The Allman Brothers Band: Manley Field House, Syracuse University, April 7, 1972 (Allman Brothers Band Recording Company) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, April 22nd, 2024  

The Allman Brothers Band

Manley Field House, Syracuse University, April 7, 1972

Allman Brothers Band Recording Company

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“We’d like to dedicate the whole concert to each and every one of you all. And of course good brother Duane.” Thus starts The Allman Brothers Band’s April 7, 1972 concert at Syracuse University. The show comes only five short months after Duane Allman’s untimely passing, and less than a year before the band lost another one of its members, bassist Berry Oakley. As such, the Manley Field House show documents the short-lived five member incarnation of the Allman Brothers—Gregg Allman on vocals and keyboards, Dickey Betts doing double duty on lead and slide guitar, Berry Oakley on bass, and Butch Trucks and Jaimoe on drums.

After that timely, mournful introduction, Allman Brothers Band proved how resilient they were in soldiering on following Duane’s death. The first two songs, “Statesboro Blues” and Elmore James’ “Done Somebody Wrong,” showcase Betts doing his very best to stand in for Duane, and he acquits himself most finely.

Of course, the band completed 1972’s Eat a Peach as this five-piece, and Manley Field House showcases two songs from that masterpiece, “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More” and its cover of Elmore James’ “One Way Out,” played back-to-back on this night. Much of the rest of the show echos the band’s acclaimed At Fillmore East live album, with an added jam specific to its current location, titled “Syracuse Jam,” which isn’t available anywhere else.

What’s striking about this concert is first and foremost the absence of Duane. Betts does a fine job of filling Duane’s shoes, but there is a certain guitar energy found in early ABB performances that is still missing here. But the other thing that stands out, aside from some incomparable jams on songs like “You Don’t Love Me,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” and, of course, “Whipping Post,” is Oakley. His bass, which is high in the mix, becomes just as much of a star as the band’s guitar, keyboards, or vocals on this night. Manley Field House is a remarkable opportunity to cue into and celebrate Oakley’s bass contributions to this band, before of course he departed just like brother Duane several months later. (www.allmanbrothersband.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10



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