Blues Traveler with The Derek Trucks Band: 7/30/2005

Bele Chere was an annual street fair that used to happen in downtown Asheville (the city stopped having it in 2013). They would close off the streets, and have artists, vendors, and stages set up for musicians. Generally, all the music was free, and over the years I saw some cool acts, like Cracker, Grace Potter, the Old 97s, and Southern Culture on the Skids.

Anyway, in 2005, the powers that be decided to try adding a “paid” performance to the festival. This pissed off a lot of purists who felt that all the music should be free, but I didn’t mind paying the $15. I figured it was worth it to see two bands, and I have never seen Blues Traveler before, so I figured it would be worth checking them off the list.

Derek Trucks Band opened the show, and as always, he was tremendous on the guitar. He played a nice long set that included Count M’Butu sitting in on the congas, and Susan Tedeschi joined him on stage for a song, which was cool.

Afterwards, Blues Traveler took the stage. I really wanted to like them, because I like their studio stuff, but they were just not that interesting live. Even with Count M’Butu and Derek Trucks joining them on stage, it was just… OK. Maybe it was that Derek Trucks is a tough act to follow. God knows I wouldn’t want to get up on stage following his slide guitar playing. Bottom line, Blues Traveler didn’t suck, they were just not as good as I had hoped they would be. A little bit of a let-down, but glad I got to see them and check them off the list.

Here are the setlists from each act.

Derek Trucks Setlist:

(Count M’Butu  on congas for entire show)

  • Volunteered Slavery
  • I’ll Find My Way
  • Crow Jane
  • Sahib Teri Bandi >
  • Maki Madni
  • Leavin’ Trunk
  • I Wish I Knew (with Susan Tedeschi)
  • Kam-ma-lay
  • Joyful Noise
  • Going Down Slow
  • Feel So Bad
  • Gonna Move
  • My Favorite Things

Blues Traveler Setlist:

  • Carolina Blues
  • Back in the Day (with Count M’Butu)
  • Hook (with Count M’Butu)
  • No Woman, No Cry (with Count M’Butu and Derek Trucks)
  • Partner in Crime
  • Nail
  • Thinnest of Air
  • Amber Awaits
  • Stand
  • Manhattan Bridge
  • The Mountains Win Again
  • Run-Around
  • NY Prophesie

Encore:

  • Can’t Win True Love
  • Brother John
Advertisements

Jethro Tull: 4/30/2002

I’m pretty sure this was my first concert after moving to Asheville, although I might have seen Moe Tucker from the Velvet Underground first (I don’t have a stub from that show and I can’t recall when it was). Anyway, I’ve always been a Tull fan, so I figured I had to go and see them again. I hate to say it, but I was disappointed.

Having seen Jethro Tull in the late 70s, it was tough to live up to that experience. Even so, this performance was just downright sad, in my opinion.

I went by myself, since funds were tight at that time and my wife opted to pass. So I was very focused on the band’s playing, which seemed to lack enthusiasm, especially on the standards. It was almost like, “Yeah, here’s your Cross-Eyed Mary.” There were a few exceptions, most notably was “Pibroch (Cap in Hand),” which I thought was great. Martin Barre’s guitar work on that one was phenomenal. But by the time the show was over, I was yawning. As I exited alone, I recalled an article I had read years back that criticized Tull and called them Jethro Dull. I felt a little sad that the creative and powerful prog rockers that were such a huge part of my musical upbringing had lost their edge. It happens.

I would go on to see Ian Anderson solo, and Martin Barre solo too after this, and I really enjoyed both of those. If the band reunited, I’d consider seeing them again, just on the hope that they might rekindle their earlier spark.

Here’s the setlist from the show.

Setlist:

  • Aqua-Intro
  • Living in the Past
  • Cross-Eyed Mary
  • Roots to Branches
  • Jack-in-the-Green
  • Thick as a Brick
  • Hunt by Numbers
  • Elegy
  • A Song for Jeffrey
  • The Water Carrier
  • The Secret Language of Birds
  • Wond’ring Aloud
  • Pibroch (Cap in Hand)
  • A New Day Yesterday
  • Boris Dancing
  • Budapest
  • Mayhem Jig
  • Aqualung
  • Locomotive Breath
  • Sweet Dream
  • Protect and Survive
  • Cheerio

Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party: 9/10/2007

So I appreciate a good freak show as much as the next person, which is why I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party in a club setting, especially since it was only $18. I had seen Jane’s Addiction, but had never seen Porno for Pyros. I figured this would be some short-lived side project, so I had better not miss it. I got tickets for my wife and I, since she also likes Farrell and had not seen him in any of his musical incarnations.

Not surprising, the place was packed with freaks, so we blended in easily enough. Couldn’t tell you anything about the opening act. They were obviously forgettable.

When Farrell came on stage and opened the show with “Stop!” the place went bonkers. Everyone was dancing and having a blast. The set was short, but high quality, including classics from Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros, as well as new material. Normally, I’d feel a little rooked by a short set, but not this night. I was happy with the songs they played, the price was cheap, and I was home at a reasonable time.

Here’s the full setlist.

Setlist:

  • Stop!
  • Kinky
  • Insanity Rains
  • Mountain Song
  • Hard Life Easy
  • Been Caught Stealing
  • Only Love, Let’s Celebrate
  • Wish Upon a Dog Star
  • Pets
  • Ultra Payloaded Satellite Party
  • Jane Says

Warren Haynes Christmas Jam – Night Two: 12/13/2008

This was the second night of the 20th Anniversary Christmas Jam. While the first night was long and epic, the second night proved to be even longer and more jam packed.

I basically went solo this night. My wife could only handle one night of jams, but I had friends who were there so I was able to hang out with them for most of the night (although they did leave early, and I stayed to the very end, which was around 4:30 am). The headliners for this night were Steve Earle, Johnny Winter, Coheed and Cambria, Michael Franti, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, John Paul Jones, and Gov’t Mule. In addition, there was a plethora of guest musicians forming impromptu groups and sitting in with the other bands.

When Warren opened the show, playing an acoustic number with Ruthie Foster, he informed the crowd that there would be something special at the end of the night, and to make sure to stay. I did not need much convincing.

After that, the “Xmas Jam Band” played for a while, playing some great songs and bring up lots of special guests.

Steve Earle played next. He was really good and I gained a whole new level of appreciation for his music.

Not long after Earle, Johnny Winter took the stage. I had seen him once years ago, and it was not his best night, but it felt kind of special to see him this time. He was pretty sickly, and was literally assisted out on the stage and placed in a chair. Then his classic Gibson Firebird was brought out and placed in his hands, and he proceeded to wail. This would be my last time seeing the legendary bluesman, may he rest in peace.

Next up was Coheed & Cambria. I was kind of looking forward to seeing these guys because I’d heard great things about them, but I have to say, I was disappointed. Maybe they were having an off night, but they just didn’t do it for me.

Michael Franti followed, and he got the place on their feet and dancing. John Paul Jones (the great Led Zeppelin bassist), played with him for almost the entire set. While the friends I was did not care for his set, I personally really enjoyed it. Hey, to each their own.

Ben Harper performed next, and he was great. This was my first time seeing him, and he totally lived up to my expectations. The fact that I was still rockin’ in the early morning hours is a testament to his set.

Finally, the closing event of the night: Gov’t Mule’s set. They played a few cover tunes with some guest musicians, and then brought out John Paul Jones to do a mini Zeppelin set to close the night. Totally rocked the house!

It took me a couple days to recover from all that music, but it was well worth the lack of sleep. Here is the full setlist from the night’s multiple performances.

WARREN HAYNES & RUTHIE FOSTER:

  • Grinnin’ In Your Face

XMAS JAM BAND (Audley Freed, Jen Gunderman, Buddy Cage, Kevn Kinney, Fiddle Dave, Robert Kearns, Edwin McCain, Mickey Raphael):

  • Blues on Top of Blues
  • Straight To Hell
  • Free Fallin (w/ Patterson Hood)
  • Dreams To Remember (w/ Joan Osborne & Horns*)
  • TCB (w/ Robben Ford, Joan Osborne, Eric Krasno & Horns*)
  • Chain of Fools (w/ Ruthie Foster, Robben Ford, Joan Osborne, Karl Denson, Ron Holloway, Eric Krasno)
  • When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (w/ Joan Osborne, Warren Haynes & Horns*)
  • Tumblin’ Dice (w/ Ruthie Foster)

* Karl Denson, Ron Holloway, Derrick Johnson, Craig Sorrells

STEVE EARLE:

  • Copperhead Road
  • Christmas In Washington
  • My Old Friend The Blues
  • Guitar Town (w/ Warren Haynes)
  • Gotta Serve Somebody (w/ Warren Haynes, Steve Earle, Joan Osborne, Travis Tritt & Ruthie Foster)
  • Brand New Companion (w/ Mickey Raphael & Warren Haynes)

GROUP SONG:

  • Serve Somebody

JOHNNY WINTER:

  • Paul Nelson Jam (Intro)
  • Hideaway
  • Blackjack
  • I Used To Love Her But It’s All Over Now (w/ Warren Haynes)
  • Mojo Boogie

COHEED AND CAMBIRA:

  • No World For Tomorrow
  • Gravemakers & Gunslingers
  • Mother Superior
  • Favor House Atlantic (acoustic)
  • I Shall Be Released (w/ Warren Haynes)
  • Welcome Home (w/ Warren Haynes)

MICHAEL FRANTI & JAY BOWMAN (FRED ELTRINGHAM ON DRUMS):

  • Love Don’t Wait (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford & Mickey Raphael)
  • Sweet Little Lies (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford & Mickey Raphael)
  • All I Want Is You (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford, Mickey Raphael & Eric Krasno)
  • Hey World (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford, Mickey Raphael & Eric Krasno)
  • I Got Love For You (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford, Mickey Raphael & Ron Holloway)
  • Say Hey

BEN HARPER & RELENTLESS 7:

  • Number No Name
  • Shimmer
  • Lay There
  • Better Way
  • Fly 1 Time
  • Keep It Together
  • Dressed In Black
  • Boots
  • Up To You Now
  • Good Times, Bad Times (w/ John Paul Jones)

GOV’T MULE:

  • Southern Man (w/ Patterson Hood)
  • Lively Up Yourself (w/ Karl Denson & Robben Ford)
  • Simple Man (w/ Travis Tritt)
  • Livin’ Lovin’ Maid (w/ John Paul Jones)
  • Since I’ve Been Loving You (w/ John Paul Jones)
  • No Quarter (w/ John Paul Jones on keys & Audley Freed)
  • The Ocean (w/ John Paul Jones on bass, Ben Harper & Mike Barnes)
  • When The Levee Breaks (w/ Ben Harper & John Paul Jones on bass)

King Crimson: 2/28/2003

For me, King Crimson sort of holds a mythical place in the world of rock music. They were definitely at the forefront of the prog movement, so when I saw they were coming to town, and playing a very small venue, I didn’t hesitate to grab tickets. My brother also wanted to go, so I grabbed a ticket for him and made plans for him to come to town for the concert.

This show was part of the Power To Believe tour. The album and tour featured some incredible musicians:

  • Robert Fripp – guitar, mastering, production
  • Adrian Belew – guitar, vocals, lyrics
  • Pat Mastelotto – electronic drumming, hybrid acoustic
  • Trey Gunn – Warr guitar

I had seen Adrian Belew perform with David Bowie, and he was amazing, so I was looking forward to seeing him again. And as a guitarist, I was really psyched to see the legendary Robert Fripp.

The concert was somewhat short, but the quality of the music made up for that. Technically, they were as impressive as I expected them to be. Fripp was a little strange, and occasionally would walk off stage for reasons unknown, but he always returned and stoically ripped through his scales.

The only thing that was a little disappointing for me was that the song choice was limited to three albums:   The Power to Believe, The ConstruKction of Light, and THRAK. I really thought they would do at least one song from Discipline, and I would have loved to see them play “21st Century Schizoid Man,” but alas—Fripp plays what Fripp wants to play. Anyway, it was still a killer show. Here’s the setlist.

Setlist:

  • The ConstruKction of Light
  • ProzaKc Blues
  • The Power to Believe I: A Cappella
  • Level Five
  • Eyes Wide Open
  • EleKtriK
  • Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With
  • The Power to Believe II: Power Circle
  • Facts of Life
  • The World’s My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (Part IV)

Encore:

  • The Power to Believe III: Deception of the Thrush
  • VROOOM
  • Dinosaur

Warren Haynes Christmas Jam: 12/21/2002

This was the first of what would be many Christmas Jams for me. Since this date, I have not missed a single Christmas Jam (15 years so far, and counting). The Christmas Jam is a benefit concert hosted by Warren Haynes and happens each year in his hometown of Asheville, NC. All money goes to Habitat for Humanity, and he always has a stellar lineup of musicians, who take turns jamming together in unique combinations. It is heaven for the music enthusiast.

At the time of this show, I had my own business, so I was working a lot. But I took the evening off and went to the show with my wife and business partner. We also bought tickets for staff as a holiday gift, though not all showed up (I think some sold the tickets and pocketed the money).

Anyway, it was a marathon musical evening. I was not able to stay until the end, but I lasted until after 1:00 am. Pretty much, I saw everyone except Gov’t Mule, which was fine with me, since I would see them almost every year after that.

Here is the list of bands and musical guests who performed.

Main Acts:

  • Gov’t Mule
  • Robert Randolph & The Family Band
  • Moe.
  • Bob Weir
  • John Hiatt and The Goners

Special Guests:

  • Rob Barraco
  • DJ Logic
  • Audley Freed
  • Jerry Joseph
  • Col. Bruce Hampton
  • Kevn Kinney
  • Sonny Landreth
  • John Molo
  • Edwin McCain
  • Dave Schools

I tried to find the setlists online, but no luck. High points I remember was Robert Randolph performing “Shake Your Hips” (a Rolling Stones classic) and Bob Weir’s set which included “Shakedown Street,” “Truckin’,” and “The Other One.”

Wish I had more to share. All I can say is it was a great time, and I was hooked on the Christmas Jam after my first taste.

Rock on!

Leftover Salmon and Snake Oil Medicine Show: 4/20/2004

I have only a vague recollection of this show. At the time, I had my own business, which required me to work an average of 60 to 70 hours per week, and I was in a constant state of exhaustion. But someone gave me a free ticket, and far be it from me to pass on free music, no matter how tired I am. So I went by myself to the show.

I had seen Leftover Salmon before at one of the H.O.R.D.E. Festivals, and I remember thinking it was better seeing them in a small venue. I had not seen Snake Oil Medicine Show, and what I remember about them, they were cool. But I was really beat. I ended up leaving early, not because of the music, but because I could barely stand on my feet.

It was not long afterwards that I closed my business.