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

Warren Haynes 30th Anniversary Christmas Jam – First Night: 12/7/2018

The Christmas Jam has become a holiday tradition for me. Every year since I moved to Asheville, NC, I have attended the Jam, and it is always great. This year, Warren held the Jam over two nights, which was consistent with the 20th and 25th. I, of course, planned on going both nights.

Ticket purchasing has become a challenge, even in the small city of Asheville. Scalpers and bots scoop up tickets and resell them through TicketMaster and scalper sites like Stub Hub, making it tough for fans to acquire tickets. For that reason, I went down early in the morning to the box office and was first in line. This proved advantageous, since the box office opened the window 5 minutes prior to when TicketMaster opened the online sales. I got reserved seats for both nights, and then found to my dismay that many of my friends who tried to buy online got shut out, all reserved seats gone in less than 2 minutes. The bots strike again! Now for my quick PSA—Scalpers are scum. No matter how much you want to see a show, don’t ever buy from a “verified reseller” for more than face value. As long as you do, these bottom feeders will continue to ruin music for all of us.

OK, stepping down from the soapbox and getting on with the show.

First night I went with my wife and daughter. The lineup was pretty solid. The headliners included:

  • Dark Side of the Mule
  • Grace Potter
  • Mike Gordon
  • Jamey Johnson
  • Marco Benevento

In addition, there were a bunch of guest musicians, including: Audley Freed, Jen Gunderman, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Jimmy Vivino, Kevn Kinney, Mike Barnes, Robert Kearns, Ron Holloway, and Tyler Ramsey. There were others who were not announced. Sorry, but don’t remember them all.

The show went on until after 2:00 am, and I think this was the first time my wife made it to the very end. While the entire show was great, Dark Side of the Mule was by far the highlight. Gov’t Mule performed a long Pink Floyd set, complete with lasers and an incredible light show. It was a great way to end a marathon night of music.

The only negative about this night was Jamey Johnson. He was good, and I liked the music he played, but he was painfully loud. Now I am not one to shy away from loud music, so if I consider a band to be too loud, they are probably too loud. He obviously missed the memo that when playing country music, you do not need to turn the amps up to 11. Leave that setting for Spinal Tap.

I could not find all the setlists, but I found a few. I will add others if I find them. Also, I’m including a few pictures that I snapped. And for those who are interested, here is a video of Dark Side of the Mule, with the full on lasers.

Rock on, and check back soon for my post on the second night.

Setlists:

Marco Benevento

  • The Story Of Fred Short (Intro) >
  • Seven Twenty Two >
  • Walking With Tyrone
  • Live A Certain Life
  • Stay In Line
  • I Can’t See The Light >
  • Follow The Arrow
  • Band Introductions/Banter
  • Greenpoint
  • Pepper

Mike Gordon

  • Say Something
  • Whirlwind
  • Peel
  • Victim > Sweet Emotion
  • Pendulum
  • Wild and Blue
  • Do You Still Drink About Me
  • Crazy Sometimes

Grace Potter

  • Gold Dust Woman (w Warren Haynes and Jim James)
  • Medicine
  • Empty Heart
  • Not Fade Away > Stars
  • The Lion the Beast the Beat
  • Paris (Ooh La La)
  • I Shall Be Released

Dark Side of the Mule:

  • Pigs on the Wing 2
  • Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
  • Have a Cigar
  • Breathe
  • On the Run
  • Time
  • Breathe (Reprise)
  • The Great Gig in the Sky
  • Money
  • Us and Them
  • (with Jim James on lead vocals)
  • Any Colour You Like
  • Welcome to the Machine
  • One of These Days
  • Fearless
  • Echoes, Part 1
  • Comfortably Numb

Encore:

  • Wish You Were Here

 

Warren kicking off the show

 

Mike Gordon
Grace Potter
Dark Side of the Mule

Grateful Dead: 9/19/1987

This was the last show of our Dead tour. The band would play another night at the Garden after this, but I would be heading back to Miami with my friends Julie and Miriam. My brother, who graciously provided us a place to stay while in New York, was planning to go with us to this show. He did not have a ticket, and the show was sold out way in advance, but he went into the city with us hoping to find a ticket.

Scalping was illegal in New York at this time, but there were still people outside trying to hawk tickets. One of them came up to us and asked if we were looking for tickets. My brother inquired as to how much, and he replied $100. Now my bro fully expected to pay more for the ticket, but $100 for a ticket that cost $18.50 was insane, so he declined. But immediately, this tall, skinny hippie came up and addressed the guy selling the tickets.

“Hey man. You got a ticket for sale?”

“Yeah. $100.”

“A HUNDRED DOLLARS! YOU’RE CHARGING A HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A TICKET?!”

The skinny hippie dude was broadcasting this to the world. Obviously, the scalper got a little nervous.

“Shhhhhhh. Be quiet.”

“NO! I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT YOU’RE CHARGING A HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A TICKET!”

At this point, a mass of tie-dyed freaks surrounded the scalper and began chanting: “Scalpers are Scum! Scalpers are Scum.” The scalper slunk away like a rat, crawling back to the sewers.

Anyway, my brother eventually scored a ticket (I think he paid $50, which he was happy about), and we went in to see the show.

This particular show was simulcast on TV as part of Farm Aid III, which I thought was pretty cool. Bob Weir made a point of mentioning the plight of farmers and making a plug for Farm Aid as they were segueing into “Maggie’s Farm.”

After more than a week of travelling around with the intrepid Dead community, I was feeling pretty frazzled. During the intermission, I had left my seat to get a refreshment, and as I was walking back up to our seats in the upper decks, I felt everything begin to spin. The next thing I knew, I saw what appeared to be the Hand of God reaching out of the clouds to help me up. As things came into focus, I realized it was Miriam’s hand. I had passed out and had a near disaster. Falling backwards down the stairs at Madison Square Garden would have been a most unfortunate way to end the tour, but thankfully someone was behind me and caught me as I fell. Miriam would later recount how my eyes rolled back into my skull as I began the fall backwards. To this day, I am grateful to whoever it was that saved me.

Overall, the show was great, but I confess being a little disappointed with “Black Muddy River” as an encore, especially since they had played it already as an encore the second night at MSG. But I quickly got over it.

We had a roll of 69¢ stickers, so on the way back to Jersey City, we strategically pasted stickers around the Port Authority. My brother told me that for about a year afterwards, he kept seeing those stickers and would chuckle inwardly, remembering the good times we had at the show.

Anyway, here is the setlist, and that concludes this run of Dead shows. “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Set 1:

  • Mississippi Half-Step
  • It’s All Over Now
  • High Time
  • Mexicali Blues
  • Big River
  • When Push Comes to Shove
  • Box of Rain
  • Don’t Ease Me In

Set 2:

  • Crazy Fingers
  • Uncle John’s Band
  • Playin’ in the Band
  • Drums > Space
  • I Need a Miracle
  • Maggie’s Farm
  • Black Peter
  • Around and Around
  • Turn on Your Love Light

Encore:

  • Black Muddy River

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)

Billy Joel: 3/4/1987

billyjoel_3-4-87

So, there was something really cool about this concert, I mean, seeing Billy Joel in the 80’s was cool, but something specific about this show. This was actually the third night that he performed at the Hollywood Sportatorium on the tour, and the reason was that the first show sold out in minutes and scalpers bought up a lot of the tickets. So Joel announced he would keep adding shows so that everyone could get tickets and scalpers would get stuck with their tickets. To me, that is the epitome of cool. Billy Joel earned my respect that day and it never wavered.

Anyway, after the first two shows sold out, my girlfriend Ruth and I got tickets to the third concert. She was a huge Billy Joel fan, so it was really exciting for her to see him live.

The concert was excellent. Even in the Sporto, which was notorious for its horrible acoustics, he sounded great. The crowd was engaged and Billy was energetic. And while there were some songs I would have liked to hear that he didn’t play (“Captain Jack” in particular), his set was solid and I left totally happy.

I found the setlist online, so here it is.

Setlist:

A Matter of Trust

Pressure

You’re Only Human (Second Wind)

Piano Man

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant

Allentown

Goodnight Saigon

Prelude/Angry Young Man

Until the Night

Big Man on Mulberry Street

Baby Grand

An Innocent Man

The Longest Time

Only the Good Die Young

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me

Sometimes a Fantasy

You May Be Right

Uptown Girl

Tell Her About It

Keeping the Faith

Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)

Big Shot

Phish: 6/9/2009

Phish_6-9-09

So I should start by saying I was never a big Phish phan. I could appreciate what they did musically, but I was much more of a Grateful Dead fan when it came to jam band music. But when a show was announced in Asheville, walking distance from my house, I figured I might as well check them out and mark them off the list of bands I had seen.

Usually, when bands would perform at the Asheville Civic Center (now renamed the US Cellular Center), I would go and buy tickets at the box office and avoid the TicketMaster service fees. But alas, all the Phish phreaks started camping out days in advance at the box office, and I for one had a life at that point and could not just check out and go sleep on the sidewalk for two or three days. So I decided to take my chances on the TicketMaster website and pay the fees.

Well, that was an epic fail. Tickets were gone within 5 minutes and I was “conveniently” redirected to TicketMaster’s partner site where scalper tickets were already being offered for $500. I was a little disappointed, since I had never seen Phish before and wanted to see what the fuss was all about, but figured it was not that big a deal, since I was not that into their music.

Then, out of the blue, my good friend Seth contacted me and said his friend had a couple extra tickets and wanted to know if I was interested in going with him. I said “Hell yeah!” So we got the tickets for face value (about $50) and went to the show. I have to admit, it was really fun. We danced, the music was good (much better live than on recordings I had heard), and it was just a really good time. And as a bonus, I got a really cool looking ticket stub to add to the collection.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks again Seth for hooking me up!

The Rolling Stones: 10/25/1981

Stones_10-25-81

This stub is from the second time I saw the Stones (click here to read about the first time). So in order to get tickets for this show, I had to mail away. I sent a check for $81.60 for four tickets. After a long wait, I got an envelope in the mail which included my returned check along with a note that said: “Incorrect payment, $81.75.” So for .15 cents they didn’t send me any tickets! I was devastated. Anyway, I found an ad in the paper to buy tickets from someone. I told the person my sob story. He took pity on me and sold them for just a little bit over face value.

This was a general admission show at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, so we went in early to get a spot up close on the field. We staked our space near the front, cramped in among the throngs of rock and roll crazies. As we patiently watched the Henry Paul Band and Van Halen perform, the temperature got hotter and hotter. It became dangerously hot and because there were so many people on the field, it was impossible to move or go to get a drink of water. People started passing out, so to stave off a disaster, hoses were given to the security in front of the stage. They began hosing the crowd to keep everyone cool. We all stood there with faces turned up and mouths open waiting for water.

Finally, the Stones hit the stage, opening with “Under My Thumb” (same as the previous day). Mick ran to the front of the stage and took one of the hoses from a security person and began spraying the crowd, and yes, he sprayed me. To this day, I can honestly tell people that I got hosed by Mick Jagger, and was still able to respect myself in the morning.

Rock on!

Setlist

  • Under My Thumb
  • When the Whip Comes Down
  • Let’s Spend the Night Together
  • Shattered
  • Neighbours
  • Black Limousine
  • Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
  • Twenty Flight Rock
  • Let Me Go
  • Time Is on My Side
  • Beast of Burden
  • Waiting on a Friend
  • Let It Bleed
  • You Can’t Always Get What You Want
  • Little T&A
  • Tumbling Dice
  • She’s So Cold
  • All Down the Line
  • Hang Fire
  • Street Fighting Man
  • Miss You
  • Start Me Up
  • Honky Tonk Women
  • Brown Sugar
  • Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Encore:

  • (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction