This past spring, The Allman Betts Band have made their way through an admirably ambitious debut tour, bringing absolutely memorable first-ever performances to all over the country. This week, they’re even going beyond that: the band has a European tour scheduled, which is starting this week and which will see them play Germany, The U.K., Poland, and Luxembourg. Sons of ABB members or not, touring Europe on your first season out as a band is impressive. This past Sunday, The Allman Betts Band finished their U.S tour in the sleepy, artsy locale of Norwalk, Connecticut, and it was a pretty fine ending to the run. Norwalk came out in huge spirit, packing relatively new venue The Wall St. Theatre to the brim, and the band’s energy and enthusiasm was matched all night long.
But no doubt, in and around their own tunes, the band offered a small portion of The Allman Brothers catalogue. In the the early part of the show, it was an unexpected “Ain’t Wasting Time No More” that pleased the crowd big time. Coupled with a take on Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky,” and then eventually a surprisingly nice version of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” the band showed they could blend their own dusty, soulful sound with a versatility and make just about any song shine. Devon Allman did mention midway through the show: “We’re calling a lot of audibles tonight, because we just want to keep giving you more stuff!”
Towards the end of the show, it was a heavy-hitter version of “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” that won The Wall St Theatre over big time. This dynamite instrumental was the time for the keyboardist to shine, who powered through a lengthy, jaw-dropping solo that had people cheering in support. Rivaling that for standout moment of the show, though, was the band’s jam with special guest JD Simo, a raggedly powerful, bluesy jaunt that had four electric guitars squaring off in an mind-melting meeting of sonic intensity.
From their first standout debut performance at The Brooklyn Bowl, to this last one in Norwalk, The Allman Betts Band have rocked their first time out, big time. If you didn’t catch a show time around, get on it when they’re back stateside. They will be, from the sounds and looks of crowds throughout this first tour. Most of them will agree: The Allman Betts are on their way already to being one of those great bands, for the long run.