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!
Holly Bowling (pre-show)
- St. Stephen >
- Proxima B
- Little Martha
Warren Haynes & Jake Shimabukuro
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Jake solo)
- Dragon (Jake solo)
- Nowhere Fast
- Tennessee Song
- Wild Women
- Hurtin’ (On the Bottle)
- Learning to Lose
- All American Made
- Paper Cowboy
Holly Bowling & Jake Shimabukuro
- Bird Song >
- 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
- Whiskey and Wild, Wild Women
- Country Blues
- Laundry Room
- Paranoia in B Flat
- No Hard Feelings
- 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)
- Gotta Jibboo
- Burn That Bridge
- Everything’s Right
- Aqui Como Alla
- Dark and Down
- Set Your Soul Free
- First Tube
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)