The Black Crowes and Gov’t Mule: 11/29/1996

I went to this show with my friend Greg, who was also the other guitarist in a band we were in at the time called The DV8s. Greg was a little reluctant to go to this show with me, because Dike Dale was playing the same night at a dumpy little club in Miami. But after some convincing, he agreed to go with me, so we made the drive up to Broward County to see the show at the Sunrise Musical Theatre.

We had no idea that Gov’t Mule was also on the bill. In fact, although I was familiar with Warren Haynes as a guitarist, I had not even heard of this band. But we ran into a friend of mine in the lobby, and he was all stoked about the Mule, and told me it was Warren’s new band. I got excited too. Over the years, I would see Gov’t Mule many times, but this was the first time seeing them.

Anyway, we grabbed our seats and Mule opened the show. They were really really good! Powerful, a lot heavier than what I expected, having only seen Warren with the Allman’s and solo. And you can’t go wrong opening with a Zappa tune.

After a short intermission, The Black Crowes took the stage. They were great, and the crowd was psyched. But there was a moment there when Chris Robinson got pissed and stopped the show. Some asshole in the crowd had a laser pointer and was shining it at the stage, and I guess zapping Chris in the eyes. He stopped mid song and yelled at the unknown light-saber wielding jerk, cursing and making threats. I can’t blame him. The incident did not surprise me, though. South Florida concert fans were notoriously rude.

After the show, Greg was still focused on trying to see Dick Dale. He calculated that if we drove straight to Churchill’s Hideaway in Miami, we could make it in time. I was never one to pass up on some live rock and roll, and I did want to see the King of the Surf Guitar, so we went for it and made a bee-line to Churchill’s. We paid the admission at the door (so no ticket stub) and squeezed in. Dick Dale was great, but SO FUCKING LOUD! I love some loud guitar as much as the next person, but this was actually painful. I considered leaving, but like an idiot, I stayed. I do not exaggerate when I say that my ears were ringing for three days afterwards. I genuinely thought I had permanently damaged my hearing. Maybe I did. But the ringing eventually subsided.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I found the setlists for both Gov’t Mule and the Black Crowes from that night. Here they are. Rock on!

Gov’t Mule Setlist:

  • Pygmy Twylyte
  • Blind Man in the Dark
  • Mother Earth
  • Game Face
  • Birth of the Mule
  • Grinnin’ in Your Face
  • Mule

Black Crowes Setlist:

  • One Mirror Too Many
  • Sting Me
  • Evil Eye
  • High Head Blues
  • Girl From a Pawnshop
  • Wiser Time
  • Ballad In Urgency
  • Hotel Illness
  • Mr. Spaceman
  • Nothing Love Everything
  • Black Moon Jam
  • Black Moon Creeping
  • Big Time
  • Hard To Handle


  • Sometimes Salvation
  • Twice as Hard

7 thoughts on “The Black Crowes and Gov’t Mule: 11/29/1996

  1. Lot’s of gaming guitars this night! That Mule tune Blindman in the Dark is wickedly fantastic!
    Crowes as well. I caught them 3 years earlier (1993) and they were great but were beyond Kentucky Fried at that point….
    Course they were probably wondering where the fuck they were that night? hahaha…
    Rich Robinson called our little city a Butt Fuck town in the press which was even funnier. But you’re welcome Rich. We all made a donation to your band that night…

    Here’s the article from VOX Magazine July 1993…

    You take a bumfuck town in America or Canada versus a small town in
    Europe, and there will always be a lot more going on in Europe,”
    declares Rich Robinson, The Black Crowes’ guitarist. “I mean, take a
    look at this place. It’s insane!” The Black Crowes have just spent
    two days in Thunder Bay, a small, culturally-bereft town in Canada’s
    Mid- West, where the winter ice has yet to melt into spring, and
    local action is restricted to one decent bar, a bowling alley, a few
    coffee shops and a very occasional visit from a rock band. The
    emphasis is definitely on ‘occasional’, as singer Chris Robinson, his
    actress girlfriend, Lala, and bassist Johnny Colt discover when they
    decide to spend an evening at the cinema. The promised ‘Movie
    Theatre’ turns out to be a tiny room with a screen not much bigger
    than a TV. set and, not surprisingly, the gathered crowd find Chris
    (garbed in his usual brand of ’60s and ’70s rock chic), Lala (tall,
    blonde and definitely NOT from the Mid- West) and Johnny (dark
    and foreboding beneath his trademark Stetson) much more interesting
    than the advertised feature. Unable to ignore the burning stares, the
    trio exchange horrified glances, then turn and flee. The following
    night, in front of 3,000 kids in the town’s Fort William Gardens,
    Chris Robinson serves up the kind of remedy he’s prescribed to the
    citizens of Bumfuckvilles the world over. “We’ve got this thing we
    wanna give you,” he roars. “We like to call it a musical lubricant–
    y’know, so you can ease yourself on into the evening. That’s what
    this is man, a piece of music that represents a lubricant. I hope you
    dig it!” As The Black Crowes kick into the ten-minute intro to ‘Thorn
    In My Pride’, it’s obvious that Chris Robinson is thinking of a very
    different kind of Coverdale might have recommended when Whitesnake
    released Slide It In during 1984.

    Liked by 1 person

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