On this date in history, 5/18/2001, a friend at work had given me free tickets, so I found myself at Deer Creek in Noblesville watching The Charlie Daniels Band, .38 Special, and The Dickie Betts Band.
We arrived pretty late in Dickie’s set, but what we saw was excellent. I’m a huge Allman Brothers fan and had seen him with them a few times. It was good to see him fronting a good band and he played his guitar with authority that night.
Up next was .38 Special. I had seen them in the late ’70’s opening for Rush, but this was a much more natural fit for them, and this crowd roared approval of The Wild Eyed Southern Boys’ every tune.
They really do have a lot of hits and crowd pleasing singalong opportunities.
Girls were shaking it and the guys didn’t mind a bit! The Charlie Daniels Band impressed me much more than I anticipated. Lots of hits for them, also. One song that I wasn’t familiar with was a blues song featuring the keyboard player on lead vocals.
He had a great voice and the band played the blues like they were a blues band at heart and not country boys. Charlie did double duty, slaying on the Les Paul and his trademark fiddle. On “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” he substituted “son of a gun” for “son of a bitch” in the lyrics, which kind of bothered me, but he wrote the song, so I guess if he wants to censor himself, he has every right to.
They ended the show with a stellar cover of “Free Bird” that was the best version I have ever heard. They began the song playing the intro on twin guitars in harmony on the iconic slide guitar part. It was breathtaking and had the crowd mesmerized from beginning to end. Gotta love a free concert!
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic
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