On this night in 2014, The Allman Brothers Band brought a 45-year storied career to a close with an epic three-set show at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. 2014 was a rough year for the band starting with drummer Butch Trucks spilling the news to JamBase guitarist Derek Trucks would soon be leaving the band and continuing through a disastrous March Beacon run that saw both Butch and Gregg Allman miss shows. Thankfully, The Allman Brothers Band pulled it together for a fitting and majestic final show. Both Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks died in 2017, which after a few years of reunion rumors before their passings truly means the group is done.
“There was a spirit and reverence they brought to it,” Derek Trucks said in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone. “I hoped it would be that way, but I didn’t know how it would turn out. People have a tendency — you let your ego get in the way of the big moments. That night everybody got out of the way. [We] were all thinking about those first days in Jacksonville when they formed the band. I could see my uncle between sets — you could see the wheels turning. It was all in the right spirit. That night was one of the few times you got off stage and feel, ‘That’s how it was supposed to go down.'”
Warren Haynes discussed what he was feeling after the finale in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, “We were all walking on air. Thankfully, that last show was all we hoped it would be — a real representation of what that band was capable of. Everybody was communicating and listening, more deeply entwined in the music than we had been in quite some time. I was proud of everyone, individually and collectively.”
The Allman Brothers Band came out of the gates with “Little Martha” > “Mountain Jam” just before 9 p.m. and finished the third set just before 1 a.m. with the second half of “Mountain Jam” before putting a cap on the evening with one last “Whipping Post” encore and even tacked on “Trouble No More” for good measure (The Allmans recorded a rendition of the Muddy Waters’ classic for their 1969 debut album, but more importantly it was the first song the original band ever played). In between there were tons of emotional moments as the lineup put their all into the final performance of such beloved and fitting songs like “Ain’t Wasting Time No More,” “Midnight Rider,” “One Way Out,” “Southbound,” “The Sky Is Crying” and “Revival.”
OG Allmans Gregg Allman (Age 66), Butch Trucks (Age 67) and Jaimoe (Age 70) stepped up to create a powerful force throughout the marathon concert. Once again, “Dreams” and “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” served as the improvisational meat of the second set with guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks adding an extra gear to their transmissions. Gregg told the crowd “the night is still young!” before “Liz Reed” giving fans a hint of what was to come. The third set was unannounced, so there were plenty of missed trains for attendees who weren’t going anywhere when they found out the third set was in front of them. The Allman Brothers Band were met with a huge standing ovation and the sound of stomping feet as they finally left the stage.
Watch the otherworldly “Liz Reed” from the final Allman Brothers Band show shot by Tom Pragliola:
Here’s the speech and “Trouble No More” finale captured by stevemeister74:
Set One: Little Martha > Mountain Jam > Don’t Want You No More > Not My Cross to Bear > One Way Out, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Midnight Rider, High Cost of Low Living, HotLanta, Blue Sky, You Don’t Love Me
Set Two: Statesboro Blues, Ain’t Wasting Time No More, Black Hearted Woman, The Sky is Crying, Dreams, Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’, In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
Set Three: Melissa, Revival, Southbound, Mountain Jam > Will The Circle Be Unbroken? > Mountain Jam
Encore: Whipping Post, Trouble No More