!

And I couldn't blog about the Allmans without mentioning Gregg, who was in great voice, and seemed to be very healthy and happy.  

This concert was one of the most fun I have ever attended, because everyone in the audience knew every song, and delighted in hearing the live rendition, and singing and dancing along.