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!
- Beck’s Bolero >
- Rice Pudding
- Spanish Boots
- I Can’t Quit You Baby
- How Many More Times
- Just a Fool
- 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.)
- Times Like These (with Warren Haynes)
- Desperate Man
- Record Year
- 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)
- 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