“Live at the Fillmore” to play Historic Masonic Theater

(Music intro.)

If those notes bring back some memories, and feel like a cure for any mid-March cold weather cabin fever, then consider “Live at the Fillmore”, actually live at the Masonic Theater in Clifton Forge on Saturday night, the 18th. This band is the closest thing you may ever hear to the Allman Brothers Band, a group of musicians considered by some to be the “house band” of producer Bill Graham’s Fillmore East and West Concert Halls in the late sixties and seventies. This band covers all of the songs of the Allman Brothers from their early years before the loss of Duane Allman in 1971 and Berry Oakley in 1972. I spoke with Lou Maresca, lead and manager about their upcoming visit to the Allegheny Highlands.

“We’re looking forward to it because it looks like a beautiful theater, the Masonic Theater. I’ve read up on it, about all the work that they’ve done, and the beaux arts style of the place, and it looks gorgeous. We’ve played a number of restored theaters like this place, and they’re always great to play in. They typically sound great. They’re really warm. You just get a nice feel from being inside them, and we’re looking forward to it. I mean we always have a great show. Our audiences are great.”

Lou went on to tell me about several shows they have lined up in the week after their date in Clifton Forge. They’ll be playing in San Diego and San Francisco, and at the Whiskey a Go-Go in West Hollywood California. This is part of a series on “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands” that can be viewed live on Access TV, Wednesday March 29th.

Bands from the Allman Brothers Era are sometimes referred to as “jam bands”. Lou Maresca looks at it more like this:

“My perspective on the music is that rather than free-form in its structure, form and content, it is a body of work largely composed after much trial and error, and ‘jamming’ in order to extract those elements which ultimately become part of the finished songs. Anyone (like myself) who had the good fortune to hear the Allman Brothers Band ‘back in the day’ on the same or successive nights will corroborate that though they did leave room for improvisation and personal expression, for the most part the songs remained the same. This has continued to be our approach to performing their music.”

Now, in a whole new century, that sound is coming to the restored Masonic Theater in Clifton Forge at 7:30 in the evening, Saturday the 18th of March. Tickets range from thirteen to thirty dollars depending on where you like to sit. They can be purchased on line ahead of time, or at the door, if there are any still available.

In addition to playing music from artists they are dedicated to honoring, “Live at Fillmore” enjoys meeting their fans, and those of the Allman Brothers Band.

Lou Maresca concluded.

“One of the best things about having this band is people that we’ve met along the way since the band was put together. We’ve made some very, very good friends, really, really nice people.

The website of the Historic Masonic Theater in Clifton Forge has all the information you need to plan for a rockin’ evening, or they can be reached at (540) 862-5655.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather