Among us hardcore fans, there have been a few legendary runs in the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND‘s last stage, which lasted fromWarren Haynes’ return at the Beacon in March, 2001 until their final show at the same place on October 24, 2014. The three-night stand at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre September 24-26, 2004, part of a 35th anniversary tour, has been right up there, and for good reason. The band was in consistently excellent form, touring behind the still -new Hittin’ The Note and its fresh material, they were relaxed and settled into the very lovely Fox, which had a lot of the advantages of the Beacon and probably led a more laidback vibe. And they never slowed their momentum to welcome too many guests, which could sometimes hinder Beacon shows.
All of which is to say: the news that they are releasing all three shows as The Fox Box is damned good news! The shows were released by the then-nascent “Instant Live” program, contemporaneous recordings sold at shows and internet mail order only afterwards without much packaging or fanfare. All three shows are available digitally right now and can be pre-ordered in an 8-CD set. which will be available April 28, featuring a remastered audio mix as well as tightening up of the song spacing. If you already have the shows, you may want to consider getting the new version, which I am listening to right now and which sound tremendous. If you don’t have it, you definitely want to get this set.
These three September 2004 shows have a unique feature that I myself had forgotten: of the 53 songs performed, there is only one repeat, “Dreams,” played (three times), and each with a different guitar soloist: DEREK TRUCKS, WARREN HAYNES and JACK PEARSON. Jack’s version of the song is truly jaw-dropping.