Showmanship. Chuck Berry embodies it, the Circus breathes it, and that Bad Girl/Boy that you just can’t let go….owns it. Showmanship is the spirit that hordes your attention, steals your concentration and makes you curse yourself when your hear the gasp/roar/explosion of the audience at the very second you divert your attention to anything else other than the artist in action.
The Devon Allman Honeytribe show at Vinyl Music in Pensacola on September 24, 2010 was a study in showmanship.
The opening act for this show was Imaginary Airshow. Having witnessed the band perform recently in a smaller venue, I really wanted to see how their set translated on this stage and I’m here to tell you that they did not disappoint. They seemed more relaxed and less intense than the previous time I saw them and the concert lighting created another atmosphere of depth to their performance.
As Imaginary Airshow neared the finish of their set, the audience grew in number as the time for Devon Allman’s Honeytribe to take the stage was near. The wait between performers was minimal, yet there was ample time for the audience to grab a drink or talk to friends.
It only took Devon Allman’s Honeytribe a few seconds to command the Vinyl Music Hall stage. As soon as his Gibson Les Paul was slung over his body, the trio kicked into a highly entertaining night of music. It was clear that they came to put on a show and the audience reciprocated the gesture, note for note. Being the son of legendary Allman Brothers band founding member, Gregg Allman, it was obvious that the musical performance apple didn’t fall far from the tree. (Side note: Even though I love the Allman Brothers and their music, one of my favorite songs growing up was a solo single by Gregg Allman called “I’m No Angel.” It would be cool to see Devon do a duet and rock out that lead line with his father on piano.)
Now back to the show! Being only 5 ft., 7in. finding a good spot in an audience to watch a show is an arduous task for me. All it takes is one 6 ft. tall guy/or girl to ruin the view, but this is not the case with Vinyl. The stage is high and there is plenty of space to watch the performers. There isn’t a bad vantage point in the house. You can even watch the show as your ordering a drink on one of the many live feed television screens above the bar. Devon Allman could have easily stood in one spot the entire night and be seen by everybody there, but this takes us back to the theme of this story….Showmanship. Devon probably walked on every inch of that stage at least four times that night. From winking at individual members of the crowd to firmly planting his foot on the guard rail to get closer to the audience that was showing great appreciation for his work.
Every now and then, I would take a glimpse at the audience and check out the general vibe. I saw people smiling, couples dancing, and everyone having a good time. Definitely a memorable night, and in the end, showmanship is really about giving the audience something to remember.
Story & Pictures -by MLS