-- The Allman Brothers Band is gearing up to launch its latest, and possibly last, annual residency at New York City's Beacon Theatre. The legendary Southern rock outfit kicks things off on Friday night, and has a total of 14 shows scheduled at the famed venue through March 29. The Allmans also are planning to commemorate their 45th anniversary during the Beacon run, which promises to be something of a bittersweet celebration.
The group's future is uncertain beyond the end of 2014, when the band's longtime guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks will be leaving to focus on their own projects. Haynes and founding Allmans drummer Butch Trucks sat down with ABC News Radio this week to chat about the band's 2014 concerts at the Beacon Theatre. Warren reveals that in conjunction with the 45th anniversary, "There's going to be a lot of surprises, even to us," adding that "there are going to be people who show up and wind up on stage unexpectedly."
Continuing about the special guests, Haynes says there are "a lot of people that have expressed interest in coming -- some people that are already lined up and some that will just kind of come out of the woodwork."
Warren also says fans who attend the Beacon shows can expect to be treated to a different set list every night.
"The mission is to play as many songs over the 14 nights as possible," he explains. "Obviously that's not quite as important as playing the ones we play well, but we do love the challenge of seeing how many songs we can play."
While he won't divulge specific tunes, Haynes reports that the Allmans' Beacon sets will feature "some songs the band hasn't played for a long time," as well as "a few covers" and revamped renditions of more familiar Allmans tunes.
Butch Trucks, meanwhile, tells ABC News Radio that what he's most looking forward to about the Beacon residency is, simply, getting to play there again.
"There's nothing like it. The Beacon [is] like being home," he declares. "The acoustics are incredible. The crowd is incredible. We just don't have bad nights there."
Like Warren, Butch points out that he also enjoys the fact that the band gets to play so much different material during the residency.
"People come many nights and…we're there for 14 shows this year, so we can experiment a lot more and play tunes that we don't play all the time," notes Trucks. He adds that nobody has brought any brand-new tunes for the group to work up, although the Allmans have prepared "about four or five [songs] that nobody's heard in years."
The Allman Brothers Band's 2014 Beacon Theatre concerts are nearly completely sold out. The shows are scheduled for March 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28 and 29.
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