The Allman Brothers Band and Phil Lesh and Friends combined summer tours Saturday at Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Ind. for a nostalgic blend of classic Southern Rock and Grateful Dead jams. While these two bands split the bill, tickets should have read "A Day of Warren Haynes" as he shared his musical gifts between both groups and the show's opener, his own band, Government Mule. \nPlaying a short, somewhat predictable set with Mule, Haynes warmed up his fingers and stretched his vocal chords. Before closing with "Soulshine," he opened his arms and raised them in thanks to his fans, drawing cheers from the crowd. It would be a long, seven-hour gig for Haynes, but the talented musician seemed up to the challenge.\nAfter a brief intermission, Haynes took the stage with the Allman Brothers Band, fronted by founding member Gregg Allman on keys. The Allmans opened their set with "Hot 'Lanta," an appropriate tune for a sultry, sticky summer afternoon. More recent songs by current members of the ABB filled the first half of the show, but the classic ABB style always prevailed; raspy vocals, raunchy blues riffs and skilled slide work. Before covering the Otis Redding tune "I've Been Loving You Too Long," Gregg gave the crowd a Macon, Ga. history lesson; founding ABB drummer Jaimoe formerly played with Redding, a fellow Maconite. \nGregg's voice complimented perfectly the soulful lyrics of Redding's tune, making this a highlight of the Allman's show. The band rounded out its set with some classic songs such as "Statesboro Blues," "Dreams" and "Ain't Waistin Time No More." Before covering Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man," Haynes and fellow guitarist Derek Trucks traded slide guitar solos with effortlessness and smooth character, neither one able to outdo the other.\nThe band closed its set with a new instrumental song, which lead into a lengthy drum solo featuring guest drummer Marc Quinones, Jaimoe and Butch Trucks. Butch left his kit and stepped up to a set of kettledrums, adding a deep, rolling rhythm to the jam. A harvest moon hovered over the eastern horizon as the ABB played a short, excited version of "Revival," capping its 18-song set. \nWith the setting sun came a cool breeze, and tye-dies soon replaced bare skin.\nThe crowd had been primed for Lesh, and to start his set, the founding bassist for the Grateful Dead began a jam with his "friends." Lesh soon picked up that the bass line for the tune "Cryptical Envelopment," and rarely did the music stop thereafter. \nLesh led most jams from one song to the next, playing tunes from his new album, "There and Back Again," and old Dead favorites such as "The Other One," "Sugaree" and the epic "Terrapin Station." To close the set, the band played "Not Fade Away," leaving the crowd stomping and clapping the beat during the encore break. \nBack on stage, Phil and Friends ended the day almost exactly as it began. Haynes took the spotlight, playing lead guitar and singing vocals on "The Real Thing," a song he wrote for Lesh's new album.
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