It takes an aircraft-carrier of a release such as Live at the Beacon Theatre to remind us just how unique the Allman Brothers Band always was and still is. Traditionally a byword for down-home R&B/country blues-rock, the reality is that the band's gigantic sound is almost a musical form in itself. Make no mistake, the Allmans are still making big music, now with a two-guitar front line as well as their trademark two-drummer rhythm section (augmented these days with an additional percussionist), plus Gregg Allman's Hammond cutting through all of this like a serrated knife. The only anomaly is his voice, which has always had a strange, recessed quality, as though he sings without actually breathing. That said, his vocal style is a distinctive element of what the band's all about, so hey. This release offers a massive set filmed in New York in March 2003 which is chock-full of things you'll need to hear (especially "Desdemona" and "Whipping Post"). The concert footage alone lasts about three hours and the whole thing is immaculately produced without detracting from the atmosphere of the event in any way. Never mind the ponytails, the Allmans give you the whole pony.