Headlining the inaugural concert of the County In The City concert series, inspired by The Annenberg Space for Photography’s newest exhibit,“Country: Portraits of an American Sound,” was Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman, an American rock and blues singer-songwriter who was the founding member of the The Allman Brothers Band. Inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and named one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine, Gregg Allman brought his vast catalog of music to the adoring Century City crowd
Dressed in a jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket, Gregg stepped onto the stage with his eight piece band and sat behind his now-trademark Hammond organ, his waist-long pony tail swaying from side to side.
Gregg has had a tough go at it this year. He’s been hospitalized on several occasions due to a variety of ailments (bronchitis, a wrist injury, and other undisclosed health issues) and he did look a bit gaunt to me has he perched himself atop his organ bench. I noticed in between songs that he’d quickly reach for tissues from a box perched on his organ. He even took a break midway through his set, I’m assuming to catch his breath and recharge.
He may have been under the weather, but his performance was not noticeably effected by it. With his right foot steady on the organ’s pedal, his left foot vigorously tapped to the beat of each song throughout the set. His voice still had that soulful blues tenor rasp that got me interested in The Allman Brothers Band in the first place. Was he ill? I doubt anybody really noticed.
Being a fan of his repertoire, I was just thrilled to be able to see him performing live. “Black Hearted Woman/Hot Lanta”. “Melissa”. “Midnight Rider”. Those songs, especially “Melissa”, made my night.
The only letdown for me was when he performed “Whipping Post”. Maybe it was because he wanted to use the full sound of the band, but the arrangement of it was a little to nouveau for my tasted. In my opinion, “Whipping Post” is supposed to be raw and gritty. This version was more sass and flash. The chorus (“Sometimes I feel / Sometimes I feel / Like I’ve been tied / To the whipping post / Tied to the whipping post /Tied to the whipping post /Good lord I feel like I’m dyin’) is supposed to wail. The arrangement that was performed that night was a bit anticlimactic.
Set List (actual order might have been slightly different)
- DON’T KEEP ME WONDERING
- STORMY MONDAY
- AINT WASTING TIME
- I FOUND A LOVE
- SWEET FEELING
- James Brown medley (GA BREAK)
- -BAND INTROS-
- BLACK HEARTED WOMAN/HOT LANTA
- MIDNIGHT RIDER
- LOVE LIKE KEROSINE
- WHIPPING POST
- Encore: ONE WAY OUT