Walking into a capacity-filled, 100-year-old venue, Gregg Allman had once again come home to Macon, GA. The Cox Capitol Theatre has played host to many great shows over the decades, but this one was different.
Due to a postponement of The Laid Back Festival in Atlanta on Saturday, May 7th, Gregg came to Macon to play for some of his biggest fans in the country, so many of whom have seen Gregg play shows since The Allman Brothers Band formed in 1969 and made Macon their home. The stories being told in front of the venue as the crowd waited for the doors to open harkened back to a simple time in rock and roll and life. “I saw them for free at Central City Park one Sunday afternoon in 1970 and it changed my life,” said one guest. Another mentioned seeing Duane Allman at The H&H Restaurant one day when the band was home from their relentless touring schedule.
Fans of The Allman Brothers Band are a family. Referring to one another as “brother” or “sister” is part of the everyday verbiage within this tight-knit community. Citing shows they saw, moments in time and a spectacular story that has now become folklore of rock and roll is a true bonding experience. They discuss the excesses, the highs and lows, the major success and the impact on rock and roll touring that the Allman Brothers created and defined.
This show marked Gregg’s return to Macon for the second time in 2016, and it sold out in under three hours. The legion of fans were notified about this show only two weeks prior to the performance, which shows how an icon like Gregg Allman can still pack the house.
The band hit the stage just after 9:00 and launched into “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’” to warm up the excited crowd. The shimmering “Queen of Hearts” from Laid Back, Gregg’s first solo album, and the rollicking “I’m No Angel” were surrounded by Allman Brothers Band staples like “Black Hearted Woman,” “Hot ’Lanta,” “Please Call Home,” “Dreams,” and “One Way Out,” which were all triumphantly brilliant including a guest appearance by Charlie Starr of Black Berry Smoke. The passionate group of brothers and sisters sang along to every tune, and wild cheers of applause filled the hall as the show came to end with “Southbound,” two hours later.
High fives, hugs, and screams of joy could be seen and heard as the house lights came up, marking the end of yet another epic Gregg Allman show. As the sidewalk filled with fans, it was evident that all of them were blown away by the performance. Crew members commented after the show that, “The band really brought it tonight!” Clearly, the group had stepped up to the high expectations of the die-hard Macon fans. In this area of the country, where The Allman Brothers Band name can be heard daily and memories from years ago are still fresh, Gregg Allman and his band made some new memories for all of those in attendance. Everyone is already looking forward to next time!