Gregg Allman is one of those rare artists who sounds just as good live as he does in a studio.
Despite his years of partying, Allman’s rich, soulful voice hasn’t lost any of its power after more than four decades of performing with the Allman Brothers Band and as a solo artist.
That was evident Friday night in his sold-out show at the Grand Opera House, where Allman kept his fans energized during the nearly two-hour long, 16-song set.
Starting off with his solo hit “I’m No Angel,” Allman showed he’s still in peak form as his eight-piece band easily segued into “Statesboro Blues.”
Things then shifted into a soulful, jazzy mode with “Queen of Hearts” and a couple of songs later, the crowd got into sing-along mode when Allman performed “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.”
The band went full-on blues with “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” “These Days” and “Sweet Feelin’” before Allman took a break to let his band jam.
Things moved up-tempo with “You Don’t Love Me” before slowing down with a particularly soulful rendition of “Sweet Melissa,” arguably the high point of the evening.
My personal favorite Allman Brothers Band song, “Midnight Rider,” was next, though I personally would have preferred it performed without the horn section. It’s not that it was badly played -- I just think that the song sounds better when the emphasis is placed on the guitar and organ parts.
Closing out the show, Allman and the band raised the tempo once more for “Love Like Kerosene” as well as “Whippin’ Post” to close out the show.
For the encore, Allman and the band gave the fans “One Way Out,” featuring an extended drum solo before they took their final bow.
Earlier in the evening, Amanda Shires got the night going with her alt-rock/country style that provided a nice contrast to Allman’s later show.
Though perhaps known to some as the wife of musician Jason Isbell, Shires demonstrated her own music chops not only with a voice that evokes a young Dolly Parton, but by also performing on the guitar, the violin and ukulele a mix of songs that is a great fusion of country and rock, though with a different sound than traditional, old-school southern rock.
Allman will take the stage once again Saturday night at the Grand Opera House in another sold-out show.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.