Warren Haynes 21st Christmas Jam: 12/12/2009

Another year, and another Christmas Jam. This one was special for me because my wife and I took our older daughter, along with some of her friends. This was the only Christmas Jam that she attended with us, and I have great memories of how excited she and her friends were.

The lineup for this show was a little more eclectic than most jams. The main acts included:

  • Counting Crows
  • Ani DiFranco
  • Gov’t Mule
  • moe.
  • George Porter Jr.
  • Eric Krasno
  • Nigel Hall & Adam Deitch
  • Stax Records Legend William Bell

In addition, there was a nice group of guest musicians who augmented the headliners.

Special Guests:

  • Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford
  • Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews
  • Jeff Austin
  • Mike Barnes
  • DJ Logic
  • Jackie Greene
  • Col. Bruce Hampton
  • Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic
  • Kevn Kinney
  • Collective Soul’s Ed Roland

Counting Crows was definitely cool. They did a cover of The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers” medley, which was excellent. I also enjoyed Ani DiFranco. She is someone that I probably never would have paid to see by herself, but she was better than I expected. Glad to be able to check her off the list. William Bell was also really great. I wasn’t familiar with him, but was very impressed with his performance.

At one point, I took all the youngsters down onto the floor for a bit, while my wife held the seats. While on the floor, Brad Whitford joined some musicians on stage and did a cool version of “Last Child,” one of my fav songs from Aerosmith’s “Rocks” album. As we were cramped into the floor space, I noticed some older freak offering his pipe to one of the younger girls I was chaperoning. I caught his eye and gave him a look that basically said, “You’ll most regret doing that.” He heeded the silent warning and melted back into the sea of people.

As always, the show went on until the wee hours of the morning. I was not able to find all the setlists, but I found a few. Here are the ones I was able to locate. Rock on!

Setlists:

Ani DiFranco:

  • Anticipate
  • Untouchable Face
  • Manhole
  • As Is
  • Present/Infant
  • Fuel (with Nigel Hall)
  • ¿Which Side Are You On? (with Warren Haynes & Jeff Austin)
  • Overlap (with Adam Deitch, George Porter Jr., Jeff Austin, Nigel Hall, Warren Haynes, Eric Krasno & Xmas Jam)

Counting Crows:

  • Round Here
  • Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End
  • Miami
  • Goodnight L.A.
  • 1492
  • Washington Square
  • A Long December
  • Rain King (with Warren Haynes)
  • With a Little Help From My Friends (with Warren Haynes & Jeff Austin)
  • Rain King (with Warren Haynes) (reprise)
  • This Land Is Your Land (with Warren Haynes)

Ed Roland:

  • The World I Know
  • Shine

George Porter Jr.:

  • Little Old Money Maker
  • Leave Me Alone (w/ Trombone Shorty )
  • Fire on the Bayou (w/Jimmy Herring, and Xmas Jam Horn Section)
  • Hard to Handle (w/William Bell, Audley Freed & Xmas Jam Horn Section)
  • Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday (w/William Bell, Warren Haynes, and Audley Freed)
  • You Don’t Miss Your Water (w/William Bell, Audley Freed, and Xmas Jam Horn Section)
  • Everybody Loves a Winner (w/William Bell, Audley Freed, and Xmas Jam Horn Section)
  • Born Under a Bad Sign (w/William Bell, Brad Whitford, Audley Freed, Xmas Jam Horn Section, and Warren Haynes)

Gov’t Mule:

  • Broke Down on the Brazos
  • Steppin’ Lightly
  • Railroad Boy
  • Frozen Fear
  • Devil Likes It Slow (with Jimmy Herring and Ron Holloway)
  • Patchwork Quilt (with Jimmy Herring and Fred Eltringham)
  • Sugaree (with Jackie Greene, Jimmy Herring & Fred Eltringham)
  • Don’t Let Me Down (with Jackie Greene and Fred Eltringham)
  • I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home (with Brad Whitford, Ron Holloway & Fred Eltringham)
  • Train Kept A-Rollin’ (with Brad Whitford and Fred Eltringham)
  • I Shall Be Released

Warren Haynes:

  • Wild Horses

moe.:

  • Captain America (with DJ Logic)
  • Tailspin
  • Together at Christmas
  • Z0Z (Zed Nought Z)
  • Happy Hour Hero (with Jimmy Herring)
  • George
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Yonder Mountain String Band: 4/7/2010

On my only trip (so far) to Portland OR, my wife and I thought it would be cool to check out a concert there. A friend of ours, who was from the area originally, recommended that we try to see a show at the Crystal Ballroom. He said it was an historic venue that has the only floating dance floor in the country. (Check out history on Wikipedia.) So I did a search before heading out there and saw that Yonder Mountain String Band was playing during our sojourn there, so I bought tickets.

The venue was very cool, and lived up to the hype. The dance floor rests upon a bunch of springs, so it moves along with the music, driven by the patrons who are dancing. It was a unique experience, for sure.

Although I had heard of YMSB, I was not really familiar with their music, but had a great time nonetheless. My wife and I danced and had a blast, although we did get tired and left a little early. We had not quite acclimated to the time difference.

Anyway, I managed to find the setlist online, so here ya go.

Set 1:

  • Intro
  • Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Boatman’s Dance
  • Pockets
  • Mental Breakdown
  • Blue Collar Blues
  • Fingerprint
  • Nothin’ But Nothin’
  • 40 Miles From Denver
  • Long Time
  • Rag Doll
  • Part 1 (Lord Only Knows)
  • Kentucky Mandolin
  • No Expectations

Set 2:

  • Intro
  • Free to Run
  • Criminal
  • Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
  • Loved You Enough
  • River
  • Crazy
  • Sidewalk Stars
  • Mother’s Only Son
  • Southbound
  • Big Spike Hammer
  • Sharecropper’s Son
  • Snow on the Pines >
  • Girlfriend Is Better >
  • Snow on the Pines
  • Good Hearted Woman

Encore:

  • Old Plank Road
  • Where They Do Not Know My Name

Little Feat: 3/13/2019

I have seen Little Feat multiple times, but my wife had never seen them and she is a big fan of their music, so we figured we should go and check out their 50th anniversary tour. I had to chuckle, because when she told one of her coworkers we were going, who is in our age range, the coworker’s response was, “Little Feat. Oh yeah. My dad liked them.” Makes one feel old.

Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is very close to the house, walking distance in better weather. So we drove there, breezed in, and found our seats in the balcony. We saw our friend there, Jake, and he was all excited because he heard from a very reliable source that Warren Haynes was going to join the band onstage. I have to say, I was pretty excited about that prospect myself.

The lights went down and the band took the stage. No opening act. I have to say that the first two songs were pretty weak, totally lacking in energy. I had that sinking feeling that I just spent my money to see a bunch of old guys who could no longer perform. But they picked up steam and soon they were cooking and playing with the energy I expected from the band.

After a while, sure enough, Warren joined them on stage, and then they really ramped things up. The first song they did with Warren was “Spanish Moon,” without a doubt my favorite Little Feat song. The crowd was pumped. Warren played the rest of the show with them, except for the encore.

Warren Haynes joining Little Feat

Definitely a great show. My only disappointment was that they did not play “Fat Man in the Bathtub,” but other than that, it was a killer show. Here’s the full setlist.

Feats don’t fail me now!

Setlist:

  • Time Loves a Hero
  • Day or Night
  • One Breath at a Time
  • Home Ground
  • Tripe Face Boogie
  • Down On The Farm
  • Willin’>
  • Don’t Bogart That Joint
  • Long Black Veil >
  • The Weight
  • Truck Stop Girl
  • Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky
  • Lonesome Whistle Blow
  • Spanish Moon (w Warren Haynes)
  • Skin It Back (w Warren Haynes)
  • Dixie Chicken (w Warren Haynes)

Encore:

  • Feats Don’t Fail Me Now

Phil Lesh & Friends: 4/14/2001

Not a whole lot to say about this show, other than it was great. This was the second show of a two-night run at the Sunrise Musical Theatre, and my wife went with me the first night, which was an experience because she was late in her pregnancy. This night, I went without her and hung out with friends, which was fun. I had a lot of Deadhead friends in Florida at the time, and it was like one big party with my peeps. We all danced and sang along until late in the night.

Here’s the setlist. Although they didn’t play a lot of songs, they played a long time. It was just over three hours, if my memory serves me correct. Rock on!

Set 1:

  • Jam >
  • Comes A Time >
  • Eyes of the World >
  • Just a Little Light >
  • Help on the Way >
  • Slipknot! >
  • Franklin’s Tower

Set 2:

  • The Golden Road >
  • Viola Lee Blues >
  • Wharf Rat >
  • Viola Lee Blues >
  • I Know You Rider
  • Dark Star >
  • Night of 1000 Stars >
  • Dark Star

Encore:

  • Box of Rain

Phil Lesh & Friends: 4/13/2001

This was my first time seeing Phil Lesh and Friends. As a long-time Grateful Dead fan, I was pretty psyched. The Sunrise Musical Theatre was an intimate venue, so getting to see Phil there promised to be a treat.

This incarnation of the band consisted of:

  • Phil Lesh on bass and vocals
  • Warren Haynes on guitar and vocals
  • Jimmy Herring on guitar
  • Rob Barraco on keyboards and vocals
  • John Molo on drums

The band was playing two nights, and I of course was planning to attend both shows. My wife though, who was very pregnant at the time, was only up for going this first night. And when I say very pregnant, she was well into her third trimester and looked like she would go into labor at any minute.

We got to the theatre, and someone from either security or management must have seen my wife and become very concerned. From the moment we walked in, there was someone near us, with walkie talkie, making sure that nothing happened to her. We were basically ushered to our seats, if my wife needed to go to the bathroom, someone was right there to clear the way for her, and once, someone down the aisle from us spilled a drink, and a maintenance person with a mop was immediately dispatched to clean it up. It was a little surreal, but we just went with it and enjoyed the VIP treatment.

The first set began with a poetry reading, which was pretty cool. Here is the excerpt that Phil read:

“Invocation to the Sun, the Prologue to The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel” by Nikos Kazantzakis (part 1)

O Sun, great Oriental, my proud mind’s golden cap,
I love to wear you cocked askew, to play and burst
in song throughout our lives, and so rejoice our hearts.
Good is this earth, it suits us! Like the global grape
it hangs, dear God, in the blue air and sways in the gale,
nibbled by all the birds and spirits of the four winds.
Come, let’s start nibbling too, and so refresh our minds!
Between two throbbing temples in the mind’s great wine vats
I tread on the crisp grapes until the wild must boils
and my mind laughs and steams within the upright day.
Has the earth sprouted wings and sails, has my mind swayed
until black-eyed Necessity got drunk and burst in song?
Above me spreads the raging sky, below me swoops
my belly, a white gull that breasts the cooling waves;
my nostrils fill with salty spray, the billows burst
swiftly against my back, rush on, and I rush after.

After the poetic invocation, the music kicked off and the band performed “Celebration,” which the Dead archivists assert was the first time this was ever performed. Pretty cool! The first set also included “The Eleven,” possibly my favorite Grateful Dead song ever. I was ecstatic.

After the first set was over, my wife ran into a friend of hers, who had been up toward the front. This friend kept raving about “The sickness of the jams!” That became our catch-phrase for the evening.

After the break, the band took the stage again for the second set, which was stellar, and loooong. My wife was definitely hitting her limit by the end of the night. She said that while it was great, she was glad she was not going the next night.

I’ve often thought about our unborn child, exposed to that long night of music. I think the sickness of the jams must have penetrated into her being, because she has had a deep love of music her whole life, and has since become a multi-instrumentalist.

Anyway, here is the full setlist. Rock on, and may the sickness of the jams ever plague you! (ha ha)

Set 1:

  • Poetry Reading: Part 1
  • Celebration >
  • Jam >
  • The Eleven >
  • Space Jam >
  • Soulshine >
  • Uncle John’s Band >
  • Get Together >
  • Not Fade Away

Set 2:

  • Low Spark Jam >
  • China Cat Sunflower >
  • Uncle John’s Band Reprise >
  • St. Stephen >
  • Sugaree >
  • St. Stephen >
  • I Am The Walrus >
  • Taste Like Wine >
  • The Wheel >
  • Lovin’ Jam >
  • The Wheel >
  • The Other One >
  • Celebration Reprise

Encore:

  • Here Comes Sunshine

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong: 2/1/2019

I was recently at a party at my friend Ilene’s house, and she asked me if I was familiar with this band. I told her I had never heard of them, and she told me they were really good, and that her and her husband had gotten some comp VIP passes and that they could get me one if I was interested. Far be it from me to turn down an opportunity to see a show for free. So they secured me a freebie and I listened to some of their stuff to familiarize myself with their music.

How to describe them? They are definitely a jam band, but they have a bit of a funk sound too. Their stuff is upbeat and danceable. I figured it would be a good time, and when I saw that the show was sold out, I suspected it would be pretty high-energy too.

I met Ilene and her husband Jonathan outside the venue. They got us the VIP wristbands, which allowed us to sit in the reserved section on the side of the stage. Not that it was really reserved. It was still pretty much open season for the freaks who chose to wedge themselves in there.

The opening act was a band called The Fritz. They are local, but very good. I had remembered a friend telling me about them. They were better than your average opener.

PPPP came on around 10ish, and they were pumped. Definitely feeding off the energy from the audience. And they played a looooooong time—finishing up about 1:00 am. Two solid sets and an encore. I was definitely feeling tired toward the end, but forced myself to stay until the end, which is a testament to how good they were.

In between sets, I ran into my friend Andy. I had not seen him in years, so it was a nice surprise. He had come into town specifically to see the band and was planning to see them the following night in Raleigh. I didn’t realize that following Pigeons was a thing, but I guess it is.

After the show, as I exited the venue to walk to my car, I was surprised to find people selling balloons full of nitrous oxide. Nitrous?! People still do that shit? I suppose some things never change in the jam-band scene. It made me think of a quote from the Netflix show, “Big Mouth”: “They’re jam bands. They’re the tools of Big Nitrous.”

Anyway, here’s the setlist, followed by a few pictures I snapped at the show. Rock on!

Set 1

  • Melting Lights >
  • Whirled
  • Penguins >
  • Funkijam >
  • Funk E. Zekiel
  • Fortress
  • Yo Soy Fiesta
  • J-Town
  • Poseidon >
  • Jessica >
  • Poseidon

Set 2

  • Live Life / Upfunk
  • Snake Eyes
  • Horizon >
  • I Wanna Be Like You >
  • Bare Necessities >
  • I Wanna Be Like You >
  • Horizon
  • Drunk People
  • Walk Outside
  • Ocean Flows

Encore:

  • Doc

 

The Fritz

 

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

 

PPPP w/ Jamar Woods from Fritz on keys

Warren Haynes 30th Anniversary Christmas Jam – Second Night: 12/8/2018

The second night of the Christmas Jam was faced with a winter storm, which dumped significant snow on Asheville. Because of the expected difficulties, those who did not feel comfortable venturing out were given the option to stream the show from home. Since I live only about a mile from the venue, I of course went and brought a warm jacket so I could walk home afterwards.

I went with my friend Seth, and we grabbed some barbecue before heading over to the show. When we got there, I was elated to see throngs of scalpers desperately trying to sell off their tickets for below face value in a lame attempt to recoup some of their money. It makes me happy to see scalpers suffering and losing money. I have no sympathy for those vampires who feed off others.

Anyway, the second night boasted a stellar lineup of headline acts:

  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Jim James
  • Dave Grohl and Friends
  • Eric Church
  • Gov’t Mule

In addition, there were also the guest musicians who graced the stage on the first night of the Jam.

The show began with a collaboration of guest musicians jamming and warming up the crowd. That was followed by Joe Bonamassa, who I was probably the most excited to see. As a guitarist, I was eager to see the blues great perform live. He did not disappoint. After he played, all I could think was that I would hate to be a musician having to follow that guitarist. But, the rest of the show was right up there in caliber.

Sadly, my friend Seth left right after Bonamassa’s set. Snow was already piling up and he was concerned about not being able to make it home. Thankfully, I had other friends who were there, and I made the rounds, sitting with various friends throughout the evening.

There were many high points that night, but probably the best for me was when Gov’t Mule kicked off their set with Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” segueing into Hendrix’s “Machine Gun,” then back into “Rockin’ in the Free World,” with Dave Grohl playing guitar with them. UNBELIEVABLE! Here is a video recording on YouTube for those who are interested.

Not long after that, I decided to cut out a little early and start walking home. It was already past 1:00 am, and I knew it would be a cold trudge through the deep snow. But actually, it was kind of nice, in the surreal early morning darkness. Here is a picture I snapped on the walk home.

Here are the setlists from the headline acts. Hope you all have a rockin’ New Year, and may 2019 bring you lots of live music!

Setlists:

Joe Bonamassa:

  • Beck’s Bolero >
  • Rice Pudding
  • Spanish Boots
  • SWLABR
  • I Can’t Quit You Baby
  • How Many More Times

Jim James:

  • Just a Fool
  • Throwback
  • All Over the World
  • Here in Spirit
  • Over and Over
  • Better Get Together While Still Got Time
  • No Secrets
  • A New Life >
  • State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)

Dave Grohl:

  • Play
  • Times Like These (with Warren Haynes)
  • Everlong

Eric Church:

  • Desperate Man
  • Record Year
  • Carolina
  • Smoke a Little Smoke
  • Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (with Warren Haynes)
  • Atlantic City (with Warren Haynes)
  • Diddy Wah Diddy (with Warren Haynes)
  • The Weight (with Warren Haynes)

Gov’t Mule:

  • Rockin’ in the Free World (with Dave Grohl) >
  • Machine Gun  (with Dave Grohl) (instrumental) >
  • Rockin’ in the Free World (with Dave Grohl)
  • Thorazine Shuffle
  • Revolution Come, Revolution Go
  • Million Miles From Yesterday
  • Dreams and Songs
  • Red Baron
  • Mule