Warren Haynes’ 29th Christmas Jam: 12/9/2017

The Warren Haynes Christmas Jam has become a holiday tradition for me. I have gone every year since 2002, so this makes 16 years in a row that I have attended.

This year’s lineup was solid right from the initial announcement. That coupled with the fact that the Jam has gained national publicity over the years made getting tickets this year a bit of a challenge. Additionally, almost all of the seats were reserved this year, meaning that general admission was standing room on the floor, or obstructed view behind the stage. Since I am too old now to stand up for an 8-hour concert, I decided to get in line early and purchase reserved seats.

I got to the box office about 9:00 am on the day the tickets were going on sale (on-sale time was noon). I was the first in line, which pretty much ensured I would get seats. The next person in line, who showed up not long afterwards, would not stop talking to me. Now I’m a bit of an introvert, so after 15 minutes of listening to this guy blabber I was starting to feel uncomfortable. After 30 minutes, I was ready to lose it. Thankfully, my friend Robert showed up and took a shift in line, allowing me time to go home, do a little work, and then return as it was closer to on-sale time.

The box office started selling tickets about 15 minutes prior to when they went on sale to people via the internet, which was great. Even so, there was a lot of tension in the line and tempers flared because the line was not moving fast enough. Robert and I were glad to get our tickets quickly, and then we walked to a nearby vegetarian restaurant for some lunch.

The concert sold out that day, and the reserved seats were gone within minutes. What really sucked was that reserved seats immediately became available through “third-party vendors” for over $300 per ticket, four times the cost of the $75 seat. I really despise scalpers!

On the day of the show, I went with my wife and daughter, and it was quite nice to not have to stand in line for hours to get a seat, which I had to do in the past when it was all general admission. We showed up 30 minutes before showtime, walked right in, got our seats, and started enjoying the music.

As I expected, there was a lot of Allman Brothers music performed. Warren was a long-time member of the Allman Brothers Band, and I knew that Gregg’s passing would inspire a tribute. All the music was excellent, although I thought Margo Price was a little weak. Her vocals were powerful, but her songs were just not that interesting. The high points for me were Jake Shimabukuro on ukulele (mindblowing!); Les Bros performing an Allman Brothers tribute; and Ann Wilson from Heart singing with Gov’t Mule (heavy on the Led Zeppelin). Trey Anastasio and The Avett Brothers were also outstanding, so all in all, a great night of music.

My wife and daughter got tired around midnight, so they left at that point. I stayed until 3:00 am, to the very end. After my family left, I went and sat with my friend Robert, who was kind enough to give me a ride home after the show. I could have walked, but it was bitter cold and I was very grateful not to be dealing with icy winds in the early morning hours.

Anyway, here is the full setlist from the evening’s marathon musical event. Rock on, and have a rockin’ New Year!

Setlist

Holly Bowling (pre-show)

  • St. Stephen >
  • Free
  • Proxima B
  • Cassidy
  • Little Martha

Warren Haynes & Jake Shimabukuro

  • Melissa
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Jake solo)
  • Dragon (Jake solo)

Margo Price

  • Nowhere Fast
  • Tennessee Song
  • Wild Women
  • Hurtin’ (On the Bottle)
  • Learning to Lose
  • All American Made
  • Paper Cowboy

Holly Bowling & Jake Shimabukuro

  • Bird Song >
  • 6/8
  • Hallelujah

Blackberry Smoke

  • Fire in the Hole
  • Let It Burn
  • Waiting for the Thunder
  • Free on the Wing (w/Benji Shanks, guitar)
  • Ain’t Got the Blues (w/Benji Shanks, guitar)
  • Will the Circle Be Unbroken Intro >
  • Ain’t Much Left of Me

The Avett Brothers

  • Blue Ridge Mountain Blues
  • Cigarettes
  • Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women
  • Country Blues
  • Laundry Room
  • Paranoia in B Flat
  • No Hard Feelings

Warren Haynes

  • If We Make It Through December (w/The Avett Brothers)
  • You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (w/The Avett Brothers)
  • Southern Accents (w/Ann Wilson)
  • I Am the Highway (w/Ann Wilson and Jake Shimabukuro)

 

Trey Anastasio

  • Gotta Jibboo
  • Burn That Bridge
  • Everything’s Right
  • Aqui Como Alla
  • Sand
  • Dark and Down
  • Set Your Soul Free
  • First Tube

Warren Haynes

  • Miss You (w/Trey Anastasio)
  • Midnight Rider (w/Trey Anastasio)
  • Morning Dew (w/Holly Bowling)

Les Bros (Marc Quinones, Warren Haynes, Paul Riddle, Lamar Williams Jr., Bruce Katz, Jorgen Carlsson)

  • Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
  • In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (w/Mike Barnes, guitar)
  • Southbound (w/Mike Barnes, guitar; Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, guitar; and Craig Sorrels, trumpet)
  • Blue Sky (w/Charlie Starr, guitar)
  • Dreams (w/Marcus King, guitar)
  • Whipping Post (w/Marcus King, guitar)

Marcus King

  • Remember
  • Jealous Man (w/ Stephen Campbell)
  • Where I’m Headed (w/Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, guitar and Stephen Campbell)
  • Rita Is Gone (w/ Stephen Campbell, Dean Mitchell, Kyle Snuffer & Craig Sorrels)
  • Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (w/Craig Sorrels, trumpet, Stephen Campbell, Dean Mitchell, Kyle Snuffer, Charlie Starr)

Gov’t Mule

  • Traveling Tune
  • Thorns of Life
  • No Quarter (w/Ann Wilson, vocals)
  • Black Dog (w/Ann Wilson, vocals)
  • Cry Baby (w/Ann Wilson, vocals)
  • Mother Earth (w/Ann Wilson, vocals) >
  • You Shook Me (w/Ann Wilson, vocals
  • Immigrant Song (w/Ann Wilson, vocals)
  • Magic Man (w/Ann Wilson, vocals)
  • Mule (w/Craig Sorrels, trumpet)

Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam: 12/12/2015

ChristmasJam_12-12-15

Warren Haynes, former guitarist with the Allman Brothers and currently with Gov’t Mule, has been hosting the Christmas Jam in Asheville for 27 years now. The Jam is a benefit concert that raises money for Habitat for Humanity and Warren invites a slew of artists to participate in the marathon event. I’ve been attending this show every year since moving to Asheville, so if my fuzzy math serves me well, that makes 13 years that I have been going to the Jam.

This year’s show sold out fast, boasting a solid lineup. Unfortunately, one of the performers who I was REALLY looking forward to seeing—Joe Bonamassa—had to cancel. In spite of that, it was a great show.

I went with my wife and we met a group of friends (Perry, Philip, Devorah, Mike, and Bob) and we secured a row for ourselves on the left side of the stage, which afforded us a great view.

The show began promptly at 6:45 with Love Canon, a fun bluegrass act who plays bluegrass versions of 80’s pop hits. They played between acts while the crew was setting up and breaking down equipment. After a few songs, Warren came out and played a great acoustic version of George Harrison’s “Give Me Love.”

After Warren, we had an electric set from Hot Tuna, one of my favorite bands. Hot Tuna was formed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the guitarist and bass player from the Jefferson Airplane. They were great, but too short, playing a mere five songs if memory serves me well.

After Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby played an acoustic set. It was good, but strange. I had seen Hornsby several times and this was the first time I had seen him that he did not play any piano, playing dulcimer for the entire set. It was not what I expected, but I feel like I got to see something that most people will never have the opportunity to experience.

Next up was the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who were the highlight of the evening in my opinion. They were incredible! The energy was so high and the musicianship was so impressive, I was kind of dumbstruck. If you have never seen this band and have the opportunity, do not pass it up.

Following TTB was Dawes. I was not too familiar with them, but I knew they were somewhat popular. They were OK in my opinion, but not great. They also seemed less interesting following such an outstanding performance. They did a nice version of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” to close their set, which was fun.

The next act to perform was Blackberry Smoke. Personally, I was not impressed with this band, at all. I know they are very popular, but they were not my thing and their sound was wretched, which did not make things any better. My friend Bill texted me during their performance and called them Black Pickup Exhaust, which caused a chuckle.

It was now getting late in the evening, and the Doobie Brothers took the stage. They opened with “Jesus is Just Alright” and played one hit after another. I loved their show! You knew every song and the crowd was singing along. It was fun and brought back lots of memories for me. The Doobies were huge when I was growing up, and I listened to “Black Water” over and over as a kid. They were a close second to Tedeschi Trucks, in my humble opinion.

The Doobies finished about 1:30 am. Warren’s band was still scheduled to play, but by this time I was tired. Since I have seen Warren more times than I can count, I decided to skip the last set and get some much-needed sleep. I heard it was good, but looking at the set list, I could tell I didn’t miss anything special.

Just to give you all a taste of the Christmas Jam, here is a video that my good friend Robert made: Tedeschi Trucks Band with Warren Haynes joining them on guitar. Enjoy!