Gov’t Mule brought their Come What May spring tour to the State Theatre in Minneapolis on Thursday night. The Mule are touring to support the band’s latest studio release Revolution Come…Revolution Go album that will drop June 9th.
Full disclosure: I’ve got a man-crush on Warren Haynes. I’ve seen him with The Dickey Betts Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh And Friends, The Dead and of course with the Mule.
I even listen to his wife, Stef Scamardo, on satellite radio. This is not just a bromance, this is full on obsession. The list of artists he has collaborated with is staggering, and includes Garth Brooks, Corrosion of Conformity, Peter Frampton, Buckwheat Zydeco, Little Milton, Blues Traveler and The Pretty Reckless. This is just a short list to show how diverse a musician he is; I could fill the page with the artists this guy has jammed with. Hell, he even played on William Shatner’s album! This diversity was on full display Thursday night.
Mule came on at 8:10 and Warren greeted the crowd warmly. immediately took off for the stratosphere with the rocker World Boss. Haynes is backed Matt Abts on drums, Danny Louis on keyboards and Jorgen Carlsson on bass. The guys dipped deep into the Mule archives with 1995’s Left Coast Groovies. The crowd was a mix of tie dyed hippies and young professional couples, but no one was sitting during the show. The State Theatre staff has to be commended for allowing the fans to dance in the isles, and dance they did. One of the endearing qualities of Mule is their ability to cover other artist work and make their own. In a mini Zeppelin tribute, the boys did a smoking Since I’ve Been Loving You in the first set and an equally incendiary When The Levy Breaks in the second set. Funny Little Tragedy had a sweet Message In A Bottle jam in the middle of the song. The first set ended with a theater shaking Stone Cold Rage, a new tune off of the bands forthcoming album.
After a short break, Jorgen Carlsson laid the smack down with a thunderous bass barrage that opened Game Face. The 20-minute jam included Birdland and Mountain Jam teases. Soul Shine had the whole theater singing along, and was an awesome vehicle to highlight Haynes mastery of the fret board. Things slowed down a bit for Sarah, Surrender another tune off of the new album. Sarah Surrender went right into the drum solo, which stared with Matt Abts beating bongos and cymbals with his bare hands like they owed him money. The light show during the drums was a phenomenal, seizure inducing explosion of flash and color. Then it was another trip in the way back machine with I Think You Know What I Mean into When The Levee Breaks back into I Think You Know What I Mean. Haynes thorough command of the slide produces molten glass notes that rearrange the molecules of your brain cells. This evening was more than a guitar clinic though. The Mule proved that they are still are a band of tight, uber talented musicians who can seamlessly go from the “Deep End” of their archives to the brand new jams flawlessly.
Set 1: World Boss – Brand New Angel – Left Coast Groovies – Kings Highway > K.H. Jam – Since I’ve Been Loving You – Banks Of The Deep End – Stratus – Funny Little Tragedy > The Bed’s Too Big Without You > Message In A Bottle – Stone Cold Rage
Set 2: Game Face > Birdland > Mountain Jam – Soulshine > Fools Moon – No Need To Suffer – Sarah, Surrender > Drums > I Think You Know What I Mean > When The Levee Breaks > I Think You Know What I Mean – Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground
Encore: Traveling Tune – Long As I Can See The Light