The weather was classic first-weekend-after-Labor-Day weather as the summer heat faded like a tan and autumn whispered in the wind at Nikon’s Jones Beach Theater. It was the picture-perfect setting for the Allman Brothers and Grace Potter to party their hearts out on the last leg of their summer fling. Siren Potter sizzled so hot that she seemed to slow down the sunset, luring waves of fired up Allman fans into the arena from their tailgate parties outside. Seductive and intoxicating, Potter’s performance chops far exceed her material, but she was a perfect teaser act, whipping her hair and the swelling crowd into a frenzy.
The Allmans had no problem maintaining the excitement, flashing back to “Beginnings” for a mega-dose of At Fillmore East classics and other hits (“Hot ‘Lanta,” “Statesboro Blues,” “Trouble No More,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” “You Don’t Love Me,” “One Way Out,” “Midnight Rider,” among others) with only a nod to Eat a Peach (“Blue Sky”). While no one can really expect the reconstituted band to be the Allmans of old, it’s still an impressive showing, with original members Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson at the helm and successors Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks providing the sparks and piloting the band forward. The summer set list also featured a new Haynes original (“Dusk Till Dawn”) and a pair of covers, a soggy version of the Beatles’ “Rain ” and a stirring take on the Band’s “The Weight” with Potter and guest Susan Tedeschi trading vocals while Haynes and Trucks traded licks.
Eleven months and $20 million after Hurricane Sandy broke up the bandstand, the Jones Beach Theater survives and thrives. Bathed in the neon glow of their lights in a dreamy concert by the shore, the Allman Brothers created a few thousand new memories.
– Derek Meade