by Katie Kimsey
Sometimes seeing a legend perform can wind up being a frustrating experience. Not frustrating because of their performance, but for the legend them-self. In this case, that frustration stemmed from the crowd at The North Charleston Performing Arts Center. It’s a bit of a shocker to see everyone sitting in their seats when Gregg Allman is standing before them.
Allman looked fantastic Tuesday night. It’s hard to believe that this 64-year old has maintained such a charismatic and composed soul in regards to performing—not to mention how strong he remains vocally, despite the length of his career on top of all of his health issues. He and his band opened with the mellow bayou jam “Floating Bridge,” which spoke well to Allman’s consistent ability as a master of the blues.
“Floating Bridge” was followed with “I’m No Angel,” and Allman made sure to bring in old favorites, “Statesboro Blues”, “Melissa”, “Midnight Rider”, “ Whipping Post”, and “One Way Out” throughout the set. It was fitting to see the PAC staff try to hassle the only man who insisted on standing and dancing as Allman sang “But I’m not gonna let ‘em catch, me, no, not gonna let ‘em catch the midnight rider.”
There was no shortage of talent onstage, as Floyd Miles took front and center while Allman wailed on his Hammond B-3 organ. Scott Sharrard (who has been standing in as lead guitarist in recent years) certainly has had big shoes to fill in evoking the Allman sound, but there is no doubting his skill as a slide guitarist, and he still creates an original sound in his work. Keyboardist Bruce Katz also seemed to get a rise out of the crowd, adding a bit of excitement to the night with his quirky demeanor. Jerry Jemmott (bass), Steve Potts (drums), and Jay Collins (horns, flute, tambourine, you name it) all gave solid performances and rounded out the group quite nicely. Allman definitely still knows how to pick ‘em.
It’s hard to say whether the audience wanted to create a sense of reverence or whether they simply weren’t willing to let go and enjoy themselves, so remember this: the next time you’re in the presence of a legend, get on your feet, folks.