Allman Brothers Kick Off Beacon Theatre Run With Levon Helm, Taj Mahal

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Last night the Allman Brothers Band kicked off a sold-out run of 15 shows at New York City's Beacon Theatre by digging deep into their storied catalog and welcoming the first of what promises to be a steady stream of special guests (the leading rumors say Eric Clapton, Ron Wood and members of the Dead will make appearances). The Allmans opened their 176th show at the Beacon since 1989 with "Little Martha" and from there plowed through a string of sonic chestnuts, including "Midnight Rider," "Statesboro Blues," "Stormy Monday," "Mountain Jam" and "Southbound."

The Allmans are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and the crowd at the Beacon, which recently underwent a $16 million renovation, was in a celebratory mood. The band was forced to cancel their 2008 run at the theater because founding member Gregg Allman was recovering from Hepatitis C.

Taj Mahal played harmonica and sang with the Allman Brothers on "Leaving Trunk" and sang on "44 Blues" and "Statesboro Blues." Levon Helm opened the second set by leading the Allmans through the Band's "Ophelia, followed by "I Shall Be Released" and "The Weight." Helm played his own drum kit and was joined by Levon Helm Band members Larry Campbell on guitar and vocals, Teresa Williams on vocals and Brian Mitchell on keyboards. He shared vocal duties with Williams and Warren Haynes on "I Shall Be Released while Allman and Mahal joined Helm on "The Weight," with each taking a verse.

If you got shut out on tickets, the band is offering a live Webcast of the entire run for $125; information is available at their official Website.

After the Beacon run, the Allmans are scheduled to play May 16th in George, Washington, with the Dead and the Doobie Brothers; May 22 in Valley Center, California, with the Doobie Brothers; June 5-6th at the Wanee festival, Live Oak, Florida.; and May 31 at Mountain Jam, Hunter, New York.

Set one:
"Little Martha"
"Don't Want You No More"/"It's Not My Cross To Bear"
"I Walk On Guilded Splinters"
"The Same Thing"
"New Instrumental"
"Midnight Rider"
"Leave My Blues At Home"
"Leaving Trunk" (with Taj Mahal on harmonica and vocals)
"44 Blues" (with Taj Mahal on vocals)
"Statesboro Blues" (with Taj on vocals)

Set Two:
"Ophelia" (with Levon Helm on drums and vocals, Larry Campbell on guitar and vocals, Teresa Williams on vocals and Brian Mitchell on keyboards)
"I Shall Be Released" (with Levon Helm on drums and vocals, Larry Campbell on guitar and vocals, Teresa Williams on vocals and Brian Mitchell on keyboards)
"The Weight" (with Levon Helm on drums and vocals, Larry Campbell on guitar and vocals, Teresa Williams on vocals and Brian Mitchell on keyboards)
"Blackhearted Woman"
"Stormy Monday"
"And It Stoned Me"
"Mountain Jam"

Encore:
"Southbound"

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