Last week in Charlotte, North Carolina was the hottest week I've encountered since I moved here over five years ago. In fact, the August 8th temperature of 104 degrees tied the all-time record for the hottest day the city has ever seen.
Unfortunately for the Drive-By Truckers and The Allman Brothers Band, this was also the week they performed at Charlotte's Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in an outdoor venue fully exposed to the heat. I was dreading sitting among a huge, sweaty crowd for so long, but I wouldn't miss a show like this for the world. But although hot and uncomfortable at times, it was worth every drop of sweat that fell from my body. I would have gladly sacrificed even more to be present at this incredible show.
The Drive-By Truckers put on a fine performance and took the brunt of the heat before the sun went down. Their sound was muddy, and instruments kept fading in and out, but sound-system issues aside, they were tons of fun, and a perfect warm-up act for the mighty Allman Brothers. I could write pages of positive words on the DBT performance, but coming before the ABB is a hard act to follow.
The Allman Brothers Band has had 12 different line-ups since their beginning back in 1969, and the current incarnation had me extremely excited. This may be the most powerful roster the band has seen yet (sorry Dickey). Of the 7 band members the only original members are Gregg Allman (Vocals, Organ, Piano, Guitar), Butch Trucks (Drums, Tympani), and Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson (Drums, Percussion). Percussionist Marc Quinones has been with the band since 1991, bassist Oteil Burbridge since 1997. And since 2001 the line-up also includes both Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes on the guitars.
To put it bluntly, this was the best show I have seen all year. It was a reminder of why the jam band genre is so popular and why the no one can touch the Allman Brothers Band when it comes to the current population of jam bands working today.